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Search tags: John-Berendt
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review 2018-09-20 02:59
First half to see good, then the shots are fired
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

When I was around two thirds in, I started idly concocting a review in my brain, about how the almost surreal elements and characters was what gave this narrative such a verisimilitude. Cue me over the 80% mark, just going to search for a detail, and finding out this is nonfiction. Sure, there are artistic licenses, but in essence?

 

I love it when knowing absolutely nothing about a book pays up in such ways.

 

As I mentioned previously in an update, the general tone reminded me a lot of latinoamerican writing. This has a lot to do with the conservative (and quirky) societies that brew in relatively small, isolated towns. You have the sedate and beautiful surface, and the decades, generations, long ugly undercurrents. Everyone "behaves" in public out of a certain need for society and peace, and whomever "pops" may as well go the whole nine-yards and wear it like a flag.

 

So, that's basically the aim: to illustrate Savannah. The plot as it were serves the theme. We go into the deep ugly undercurrents. Almost every ugly you can imagine. Sometimes you are enraged and amused at the same time from the sheer hypocrisy rampant. I spent most of the book in some queer state of entertained stupefaction because it is so grotesque you almost can't believe it. But you do. You recognize it. It is your hometown.

 

 

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text 2018-09-19 05:08
Reading progress update: I've read 260 out of 386 pages.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

“No. As a matter of fact, when I think about it, it suits me fine. See, with all these weirdos you got filling up your book, I figure somebody’s gonna have to play the good guy, and it’s beginning to look like it’ll be me.”

 

My genre-savvy self doubts it.

 

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text 2018-09-17 04:24
Reading progress update: I've read 170 out of 386 pages.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

OK! Took half the book, but here we are.

 

Onto part two.

 

Joe keeps reminding me of Ana Karenina's brother

 

 

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text 2018-09-15 00:16
Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 386 pages.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

“Anyhow,” he went on, “my two newest naked friends got dressed. The boy had tattoos on his arms—a Confederate flag on one arm and a marijuana plant on the other. He put on a really swell T-shirt. It had ‘Fuck You’ printed on it. At this very moment, both he and the girl are in the kitchen helping make shrimp salad for forty polka dancers. Jerry’s in there too, cutting Mandy’s hair, and that’s why I say I ain’t bored yet.”

 

Well, I still don't know what this book is driving at, but that stealth thread-cross felt enough like a punch line that it surprised a laugh out of me. And reminded me of the "cousinly" remark. I'm not getting bored either.

 

And of course, I'm reading to Johnny Mercer's music

 

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text 2018-09-14 23:41
Reading progress update: I've read 71 out of 386 pages.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt

I have no idea where this is going. So far I'm only getting scenes illustrating a lot of strange people. Is this a cast presentation for something happening later or is this guy just droning on quirky society?

 

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