Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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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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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
May 12, 2010
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780307538376
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
True Crime / Murder / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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Mr Churchill’s Driver: A Murderer’s Story describes real events, and events that may be real. Did Winston Churchill meet secretly at Holyhead with Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera in July 1940? Did they agree to Ireland’s re-unification if it joined the war against Germany, as alleged by Bert Gilbey, Churchill’s driver, and father of the narrator William? Did the two leaders discuss German terms to end the war? Theirs is a sensational story. Bert and William are both self-confessed criminals. Who will believe them? William Gilbey, released in 2014 after a twelve year sentence for murder, seeks money and jewels kept for him by gang members. After a lifetime of neglect he also wants to find the truth about his father Bert’s hanging in 1964 (‘the last man to be executed in England’) and his father’s stories, including the one about Churchill. The novel, mainly William’s ‘memoire’ (he was brought up in France), follows ten days when he finds companionship and love, but also ‘bitterness, fear and evil’. The novel turns on a series of deceptions and misunderstood clues. We see events through the eyes of three groups watching Gilbey: his gang; MI5; and Irish nationalists. All believe, wrongly, that Gilbey had learned from his father the location of critical documents and antiques smuggled from Ireland to England during the war. William decides that only through murder and the posthumous publication of his ‘memoire’ will anyone take his father’s story seriously. Mr Churchill’s Driver: A Murderer’s Story is a thrilling conspiracy novel, written in the crisp style of Ian McEwan with the historical depth of Peter Ackroyd. It is designed to entertain, to intrigue, and to provoke.
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Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   -  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST 

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SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017

Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.com and Book Browse

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