30+ quotes from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Quotes from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

John Berendt ·  386 pages

Rating: (185.1K votes)


“Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, "What's your business?" In Macon they ask, "Where do you go to church?" In Augusta they ask your grandmother's maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is "What would you like to drink?”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Two tears in a bucket. Motherfuck it.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“By morning she was dead. She had not died of starvation or committed suicide by any conventional means. She had simply willed herself to die, and being a strong-willed woman, she had succeeded. She had missed dying on her birthday by two days.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Someone once wrote that musicians are touched on the shoulder by God, and I think it's true. You can make other people happy with music, but you can make yourself happy too. Because of my music, I have never known loneliness and never been depressed.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“She was a marvel. She did exactly as she pleased all her life, God bless her.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“But I never think about dead people. Looking at these old graves makes me think how generation after generation of the same family are all gathered together. And that makes me think about how life goes on, but not about dying. I never think about dying.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“For me, Savannah's resistance to change was its saving grace. The city looked inward, sealed off from the noises and distractions of the world at large. It grew inward, too, and in such a way that its people flourished like hothouse plants tended by an indulgent gardener. The ordinary became extraordinary. Eccentrics thrived. Every nuance and quirk of personality achieved greater brilliance in that lush enclosure than would have been possible anywhere else in the world.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Never spend any of your hard-earned money on clothes and accessories. You need to get yourself a mayyin to buy all that for you.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Black magic never stops. What goes from you comes to you. Once you start this shit, you gotta keep it up. Just like the utility bill. Just like the grocery store. Or they kill you. You got to keep it up. Two, five, ten, twenty years.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“The South is one big drag show, honey [...].”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“If there’s a single trait common to all Savannahians, it’s their love of money and their unwillingness to spend it.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Sometimes I just can't face going through with breakfast.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“We have a saying: If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, ‘What’s your business?’ In Macon they ask, ‘Where do you go to church?’ In Augusta they ask your grandmother’s maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is ‘What would you like to drink?”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“There being no direct route to Savannah from Charleston, I followed a zigzagging course that took me through the tidal flatlands of the South Carolina low country. As I approached Savannah, the road narrowed to a two-lane blacktop shaded by tall trees. There was an occasional produce stand by the side of the road and a few cottages set into the foliage, but nothing resembling urban sprawl. The voice on the radio informed me that I had entered a zone called the Coastal Empire.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“[Quoting Miss Harty:]

"People come here from all over the country and fall in love with Savannah. Then they move here and pretty soon they’re telling us how much more lively and prosperous Savannah could be if we only knew what we had and how to take advantage of it. I call these people ‘Gucci carpetbaggers.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“because it’s my job. It’s how I make my living. And I’ll tell you somethin’ else: It’s damn hard work bein’ a girl full”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Jim Williams’s guilt or innocence is no longer the issue,” he said. “Spencer Lawton’s incompetence is the issue.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“more drink. That’s when things happen. That’s when you find out everything you want to know.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“the doorbell rang again, and there was Mrs. Onassis and her friend Maurice”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“If you did not like the show, honey, my name is Nancy Reagan and go fuck yourself.” Chablis”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Whitney had carefully kept the cotton gin under wraps while he applied for a patent, but he made a tactical error when he allowed women to have a look at it,”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Don’t you feel cut off?” I asked. “Cut off from what?” she replied. “No, on the whole I’d say we rather enjoy our separateness.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“How do you do that?” I asked. “What do witches eat?” “Witches loves pork meat,” she said. “They loves rice and potatoes. They loves black-eyed peas and cornbread. Lima beans, too, and collard greens and cabbage, all cooked in pork fat. Witches is old folks, most of them. They don’t care none for low-cal. You pile that food on a paper plate, stick a plastic fork in it, and set it down by the side of a tree. And that feeds the witches.” The”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Savannah was invariably gracious to strangers, but it was immune to their charms. It wanted nothing so much as to be left alone. Time”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“Dr. Irving Stone of the Institute for Forensic Sciences in Dallas. He’s the guy who analyzed the clothing worn by President Kennedy and Governor Connally for the congressional committee that reexamined the Kennedy assassination.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“saying, I originally left the door unlocked as a matter of convenience. But pretty soon I realized that whenever the doorbell did ring, it was someone I didn’t know. So the bell became a signal that a stranger was at the door. I’ve learned never to answer it myself when that happens, because it’s likely to be a deputy sheriff wanting to serve me with some kind of paper, and of course I don’t need to be home for that.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“According to the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, more than 8 percent of Savannah’s adults were “known alcoholics,”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“We’re not at all like the rest of Georgia. We have a saying: If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, ‘What’s your business?’ In Macon they ask, ‘Where do you go to church?’ In Augusta they ask your grandmother’s maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is ‘What would you like to drink?”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


“lay loooo-yah! A-layyyy-loo yah!” He had abandoned his tenor and was singing in a wavering falsetto.”
― John Berendt, quote from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


About the author

John Berendt
Born place: in Syracuse, New York, The United States
Born date December 5, 1939
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Popular quotes

“Ironically, the tattoo represents the opposite for me today. It reminds me that it's important to let yourself be vulnerable, to lose control and make a mistake. It reminds me that, as Whitman would say, I contain multitudes and I always will. I'm a level-one introvert who headlined Madison Square Garden—and was the first woman comic to do so. I'm the ‘overnight success’ who's worked her ass off every single waking moment for more than a decade. I used to shoplift the kind of clothing that people now request I wear to give them free publicity. I'm the SLUT or SKANK who's only had one one-night stand. I'm a ‘plus-size’ 6 on a good day, and a medium-size 10 on an even better day. I've suffered the identical indignities of slinging rib eyes for a living and hustling laughs for cash. I'm a strong, grown-ass woman who's been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused by men and women I trusted and cared about. I've broken hearts and had mine broken, too.
Beautiful, ugly, funny, boring, smart or not, my vulnerability is my ultimate strength. There's nothing anyone can say about me that's more permanent, damaging, or hideous than the statement I have forever tattooed upon myself. I'm proud of this ability to laugh at myself—even if everyone can see my tears, just like they can see my dumb, senseless, whack, lame lower back tattoo.”
― Amy Schumer, quote from The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo


“He punches the steering wheel. And then he breaks. The boy I love breaks. And there’s nothing sadder, nothing harder in the world than watching the person you love fall apart right before your eyes—and you can’t say or do anything”
― Jay McLean, quote from Kick, Push


“We go from one darkness to another and in between, the hidden light of the world, of knowledge. We open our eyes and in this circle of light, we see not just ourselves but others who are our likenesses. This light tells us all men are brothers, but even brothers kill one another, and it is in this light where all this happens. But living in this dazzling light does not blind us to what lies beyond the darkness from where we emerged and where we are going. It is faith which makes our journey possible though it be marred by the unkindness of men, their eternal faulting, before we pass on to another darkness.”
― F. Sionil José, quote from Dusk


“The man looks outside. The house is totally surrounded by night crawlers.”
― Jeff Kinney, quote from Double Down


“He’s just so…so…unyielding.”
“Wow, is that one of your SAT words?”
“Ha-ha, very funny. You know what I mean, though.”
She shrugs. “Yeah, I know. He’s always been that way. I kind of figured he’d grow out of it.”
“Well, don’t hold your breath. That boy’s got a stick up his ass, if you ask me.”
“A very attractive one at that.”
“What, the stick or his ass?”
― Kristi Cook, quote from Magnolia


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