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A Kiss Before Dying [Hardcover]

Ira Levin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $9.99  
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Paperback CDN $12.64  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD CDN $29.95  
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Book Description

June 1999 The Best Mysteries of All Time
Desperate measures don't begin to solve the problems of the student who kills a pregnant girl in this classic suspense novel. They lead instead to a multiple murder plot as compelling -- and chilling -- as it is unpredictable.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

Product Description


"Remarkably constructed...in episodes of chilling horror." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ira Levin is the highly acclaimed and internationally bestselling author of Rosemary’s Baby, A Kiss Before Dying, The Boys from Brazil, This Perfect Day, Sliver, and The Stepford Wives. He is a two-time winner of The Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allen Poe Award.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Kiss Before Dying July 9 2004
By Cherita
I have read several of Ira Levin's books. I have really liked them all. Ira has a style of writing that engages you and makes you feel like a friend is telling you the story. If you have seen "A Place in the Sun" (Elizabeth Taylor, Shelly Winters - a fabulous movie) then you pretty much are going to guess most of the story. It doesn't differ too much from that, HOWEVER you will be engrossed absolutley even though you THINK you know what's going to happen :) I was a little disappointed with the ending-the rest of the book was so exciting that the end seemed a little too neat and pretty - pretty. I really don't think you can go wrong no matter which Ira Levin book you read (or can manage to find..most are no longer in print-part of the attraction). Devious actions and thoughts make his characters memorable. I think the real horror lies in his ability to take a mundane thing and find the dark side of it.
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The first two parts of this book are excellent. Part One is chilling because of its depiction of what is now known as Anti-Social Personality Disorder. The fact that it was written way back in the 50's long before American Psycho's Patrick Bateman makes this even more creepy. Part One manages to put the reader in the killer's deranged little mind and even makes us cheer him on a little bit.
Part Two of the book is excellent because it is completely different from Part One. It puts us in the shoes of the victim from Part One's sister as she tries to discover the identity of the killer and narrows it down to two men, but which one?
It's unfortunate that Part Three is so typical after the cleverness of Parts One and Two. The ending isn't nearly as shocking as the end of Levin's later masterpiece, Rosemary's Baby but up until Part Three you'll be on the edge of your seat.
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By lazza
Ira Levin is one of my favorite writers. While his stories are a bit far-fetched (as with "Rosemary's Baby", "The Boys From Brazil", and "The Stepford Wives") they are always entertaining. His first book, "A Kiss Before Dying", is now largely forgotten (..it was written nearly 50 years ago) but seems remarkably fresh.
In "A Kiss Before Dying" we have a a rich college girl and her gold-digging boyfriend in a dilemna. The girl is pregnant and the choice ahead is grim: either get married and lose daddy's money, or risk an illegal abortion (remember this book takes place circa 1950). She prefers the former, he the latter. The outcome of this dilemna is unexpected (no spoilers here), and the story then really kicks into gear. Yes, in true Levin form the plot is a bit contrived. But it is deliciously readable.
Bottom line: strongly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but runs out of steam July 2 2000
By A Customer
I had heard about this book and its great twists so I was eagerto read it at once. As I had hoped, A KISS BEFORE DYING delivered twounbelievable surprises that shot me out of my seat. And, as with Levin's superior novel ROSEMARY'S BABY, Levin uses a simple but firm prose. It was a fairly satisfying read. On the other hand, I was disappointed. The first part of the book is almost a blow by blow ripoff of Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY. Between its clever surprises, I was left bored and counting pages. And the ending is sadly contrived coming off of its earlier brilliance. A KISS BEFORE DYING is worth a read for its several shocks, but the rest is dismissable, dated, and sadly predictable after fifty years of similar TV movies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disgusted Oct. 20 2002
I am digusted with the meanness of some of these reviews.
Although this identifies me as a naive and simpleminded reader, I must admit that I found the book impossible to put down, and speed read it in about four hours. The plot concerns a money hungry student who attempts to marry three sisters in succession, all of whom stand to inherit a lot of money. Because of some plot complications however, our protagonist is forced to murder two of the sisters. He is caught and gruesomely punished however before being able to marry and kill the third sister. (Sorry if this gives away a little of the plot.)
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