Wednesday, 30 December 2015

A KISS BEFORE DYING by Ira Levin

Apparently I am becoming a fan of Levin’s. I read his STEPFORD WIVES and ROSEMARY’S BABY, and now A KISS BEFORE DYING. They’re fun books – tightly plotted and hard to predict. I notice now as I write this blog and look back over the titles that they also all deal very much with gender issues. They’re about women being tricked by men. A KISS BEFORE DYING was his first novel (a massive success when he was only twenty three) and is his least sophisticated iteration on the theme. It tells the story of a man who courts a wealthy young woman in the interests of securing her inheritance. She (spoiler) becomes pregnant and so will be disinherited. When she refuses an abortion he decides to kill her so as to escape marrying her. It all goes downhill from there. A clever, twisty little story. I wish I had written it at twenty three.

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