Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tortured by Jim Williams

I *finally* just finished the book I've been trying to read since JULY: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Jim Williams (the author's central figure) will no longer torture me! :-D That's not to say I didn't enjoy it - I absolutely looooved this book! It just weighed heavily on me, though, as it took me two library check-outs and FOUR extra renewals to get it read. :-P [I readily admit, reading is low on my leisure priority totem pole. If I have *ANY* FB, blogging, DVR, or digiscrapping on my plate, the book will stay closed.] I purposed to read this back in July in preparation for my first trip to Savannah. How could I go there with my deep love of all things Southern having never read it? (Or seen the movie? But I wanted to read the book first.) I didn't want to waste our trip not appreciating what I was walking around in! [This book is NONFICTION = extra love!!! True is ALWAYS better, esp. the way I always put myself so deeply in the stories I read.] Summer is a difficult time for me to read, though - it sounds counterintuitive, against the "summer beach read" grain; we even have a pool to read beside, for Pete's sake! But summer = kids home 24/7 = no way I can ignore them long enough for my slow-reader-self to get into a book after catching up on FB, blogging, DVR, & digiscrapping. :-P With one check-out & two renewals, I *did* get through Part One before our trip, which was actually the ultimate set-up! Part One introduces the city, the history, the cast of fabulously-Southern-eccentric characters, and it set the scene perfectly for our visit.

I can understand why this book was on the bestseller list for over four years - the characters and scenery are riveting; they seem too fantastic to be real...but to me, that's the beauty of the South. Life here is colorful, vibrant, and everyone knows everyone's crazy "secrets". :-D

I thought I might have a chance to get through Part Two over Christmas, so I checked it out, again...and didn't crack it at my parents'; it sat under my laptop the whole trip. I renewed it once and then my final available time this week. After finally catching up on my digiscrapping, I vowed to power through! It turned out to be a neat division, (not that I'd necessarily recommend reading it this way; but it just happened to work out for me) b/c I've had almost five months to mull over the characters, to personally see where they live(d), to feel like I got to know them in more than just a day or two before getting to the explosive action of the story this weekend in Part Two.

It lived up to its billing as "a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is a modern classic."

4 comments:

  1. I've heard of it but never read it. I'll have to add it to my "to do" list on GoodReads. I love non-fiction too. :)

    The Help was one of the very few fiction books I've read the past several years that I actually liked.

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  2. We read it as our book club selection in November. I had seen the movie (and love it) years before but hadn't ever read the book. Now, I realized the movie is just a smidgen of the story all crammed into 90 minutes!!! My book club and I would love to do the "Midnight" tour in Savannah this Spring. At our meeting to discuss we actually watched the movie (which, btw, I checked out of the library as well!)

    We go to Savannah semi regularly since DD is in school at GSU. It is a good place to meet and spend the day. The last time we went down I just had to snap some photos of Mercer House since I had just read it!

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  3. I do want to see the movie now, but I'm afraid - unlike "The Help" - that it won't be a good compliment, since so much of the book is character study & not action.

    I would LOVE to do a "Midnight" tour, too!!! I *did* also make JB drive us by Mercer House when we were there in August! :-) I've always been a Charleston girl (we want to live in Mt. Pleasant forever. Seriously. Our dream.) but visiting SAV for the 1st time this year, I like it a lot, too - esp. while we live in south GA = way closer. :-P

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  4. I read that book way back when it first came out! Loved it!

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