Customer Reviews for

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a splendid piece of nonfiction. Part true crime, part Savannah guidebook, it reaches beyond both of these to become a captivating character study. John Berendt effortlessly captures the voices of both the people he meets and th...
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a splendid piece of nonfiction. Part true crime, part Savannah guidebook, it reaches beyond both of these to become a captivating character study. John Berendt effortlessly captures the voices of both the people he meets and the city of Savannah, itself. And yet, though his impressions and experiences shape the narrative, he remains an understated presence in the book, offering what he sees and hears with minimal commentary, and leaving us, the readers, with the sense that it is we who are in fact meeting these people and this place. As their new acquaintances, moreover, we're free and welcome to come to our own conclusions about the quality of their characters, and so we, too, become drawn into the book's singular series of events. Deftly rendered with elegant and evocative prose, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a funny, insightful, and often touching glimpse into Savannah's charming, mysterious heart.

posted by slimikin on May 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

BEWARE ABRIDGED AUDIO BOOKS

This audio version of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is an example of how a great paper book can be turned into a dreadful audiobook. Actor Anthony Heald performs well enough, but it's pretty funny when he tries to make his voice sound like a an elderly, sout...
This audio version of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is an example of how a great paper book can be turned into a dreadful audiobook. Actor Anthony Heald performs well enough, but it's pretty funny when he tries to make his voice sound like a an elderly, southern, african-american voodoo priestess. It's a stretch for a white guy. My main beef with this dud is the abridgement. When I first picked it up and saw "Abridged" printed on the box I groaned. But then I noticed that it was three discs. Midnight is a pretty short book, the three disc length led me to believe that only a minimal amount of text was cut out. So I broke my usual rule with audiobooks - never buy an abridgement!

I popped it in the car and all was well until I got to the third disc. After only a few minutes of "Midnight", it was THE END! I was left wondering what was occupying the other hour of the disc. Well, to my horror, it was the author himself, John Berendt, in a long, boring ode to himself. He congratulates himself effusively for writing such a spectacular book. He is sure to let us know how famous he is. How many languages it's been translated into. How much he's done for the city of Savannah, how much the citizens love him..... bla, bla, bla, until I almost fell asleep at the wheel. I would have much preferred that the remainder of the disc was left to the continuation of the actual book. So in the end, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" was abridged into only two discs. And then you're also paying for an extra disc of blather. Dont bother.

posted by Mary_T on November 17, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    In the book every moment seems to lead up to main plot. The book is very organized and easy to read. The characters in the book are very different than normal characters and it is what captures your interest to start with. My favorite character would have to be Chablis, just because of her attitude and personality. In the town of Savannah, it would be very peaceful and I believe that the author portraid the town very well. It's easy to picture in your mind, even if you don't have a creative imagination. The ending was well rounded, but it possibly could have added what every one was doing in the end of the book.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hopefully the Movie Will Be Better

    I found Midnight in the Garden of God and Evil to be somewhat of a good read. There were parts in the story that were very interesting but mostly it was a treatise of southern life which I already am aware of. This book may be more interesting to people who don't live in small southern cities like Savannah. I am looking forward to seeing how the movie by the same name is compared to the book. If you're looking for a good southern crime drama stick with John Grisham.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    More Exciting than the Movie

    This is a great page-turning book - not necessarily stimulating or thought provoking, but very enthralling and well written. The approach is unique, similar to something out of the "true crime" genre, but more than mere reporting. The author's journalistic attention to detail is essential to the drama, with some added touch relating personal experiences and interactions with the principal characters. Again, the approach was very unique, well-written, and quite entertaining. The City of Savannah can thank this book's success for putting it back onto the tourists' map. The author's follow-up didn't do as well, partly because Savannah is much more accessible to the American audience than an aristocratic city in Europe. Lastly, I saw the movie after reading the book, and I found the movie to be boring compared to the book!! Read the book, skip the movie, and visit Savannah!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    P&C

    The kits jump up and down. Yay!!! They exclaim. Pitch jumps on clover amd they start to wrestle roughly.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    Perfect for a Summer Read

    Perfect book for a summer read...filled with interesting characters and gossip. A great nonfiction read for those who usually prefer fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2003

    Although a Good Read,

    the line between fact and literary license was a little too blurred for my taste.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Not too crazy about the book

    Berendt did a wonderful job writing about the characters and the overall aura of Savannah but... it's lacking something. Maybe a plot? I'm not denying that it's not a good work of non-fiction but it just didn't seem to captivate me. I really wouldn't recommend this book to any of my close friends but if you're interested in Savannah or just like non-fiction written "fictionally", then this is the one for you

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    An awful piece of fiction...but wait!

    Upon discovering that the book (or in my case the tapes) were a work of non-fiction, Midnight just jumped up three stars in my estimation. I had no idea that Savannah (in the Bible-belt, of all places) had such an eclectic morality among its populace. I would have to say that the bit at the end there about the 'eccentrics' that call Savannah home was well articulated. I must visit. Overall its a good read (or listen) I think that if you like this book that you'll probably like THE NOVEL by James A. Michener.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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