Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
By: John Berendt
My Rating: Two out of Five Stars
Best for: 18 and up
Midnight in the Garden of…
…[Awakes with a start] Oh, sorry. Fell asleep.
I’ve been hearing about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for years, so I picked it up a while back and added to my list. True crime is awesome, Just ask In Cold Blood! Savannah is one of my most favorite cities in the world! Have you been to Leopolds?! How could a true crime novel set in Savannah go wrong?
By being boring, that’s how.
I had high hopes, but sadly, my hopes were dashed on long chapters filled with descriptions of a menagerie of Savannah’s rich, famous, and odd denizens. The author is a New York magazine writer who decided Savannah was awesome enough to move there in the early 80s. He met the people, joined their circles, earned their trust, and happened to be around when one of those people killed another of those people. He followed the trial and decided to write a book about it. It could have been great. It SHOULD have been great. And it would have been, if he’d spent less time on the people that didn’t matter and more time on the people that did.
It’s not that the people weren’t interesting. The people he met and profiled were actually fascinating. But the book was literally half over before the true crime investigation even began. I stuck with it, thinking it was all going to tie back together in the end–but alas, it did not. Turns out the crime was even boring. The truth came out early on, and the last 1/3 of the book covers 4 separate trials, appeal after appeal, repeating the same facts and arguments over and over. No mystery, no intrigue. Just a recap of a murder committed by rich, odd people.
It contained quite a bit of content I didn’t want to read, too…language and sexual content mostly. For those who may want to know ahead of time, there is quite a lot of discussion about the homosexual culture that exists in Savannah.
Best for 18 and up.
Happy Reading, but of something else. If you want real true crime, go read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.