Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Written by:
John Berendt

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2005
15 hours 11 minutes
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city: “Elegant and wicked.... [This] might be the first true-crime book that makes the reader want to book a bed and breakfast for an extended weekend at the scene of the crime.' —The New York Times Book Review

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 true-crime book has become a modern classic.
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Richard S

Having just recently returned from our first trip to Savannah, this selection seemed the obvious choice for a first audiobooks pick. My introduction to the story was from the movie. While its was great fun to revisit the places we've now seen first hand, it was astounding to learn how much of the books' continuity failed to transition to the film. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a wonderful 'read' and a beautiful introduction to a truly enchanting place.

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Devyn Phillip

Book was excellent! I did not enjoy the loud screeching sound. However I believe these loud tones were inserted at the end of every disc intentionally to notify the listener that they need to insert the next disc and they just weren't edited out when it got converted to digital. Does not ruin the experience as I just learned to skip forward to get past it faster.

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carol sienkiewicz

Very good book. Narrator talks too fast though. There are times every so often when squealing occurs. Will try another book before making a final decision.

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Jonathan Hurst

I found the book to be fascinating and well written. Congrats to the author and the Savannah.

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Susan Williams

Very good book and the narrator was excellent. Only strange thing was some 1 minute gaps of silence followed by that sound when there's an emergency on your radio, weird!

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Rachel Salazar

A must read for any southerner or transplant Yankee

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Julie C.

Positively one of my all time favs… I applaud the author for not only telling a great story but slathering on just the right amount of intrigue, curiosity, and the most delightful characters one could ever meet. Going to Savannah in fall, I only wish I could have met every single person mentioned in the book.. laugh out loud moments. Love Love love this!

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Neckole S.

Loved this book. Savannah is a gorgeous place so I had to listen. But it was such a good listen. Well done!!!!

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Marjorie M.

Loved the different voices for the characters

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D S.

Great book, well read. Audio recording has blips though, and some chaper breaks too long and some with long tone.

I enjoyed the book and its presenter very much, but there is something wrong with the tape. In addition to long pauses at strange places is a terrible screeching sound which is intensified if one is wearing ear pods. I finally found that I could shorten its length by tapping the fast forward prompt.

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Dawn F.

This was a good book; however, it seems dated as pertains attitudes and language related to the LGBTQ+ community. I had a number of cringe moments listening to it. That was not the most noteworthy aspect of this book. While the narration is clear, the technical compilation of this book is really awful. There are long periods (30 seconds) of silence and almost as many periods (30 seconds or more) of an annoying tone (like an old answering machine). This took a lot away from my enjoyment of this book. If you download the same version I got here in December 2022, you may regret your purchase. There are no divisions or chapters in the presentation of this book. It plays as one 15 hour block of recording without any way to advance or rewind by section or chapter.

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Matthew Williams

The book itself was fine, but the particular audio download I received had multiple gaps of silence and high pitched static squealing.

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Cynthia C.

The BIG PROBLEM I had was with the quality of the recording. Unlike the other 50+ audio books I’ve listened to...about every fourth chapter a loud shrieking alarm would screech through my earbuds. I’d rip the buds out as quickly as possible but it was darn painful. My ears are still ringing and sore. I’ve listened to other books since then and no problems. JUST this recording. Too bad...because the book was great!

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Amanda S

Has always been a favorite book of mine, however this audio book recording has some serious flaws. There are odd gaps of silence in the middle of paragraphs, sometimes followed by very LOUD and long beep tone. Completely obnoxious.

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Angela Lewis

Riveting... I have listened over and over again...

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