Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and this week my pick is based on a recent trip.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
From the back cover: Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands’ suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a walking “streak of sex.”
I spent last weekend in Savannah, GA. Let me re-phrase that — I spent about 48 hours in Savannah, GA last week. It was a work trip and because of other commitments, I didn’t get to spend more time but luckily this wasn’t my first trip. Let me tell you, the city is a charmer. It’s a beautiful place in the spring. This year the flowers are a few weeks behind and everyone seemed to be waiting — some patiently, some not — for the azaleas to bloom. I didn’t have my usual chance to wander the city, explore the squares, and take in the flowers in the gardens but there’s something about Savannah that always makes me happy.
Anyway, my short trip made me think about this book and that’s how I ended up deciding to feature it this week. It’s a non-fiction, true crime travelogue which may sound like a very odd way to describe a book but that’s what it is. The writer goes to Savannah to write about a murder but ends up meeting and getting involved with some of the city’s most peculiar residents. It’s perverse, funny, and addicting.
As a bonus, if you ever visit Savannah, you can tour all the sites where the movie was filmed. (It’s featured on a tour and I know this because the tour was going by while I was walking and this is how I learned this fact without having to take the tour.) I wish I could find my old photos to share but no luck this morning. You’ll just have to visit the city itself, read the book, or watch the movie.