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John Berendt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The City of Falling Angels (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Children's Books

My Baby Blue Jays (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

About John Berendt
For many the name of John Berendt needs no introduction, as his name has become synonymous with a certain style and approach to writing. An American author, he’s proven to be an extremely gifted novelist over the years, winning numerous awards for his work. This has included the Pulitzer as well, making him one of the foremost writers of his generation, saying a lot through his work.

Writing in an extremely measured manner, his style is typically from his own perspective, looking at real-life events in a direct manner. This has proven to be a hugely successful formula for him over the years, bringing to light various different stories from all over. Making his work accessible to a wide audience too, his books are universal in their appeal, as he has ultimately created his own niche.

Creating a legacy quite unlike any other, he’s an important and influential writer for a number of different reasons. Drawing from a rich literary vein himself, his books have gone on to become influential bestsellers in the own right, as well as being adapted for the big-screen. Continuing to write to this day, more and more readers from around the world will discover his books for many years to come.

Early and Personal Life
Born on the 5th of December, 1939, and growing up in Syracuse, New York, where he was born and raised, John Berendt would grow up with both his parents being writers, and surrounded by inspiration. Attending Harvard University he would graduate as an English major, working on the Harvard Lampoon during his time there. Moving to New York City in 1961, he would go on to pursue a career in journalism, finding his style as a writer and author.

This would develop throughout the following years, as he’d come to build upon his body of work, establishing his own style and tone. In time he’d come to explore a number of different subjects through his work, always looking for the next big idea. Largely focusing on non-fiction he still writes to this very day, and is expected to continue for some time to come.

Writing Career
Starting out as an associate editor for Esquire, working there between 1961 and 1969, Berendt would then move on to become editor of the New York magazine, which was between 1977 and 1979. This would pave the way to him becoming a writer himself, using skills he would learn on the job, and as a journalist. Publishing ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ in would exemplify this, as it would make his name and thrust him into the spotlight.

Spending 216 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, it would cement itself as a mainstay on many household’s bookshelves, with its record breaking figures. It would later get made into a 1997 film directed by Clint Eastwood, and Berendt would then bring out his next book, ‘The City of Falling Angels,’ in 2005. Now a well known figure throughout the literary industry, he has plenty more books planned upon the horizon, as he isn’t finishing any time soon.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Initially released in 1994 on the 13th of January, this would first come out through the ‘Vintage’ publishing label to much acclaim. Not a part of any series, this works entirely as a stand-alone true-crime novel, with it being based on a real-life case. The true case of Danny Hansford and his murder is covered here, and there’d also be a cinematic adaptation by Clint Eastwood in 1997.

Working as a slow-burn, the narrative is expertly paced, building up the story in a well timed and intelligent manner. Using a real-life case, John Berendt writes in an accessible and engaging style, grabbing the reader’s attention from the outset. It’s handled extremely well, with great care and attention to detail every step of the way, bringing to life the deep South of America.

Beginning on the morning of May the 2nd, 1981, this begins in a Savannah mansion with shots ringing throughout an old and palatial Southern mansion. What then unfolds is tale set in the remains of the Old South, as the law attempts to deduce whether this was self-defence, or a straight-up cold-blooded murder. Looking at Southern society and all the different characters surrounding this landmark case, hostilities and alliances are drawn and formed. Who will be found guilty, and who is innocent? Can they find out what really happened? What will take place at midnight in the garden of of good and evil?

The City of Falling Angels
This would come out through the Penguin Books publishing label back in 2005, marking another stand-alone title. Looking at the city of Venice this time, Berendt paints a rich and vivid portrait of the city, bringing it to life on the page. It’s also a work of non-fiction looking at the time a fire broke out in La Fenice opera house, completely destroying it in 1996.

Capturing the beauty of the city with a sense of eloquence, John Berendt really digs into the heart of Venice and how it has come to be so revered. Looking at it in close detail, he meets the many residents and characters that make it up, seeing how they define the city. Studying its rich history too, he really immerses the reader in it all, showing a side to it that hasn’t been seen before.

Surrounded by over a thousand years of art and culture, the city of Venice is one steeped in a rich sense of history dating a long time back. It is here on the night of January the 29th 1996, the Fenice opera house is burned down, and it is also here that Berendt himself turns up just five days later. Investigating the case Berendt then proceeds to introduce the reader to a rich and colorful cast of characters, as he delves into the history of the opera house, what actually happened, and the city itself. Where will his journey take him? Can he find the truth behind it all? What will he discover in the City of Falling Angels?

Book Series In Order » Authors » John Berendt

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