Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
My rating: 4 of 5 riots
Though I took a few extended breaks while reading it, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It accurately paints a portrait of a town as insular and isolated as Savannah, and while much criticism has been thrown its way regarding the "grotesque" characters, I did not find them objectionable or out of the realm of possibility. I usually regard first-person narrative as indicative of writers that have not found a voice of their own, however Berendt pulls off this perspective with aplomb; it is the very model of how first-person narratives should be constructed. The narrator is relegated almost solely to the role of observer. He is in a unique position among his subjects, that of Savannah outsider but defense counsel insider, and this generates much-needed tension in what would otherwise be a flat plot. Berendt expertly draws us along the events like the drawl from the loveliest of Savannah's Southern Belles. If you like the genre of true crime, then you will assuredly be as entertained as I was.
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