Ed Coker's Reviews > The City of Falling Angels

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
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's review
Feb 14, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

By way of background, for many years,I had three martini lunches monthly with a retired friend, who had attained great heights in the corporate world. He was the Number 2 guy at Winn Dixie when he retired at age 65. He rented an office next to mine and we started having lunch when he was in his late 60s and continued the practice until he died at 85 back in the 1990s. He enjoyed hearing and telling good stories. He had started as a clerk for the Winn Lovett grocery chain at the age of 13 and many times he told me about his mentor, Mr. Radford Lovett who made several fortunes in the grocery business; Winn Lovett a precursor of Winn Dixie was one and Piggley Wiggley was another. In Mr Lovett’s later years he acquired most of Commodores Point in Jacksonville, Florida, which is prime industrial real estate acreage on the waterfront. It was a third fortune.

Mr. Lovett’s oldest son, Larry was a Harvard educated lawyer who worked in the family business until the day the old man died and then cashed out, moved to NYC and tried to buy his way into NYC society. Anyway, Larry set up the Save the Venice Opera House charity to inveigle his way into the wealth scene, and this book skewers Larry and his other society friends beautifully for being the social climbers they are. With every page turned, I imagined his old man spinning in his grave. Berendt also wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
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