An Analysis of the Non-Fictional Novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Midnight in the Garden of Good EVII is a nonrfictional novel, Author and narrator John Berendt leaves the hectic life of New York City and buys an apartment in Savannah, Georgia. Berendt makes friends all over the city and tells their stories in the book. Jim Williams is a main character, antiques dealer, and public figure. He is accused of murdering ayoung man working for him by the name of Danny Hansford. Williams claims that Hansford was attempting to kill him and that Hansfords murderwas no more than self-defense.

The prosecuting attorney brings up the fact that Williams occasionally asked Hansford to perform homosexual favors for him and the town is stunned with the news. The case is hard to crack because the police tampered with the crime scene before any pictures could be taken and Hansfords hands were never bagged for gunpowder residue. Williams seeks the help of Minevra, the towns witch doctor.

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Berendt accompanies Williams and Minevra to some of their many sances in the graveyard. They attempt to keep the sprit of Hansford from doing wrong on Williams But even with her help, most of the town turned against him and Williams is charged with the murder of Hansford and is sent to Prison. After two years in Prison Williams attorney takes the case to court again, only this time in Augusta. Georgia. With a newjury, one who didnt even know Williams or Hansford Williams is found not guilty and he can return to his home, Mercer House.

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Only months after his return home he falls dead of a heart attack, oddly in the same spot where Hansford had died. Another person Berendt meets is Joe Odom. Odom is a middle-aged man With a bad financial history. He is known all over the state for writing bad checks, but is hard to be caught because he has no permanent home.

When one of Savannahs homes comes up for sale Joe moves in and lives there until discovered and thrown out. Joe and another woman open up a piano bar in town and begin to pull in some money. With the profits Joe moves Into another house and turns it into a museum. Just when Joes life starts to look up. his bad checks catch up with him and he is incarcerated. One of the more colorful people in town is Chablis, Chablis is a black drag queen known as The Empress of Savannah. The name Chablis means a French table wine. Berendt often took him to the doctor to her hormone shots and he began to call Berendt her little chauffeur. They become friends and Berendt even attends some of her shows. Savannah is a large party city. People have been known Just for the parties they throw. One of the more exclusive parties would be Williams Christmas party. Only his closest friends were invrted. It was always held the night after the black debutante and the night before the Cotillion. Savannahs parties last until all hours and are always the town gossip the next day. On one occurrence a man was throwing a party and his house caught on fire. Instead of being known as the one who stopped the party he led them into the courtyard where they admired the beauty of the fire I enjoyed this book and it has become one of my favorites. It really made me want to get in my car and drive down to Savannah, I would recommend it to most anybody.

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An Analysis of the Non-Fictional Novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. (2022, Jul 13). Retrieved from

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