Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John BerendtAbout a third of the way through, this is already about how a city can be mythologised — and, once the process has started, how it mythologises itself. All these elements are in the first chapter, not that we realise this to begin with. Mercer House — the tour-guides describe, wrongly, how Johnny Mercer once lived there — is the jewel, his jewel. His conversation is bitchy, gossipy and full of casual name-dropping. Jim Williams is disapproved of by the old Savannah families, or so he alleges.
Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil (book) Review
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. And, like Truman Capote, that meta-narrative is also impacted by the fact that the writer who has come to tell the tale is viewed as a cultural interloper. The disconnect that exists between the personality of the writer and the personality of the community in which the notorious murder took place becomes an issue which becomes part of the fabric of the larger narrative. For Capote, the murder in a small Kansas town was about the interlopers like himself. Berendt, by contrast, delivers a story which radiates outward from the principal players in the murder to investigate the metropolitan milieu populated by characters of ever-increasing eccentricity. Indeed, a very strong argument can be made that the single most important character to be found within the pages of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is neither the victim nor killer, but the city of Savannah itself.
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Sign up for our newsletters! The victim is Danny Hansford, a small-time hustler who, early on a Saturday morning in May , was shot dead by his sometime employer Jim Williams in the latter's exquisitely restored house in Savannah, Georgia. As Berendt reconstructs Danny's death--and follows Williams's staggering four murder trials--he also presents us with a lovingly detailed social anthropology of Savannah, whose past is full of murders that have been covered up and cheerfully gossiped about for decades afterwards. The author keeps a discreet distance from his protagonists. His true object is to see how a crime engages the collective imagination of a city that is "as remote as Pitcairn Island" [p. And Berendt himself becomes one of the book's characters, an ingenuous expatriate Yankee who, in the process of making himself at home in Savannah, manages to go everywhere, meet everyone, and ferret out every morsel of the city's delicious gossip--except, perhaps, the truth behind Danny Hansford's death.
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
This suspenseful story about a murder trial in Savannah, Georgia, was written in While based on true events and characters, and therefore not a novel by true definition, the book is full of descriptive narration and dynamic, strongly identifiable figures. The author, John Berendt, draws a vivid picture of Savannah's residents while creating a book that revolves around the themes of money, isolation, illusion, and good versus evil.
Robert Downey Jr. Sign in. A visiting city reporter's John Cusack's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire Kevin Spacey , whom he befriends. This panoramic tale of Savannah, Georgia's eccentricities focuses on a murder and the subsequent trial of James Arthur Williams Kevin Spacey : self made man, art collector, antiques dealer, bon vivant, and semi-closeted homosexual. John Kelso John Cusack a magazine reporter, finds himself in Savannah amidst the beautiful architecture and odd doings to write a feature on one of William's famous Christmas parties. He is intrigued by Williams from the start, but his curiosity is piqued when he meets Jim's violent, young and sexy lover, Billy Hanson Jude Law.
The book, Berendt's first, was published in The book was subsequently made into Clint Eastwood 's film adaptation. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is atmospherically Deep South coastal Savannah , Georgia, and Beaufort , South Carolina and Southern Gothic in tone, depicting a wide range of eccentric personalities in and around the city of Savannah , Georgia. The central narrative concerns the killing of Danny Hansford, a local male prostitute characterized as "a good time not yet had by all" by an important Savannah socialite , by respected antiques dealer Jim Williams. This results in four murder trials, with the fourth ending in acquittal after the judge finally agreed to a change of venue to move the case away from the Savannah jury pool. The book describes Williams' version of the killing, which is that it was in "self-defense"—the result of Hansford, who is prone to fits of rage, shooting at Williams with a gun that is on display, and Williams shooting back in self-defense—and not murder, pre-meditated or otherwise, by Williams. The death occurred in Williams' home 'Mercer House'.