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A Kiss Before Dying | [Ira Levin]

A Kiss Before Dying

Now a modern classic, as gripping in its tautly plotted action as it is penetrating in its exploration of a criminal mind, it tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing--not even murder--to get where he wants to go. For he has dreams; plans. He also has charm, good looks, sex appeal, intelligence. And he has a problem. Her name is Dorothy; she loves him, and she's pregnant. The solution may demand desperate measures.
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Publisher's Summary

A Kiss Before Dying not only debuted the talent of best-selling novelist Ira Levin to rave reviews, it also set a new standard in the art of mystery and suspense. Now a modern classic, as gripping in its tautly plotted action as it is penetrating in its exploration of a criminal mind, it tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing--not even murder--to get where he wants to go. For he has dreams; plans. He also has charm, good looks, sex appeal, intelligence. And he has a problem. Her name is Dorothy; she loves him, and she's pregnant. The solution may demand desperate measures. But, then, he looks like the kind of guy who could get away with murder. Compellingly, step by determined step, the novel follows this young man in his execution of one plan he had neither dreamed nor foreseen. Nor does he foresee how inexorably he will be enmeshed in the consequences of his own extreme deed.

©1953 Ira Levin (P)2011 AudioGO

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (507 )
5 star
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4.1 (458 )
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4.1 (454 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alicia Czechowski Baltimore Maryland 05-30-14
    Alicia Czechowski Baltimore Maryland 05-30-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
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    Story
    "Story begins well, weakens, ends with a whimper"

    This is no work of genius, contrary to the critical/biographical introduction lauding Ira Levin.
    The intro prepares the reader for great things which, for me, were not delivered.
    Many novels start strong, because the author expends his all at the start. The back and forth story grows convoluted and vague and the characters do not really develop, rather, they become more superficial and unconvincing: it is difficult to empathize with anyone; a good writer draws the reader into the emotions and motives of all the characters.
    As the book progresses, Levin's straight-forward style degenerates into purple prose and drags on tediously toward a makeshift and anti-climatic end. A Kiss Before Dying is a story that doesn't know where it's going.
    A real classic in the noir genre is is James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, a superb tale of the criminal impulse infecting ordinary people. Levin's "Kiss" just doesn't make the grade.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 05-30-14
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Superb in every way!!!"
    If you could sum up A Kiss Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

    Cunning sociopathic murderer


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes...I could not put it down. It is a very tightly woven, detailed murder mystery with a huge surprise that took me completely by surprise, so much so that I had to stop reading and work through what I had just read to figure out what had happened. The vocabulary is wonderful and specifically descriptive. I will read it again.


    Have you listened to any of Mauro Hantman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first Hantman performance for me, but my next selection will be a performance by him. His voice is perfect. He performs female voices every bit as well as he does male voices. His pacing is perfect. His voice is a pleasure to hear.


    Any additional comments?

    Set, and written, in the 1950's, it was a welcome return to the days of my adolescence. I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARCIE 05-06-15
    MARCIE 05-06-15

    Brutally Honest.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wow One is not enough."
    What did you love best about A Kiss Before Dying?

    How it doesn't stop at one.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    How he manage to go after all of them.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Great Narrator.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Till the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Nice story, hated the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 01-13-15
    Robin 01-13-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Not my genre"

    Struggled to finish. Just not my type of story! I'm sure that this would be great for people who like this genre, but I'm not a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sophieinwonderland Australia 01-03-15
    sophieinwonderland Australia 01-03-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Perfect Suspense Thriller"

    If you like suspense thrillers you must read this. It is my favourite Ira Levin book, beautifully structured with great language and characters.

    I have never had such a shock after a 'reveal' and rarely been as captivated by a story.


    The narration is great too. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 12-04-14
    Donna 12-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boy Meets Girl"

    A 50s mystery about the troubles of a college guy and the women he becomes involved with. Held my interest in the beginning, but became predictible towards the end. Writing style and prose seemed "dated."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Delaware, OH, United States 07-24-14
    Stewart Delaware, OH, United States 07-24-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Couldn't stop listening"

    I would rate this book 6 stars if I could. My wife got angry at me for sneaking short listens while she was around rather than give her my attention. Great mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie 07-22-14
    Connie 07-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story!"

    Liked this story. Kept me interested and involved. Never felt it was dated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Weiner 07-18-14
    Kim Weiner 07-18-14 Listener Since 2005
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    "A hidden masterpiece"
    What did you love best about A Kiss Before Dying?

    Considering it was written in 1954, it feels very modern. The character development is excellent, and you feel like it all makes sense. Very suspenseful. If you listen while driving, you might get a speeding ticket like me!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Too bad that the films that were made of this book were not good. It would be a great movie if you stick to the text!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Remdawg Fan Massachusetts, USA 06-28-14
    Remdawg Fan Massachusetts, USA 06-28-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Great Story With Great Narration"

    A Kiss Before Dying is a terrifically well-written mystery story. It held my interest from start to finish. I agree with the positive reviews in Audible. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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