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Publisher's Summary

Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a "walking streak of sex". These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed, and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired, in this utterly irresistible audio. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.
©1994 by John Berendt (P)1995 by Random House Audio Publishing, Inc., All Rights Reserved Under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions, Reproduced by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Uproarious...a rich, irresistible mix of snobbery, mayhem, sex, mind-boggling parochialism, and mildewed magnolias....A glorious vanity fair of human folly." (The Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    294
  • 2 Stars
    75
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    45

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Worth a liaten

The story was good, although I didn't realize until the end, it was based on real people and true events. The narrator, was wonderful! He really brought the characters to life!

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  • Carmen
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 07-06-17

I loved listening to this book!<br />

Savannah remind me the city where I lived for 20 years since I was born.
a Colonial city in the middle of the Island in Cuba; its name Sancti-Spiritus (latin , for Holy Spirit). A city very loyal to its roots. It was founded by Spaniards in 1514. Full of picturesque people, anecdotes & gossip.
i really enjoy the book.

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Amazing love affair with a city sprinkled with a little murder

The first half of the book is absolutely a love story to Savannah. Then, there is a murder and 4 trials! And the whole story is true! The author was ingenious in his writing. It is entertaining, witty, and captivating. The performance is impressive.
I can understand how this one book ignited the tourism industry there. I have visited Savannah and fell in love. THEN I read the book and now I cannot wait to go back!

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long and drawn out

It's an interesting book, but some parts really drag on and on. Lots of repetition through out.

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A tasty slice of Georgia!

Would you consider the audio edition of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil to be better than the print version?

John Berendt creates a great tale revolving around the trials of Jim Williams while also introducing us to the other local flavor in Savannah, Georgia and Jeff Woodman's narration only enhances the story. I'm sure I would enjoy the book in written form, but Woodman elevates it to another level of enjoyable.

Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

He inflected all the character's with life, but I think his turn as the Lady Chablis was the best in this book. I could imagine what she was like in person based off of Woodman's characterization. He did a commendable job in giving all these quirky southern characters a unique identity without going over the top.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The book was enjoyable. However, the languid story telling would've put me to sleep. I'm not saying it is boring, but like the south, the pace is slow and steady and would've been easy to be lulled into rest with the way the story is told. Breaking it up and enjoying it in bits and pieces was an enjoyable experience. Also, each chapter focuses on a different character, so there's value in enjoying it in bits and pieces and savoring the morsels.

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  • DFW
  • South MS
  • 06-07-17

You Just Can't Make This Stuff UP

This is one of the best books ever written and what makes it even better is that it is a true story. I have this book in print as well as audio and have the movie. It is one of those destined to become a classic. In this instance, the movie is just as good as the book. We get an insiders view of the quirky society of Savannah, GA. Great job, John Berendt!!

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Packing my bags for Savannah!!

The narrator is by far the most captivating one I've had the pleasure of listening to! This is an oldir, but goodie. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • AA
  • 05-26-17

WOW

Truly unable to put this book down. I had it fully read in 2 days. The characters are addictive and the story, while true, rivals the best fiction out there. Highly recommended.

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Not what I expected at all!

Any additional comments?

I had this book for quite a while before I actually read/listened to it. I had heard that it was a good book, and it came highly recommended, but I knew nothing about it. The title itself may be think that it was a lascivious romp, and although it had been highly recommended, I really had to be in the right mood. When I finally did start the book, it was ENTIRELY different than I had suspected! It was a good book, but there was no lascivious romp :-).
It was purported to be a "true crime", and I suppose in some ways it was, but it was more society and history than the crime, which didn't occur until over half way through, and the crime itself was not the basis.
It was a view of the city of Savannah, primarily in the 70s and early 80s, and the way it operated and the feelings and sentiments of the "important" residents. The characters fully developed, and although one got feelings that one should "like" or "dislike" individuals, enjoyment of the book was not based on whether or not the characters were likable. I really got the feeling that a picture was being painted, complete with the flaws, but no judgment was required.
As I said, I don't really see it as a "true crime". The crime was much more a sort of a PART of the picture, and there were several trials about it, but neither the crime itself nor the trials appeared to be the true essence of the book. No, let me take it back: the title is based on the activities of the main defendant. He hired a witch doctor to make his side win. She was a true character on her own! And the fact that her activities formed the base of the title indicate how much the whole incident was just a PART of society. And I learned an awful lot about Savannah Georgia! The fact that it was during the 70s and 80s makes me wonder about what I know about US history and society! It also makes me VERY happy that I live in Illinois instead of Georgia!

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excellent story

This is an excellent story thst is made even better with the fact that it is a series of true events. Well write and the reader is excellent. highly recommend for all to read or listen to this book