For all lovers of Beautiful Creatures, we are recommending the book:
Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil
by John Berendt
This book is what you might call “literary nonfiction,” because it’s based on true events — but it reads like a crime novel.
The books also share other similarities — voodoo, Southern mannerisms (both the gentility and the prejudice against anything different), the cuisine — and a town up in arms over a scandal.
John Berendt’s book was also adapted into a movie starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey and a bevy of others — and directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s rare that a movie can adequately represent the book it was based on, but this one is the exception. Both the book and the movie are spectacular! In fact, for those who have read Beautiful Creatures, I frequently pictured Kevin Spacey’s character in the movie version of Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil as the character of Macon in BC.
Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil is at once charming, intriguing, funny, dramatic, and engaging. I highly recommend both the book and the movie!
To learn more, check out the official synopsis of Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil and watch the movie trailer below:
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 non-fiction. 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.
See everything from our Beautiful Creatures February Book of the Month feature.
UPDATE: Well, it turns out that BC authors Kami & Margie are also big fans of this book. Check it out:
(Photo credit: Vania Stoyanova; used with permission)
For the comments: Have you read Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil or seen the movie? Tell us your thoughts!