It was more like a series of mini-biographies on various interesting people in Savannah. Probably better viewed after reading the book to fully understand the history of Savannah society, which is a crucial part of the narrative. What does Berendt accomplish by doing this? To what extent are his characters defined by the homes they live in and the objects they use to furnish them? Like I said earlier, the murder itself and the ensuing court cases play so little into the overall narrative of the story that it almost feels like an afterthought. After graduating in 1961, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. Even The Lady Chablis, ad-libbing most of her lines, seemed not quite herself. Savannahians filled many minor roles and rounded out crowd and party scenes. What do you think attracts people to your work? 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.
Moreover, what role does geography, from the location of Joe Odom's latest apartment to Savannah's position on the Georgia coast, play in this book? They are, in fact, eccentrics. Williams insisted it was self-defence, but the city were determined to charge him with murder. Well, that's just the mind-blower. And I'd give all that 5 stars. LibraryThing Review User Review - LibraryOfRodAndCyn - www. Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides.
Williams's greatest fear seems to be that his mother will learn the truth about his sexual orientation. This is one of my favourite books. My conclusion is quite simple. Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. From your experience with the people of Venice, what do you think it does to a person's perspective on family relationships, on politics, and on life in general when one is able to point at a family tree, like Francesco da Mosta's, and see so far back in time? How much of a role did coincidence play in the gathering of information for this book? This is a book which leaves you amused, spooked and introduced to a new piece of America Mark Lawson, Independent on Sunday Perfect storytelling - wildly funny, occasionally alarming and utterly enthralling Moira Shearer, Daily Telegraph Book Description Four years on The New York Times bestseller list It is not often that I laugh out loud at a book but Berendt's masterpiece got that reaction more than once. The city of Savannah is the star, with the descriptions of its rich past and transformed future.
Critical Reception of the book almost unanimously praised the quality of the writing. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder. Was Danny Hansford responsible for his own death? A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. Critical Reception Reviews of the movie were generally lukewarm. I have a choppy life, full of starts and stops and not conducive to a food read, so I bought the book on Kindle as well as it's Audible recording, and that did the trick.
What was it like returning to the United States afterward? How many years in all did you live there? What institutions have black Savannahians evolved on their side of that line? I love this book for its rich characters - Minerva, the Voodoo priestess, Chablis, the trans princess, Jim Odom, the charming lawyer-criminal throwing perpetual parties. Why has she chosen not to undergo sex-change surgery? I suspect ego on the part of the author. Why are so few of Jim Williams's friends disturbed by the charges against him? The cast included Kevin Spacey as Jim Williams, Jude Law as Danny Hansford, John Cusack as the John Berendt character renamed John Kelso , Paul Hipp as Joe Odom, Jack Thompson as Sonny Seiler Seiler himself played the judge in the trial , Irma P. The son of two writers, John Berendt grew up in Syracuse, New York. As elaborate as these façades are, Berendt suggests that they are also transparent. I'm not a true crime fan, but with John Berendt's narrative this is so hard to put down.
I loved this book so much that I made my husband go with me to Savannah to visit the city and see the bird girl statue. Joe Odom continues his sleazy existence as a fraudulent businessman, with no real consequences coming his way. I enjoyed the first half, but felt like the author's journalist background was coming out more than a cohesive story. . When the police arrived, Jahnke claimed that he, his sister, and his mother had all been victims of ongoing physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father. Men walking imaginary dogs, erudite conmen, voodoo priestesses and rowdy transexuals fill the pages of this novel and make it eminently readable.
Some critics attacked the book upon its release, as Capote assigned thoughts and feelings to real people. Their masterpieces are their own lives. But this book is actually a fantastic read. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil marked your style of nonfiction as unique and groundbreaking. And when a local beauty ends up murdered, suspicion naturally falls on the newcomer. If Hansford and Williams occupy the foreground of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the background figures of Berendt's canvas sometimes eclipse them in interest and sheer perversity: a fading belle who packs a pistol in her décolletage; a charming, pianoÐplaying con man who moves like a hermit crab from one empty showplace house to the next, accompanied by his highÐliving entourage and pursued closely by his creditors; a moneyed dowager who conducts business from a cruising Mercedes limousine; a sour alcoholic inventor who claims to own a vial of poison so powerful that it could kill off the entire city; a voodoo priestess in purple shades; and a foul-mouthed black drag queen who passes so convincingly for a woman that she is able to extort abortion money from the parents of her white boyfriend. In what way does Savannah's attitude toward its dead seem more pagan than Christian? The only uncertainty is exactly how fast the water is rising and whether the proposed plan of moveable dikes is the best solution or only a short-term fix.
Give it color, include quotes and dialogue, shape it like a story with a beginning, middle and end—as if it were a short story or an episode in a novel. In what way can the belief systems of the book's other characters be described as magical? The movie premiered in Savannah at the Johnny Mercer Theater on November 20, 1997, with Kevin Spacey, Paul Hipp, The Lady Chablis, and local actors attending, and it opened nationwide the following day. In what ways are the contradictions in his conduct typical of his city? On May 5, 1997, shooting began on Monterey Square in Savannah. Do you think of Chablis as male or female? What role do the dead play in Berendt's narrative? 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 book chronicles Savannah life over a period of eight years while Mr. The Book The book is constructed loosely around the shooting of male hustler Danny Hansford by internationally known antiques dealer Jim Williams in May 1981 and the subsequent four murder trials that lasted more than eight years.
Eastwood has been criticised for the slow approach but he has discarded much of the book, merged characters and transferred conversations and encounters to tighten the subject-matter. Pick one incident and write it up as a brief vignette. Therefore, it makes it difficult to take many things at face value. Others hailed it as a work of genius. ? Well-written, bringing the city, it's people, as eclectic as they are, as well as the subject of the crime and trial, which I knew nothing of prior to picking up this book, vividly to life. With the excellent characters who need very little work in making into the mild side of bizzare and a true story that had the twists and turns written for him, John Berendt does a wonderful job of bringing it all together with the particular social history of the area and producing a very entertaining and enthralling read. With a book the author has no such trouble.
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. But I was wrong, it sucked me in from the first page to the last. The victim is well played by Jude Law and the horror of his last smile will haunt me for some time. For example, Jim Williams never expects to be charged with murder when considering the lax attitude towards killing in Savannah - among certain sections of the community. Williams's greatest fear seems to be that his mother will learn the truth about his sexual orientation.