Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (book review)

Another book review from The Movie Snob.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story, by John Berendt (1994).  I believe this book was a huge best-seller back when it came out.  It spawned a 1997 movie directed by Clint Eastwood (American Sniper) and starring John Cusack (The Paperboy) and Kevin Spacey (Baby Driver), but I never saw it and don’t remember hearing much good about it.  Anyhow, I finally got around to reading the book, and I quite enjoyed it.  For reasons I have forgotten, New York author Berendt decided to live part-time in the sleepy backwater town of Savannah, Georgia.  In the first part of his book he chronicles many of the very colorful characters who live in the old part of the town, near the historic squares and away from the new mall.  This part of the book was pretty good.  Then there’s a homicide, and the story really picks up in interest.  Once I got to that part, I pretty much couldn’t put the book down.  I was a little disappointed to read in the afterward that the author not only changed some of the names but also took “certain storytelling liberties, particularly having to do with the timing of events.”  Nevertheless, I thought the book was effective at evoking the atmosphere of Savannah and in telling the story of a lengthy murder prosecution.

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