Book Rating (147)
Narrator Rating (27)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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Jeff Woodman

15 Hours 0 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

November 2005

Audio Book Summary

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the 'soul of pampered self-absorption'; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight.  These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience.  Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

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  • Richard S

    Having just recently returned from our first trip to Savannah, this selection seemed the obvious choice for a first audiobooks pick. My introduction to the story was from the movie. While its was great fun to revisit the places we've now seen first hand, it was astounding to learn how much of the books' continuity failed to transition to the film. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a wonderful 'read' and a beautiful introduction to a truly enchanting place.

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  • Devyn Phillip

    Book was excellent! I did not enjoy the loud screeching sound. However I believe these loud tones were inserted at the end of every disc intentionally to notify the listener that they need to insert the next disc and they just weren't edited out when it got converted to digital. Does not ruin the experience as I just learned to skip forward to get past it faster.

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  • carol sienkiewicz

    Very good book. Narrator talks too fast though. There are times every so often when squealing occurs. Will try another book before making a final decision.

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  • Jonathan Hurst

    I found the book to be fascinating and well written. Congrats to the author and the Savannah.

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  • Susan Williams

    Very good book and the narrator was excellent. Only strange thing was some 1 minute gaps of silence followed by that sound when there's an emergency on your radio, weird!

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  • Rachel Salazar

    A must read for any southerner or transplant Yankee

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  • Daniel Wainwright

    A pleasant story. Very interesting characters. The narrator did a nice job. I was somewhat let down by the ending. The book left me wanting more. But, overall, I really enjoyed the description of Savannah and the people their.

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  • Daparoye

    I really enjoyed this book. I was kept wondering throughout the story, "What else can possibly happen?" The author knows Savannah. The reader did an amazing job and I look forward to hearing more of him.

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  • Anonymous

    Good story, easy to listen to. Entertaining. Nice accent and voice changes.

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  • Matthew Williams

    The book itself was fine, but the particular audio download I received had multiple gaps of silence and high pitched static squealing.

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