Monday, March 06, 2006

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Author: John Berendt

Genre: Memoir

Summary: A murder in Savannah goes to trial three times while a local writer learns about the city from both sides of the tracks.

The Take-Away: The book was orinally published in 1994. One of the blurbs on the back called it a non-fiction novel. Given some of the hype about other current, widely publized novels memoirs, I first wonder what a non-fiction novel is. Then I wonder how much of it is true.

Like all things southern (or so I've been told) the pace is slow. The actual story could have been told in a fraction of the space, but it would have suffered from the loss of several characters, most likely the Lady Chablis. She was my favorite in the book and I kept wondering what she would do next. The writer doubles as the narrator. He meets Chablis (yes, named after the wine) outside of a doctor's office. Chablis recruits him as her chauffer and he willingly goes along. That was the tamest part of her role.

I picked this copy up at a rummage sale last summer. It was worth the $0.50 I paid for it.

Recommendation: If your desire is a leisurely walk through someone else's life, this will satisfy that desire.

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