Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

Version: Abridged
Author: John Berendt
Narrator: Anthony Herald
Genres: True Crime
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: October 1997
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
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2 cassettes / 3 hours
* also available abridged on CD and unabridged on cassette
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: A Savannah Story is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of amost beguiling Southern city is certain to become a modern classic.

Reviews (24)

Written by India H. on August 29th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I love this book, but I love the audiobook even more. The narration was very entertaining.

Written by Amanda S on March 22nd, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Has always been a favorite book of mine, however this audio book recording has some serious flaws. There are odd gaps of silence in the middle of paragraphs, sometimes followed by very LOUD and long beep tone. Completely obnoxious.

Written by Richard S on May 2nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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.

Written by Devyn Phillip on March 17th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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.

Written by carol sienkiewicz on March 2nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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.

Written by Jonathan Hurst on February 19th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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

Written by Susan Williams on January 25th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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!

Don't Bother

Written by Trax on July 9th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This abridged version of the book seemed to leave out so many important aspects of the story. It really did not make any sense.

Written by Rachel Salazar on June 13th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A must read for any southerner or transplant Yankee

Written by Angela Lewis on November 14th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Riveting... I have listened over and over again...

Author Details

Author Details

Berendt, John

The son of two writers, John Berendt grew up in Syracuse, New York. He earned a B.A. in English from Harvard University, where he worked on the staff of The Harvard Lampoon. After graduating in 1961, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. Berendt has written for David Frost and Dick Cavett, was editor of "New York" magazine from 1977 to 1979, and wrote a monthly column for "Esquire" from 1982 to 1994.
Berendt first traveled to Savannah in the early 1980s, when he realized that he could fly there for a three-day weekend for the price of "a paillard of veal served on a b