Three months ago, me, Juergen and 4-year-old Xiao Liang in Shenzhen, China were the only three people on Earth who hadn’t read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Sincere apologies to Xiao: you are now completely alone. We’ve buckled down and read The Book.
And it’s a great book! Especially after having become intimately familiar with Savannah during our time here, the characters and locations leaped right off the page. John Berendt has an amazing talent for description, and a clever way of getting into interesting situations and meeting the right people. The Book was a little humbling to read — the same places which we’ve written about on this blog are far more perfectly, hilariously captured in Berendt’s work.
But, dear lord, have we gotten tired of hearing about it. I wonder if there’s ever been a city to capitalize so much on a single work of art. I doubt that even Bethlehem milks the Bible as outrageously as Savannah does The Book. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is everywhere. You can find copies of the book on sale in every shop, even clothes stores! There are tours. There’s an entire store dedicated to it. Fans can visit the Mercer House on Monterey Square, where Jim Williams lived and Danny Hansford died.
While I loved Midnight, I’m glad I didn’t read until after we’d lived here for awhile — otherwise we might have used it as our sole travel guide. But though we’ve tried to do things which are unique, and cringe about repeating Berendt’s experiences, sometimes we can’t help ourselves. For example, on Saturday we went to see The Lady Chablis at Club One. The Book’s portrayal of her was too perfect. We simply had to experience The Doll firsthand.
January 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm Comments (6)