Mark Terry

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

R.I.P. Ira Levin

November 14, 2007
I just read this on Shelf Awareness:

Ira Levin, playwright and author of Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil, among other novels, died on Monday in New York City, the New York Times reported. He was 78.

Most of Levin's bestselling books were made into movies. He also wrote Deathtrap, the long-running Broadway play.

The Times wrote: "Combining elements of several genres--mystery, Gothic horror, science fiction and the techno-thriller--Mr. Levin's novels conjured up a world full of quietly looming menace, in which anything could happen to anyone at any time. In short, the Ira Levin universe was a great deal like the real one, only more so: more starkly terrifying, more exquisitely mundane."

"Deathtrap" was such an amazing film, with Michael Caine, Diane Cannon and Christopher Reeve. Just loved it.

I haven't read everything by Levin, but I read a lot back in the 1980s, including "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Stepford Wives" and, of course, "The Boys From Brazil."

What, in retrospect, was so good about "The Boys From Brazil" was how he got all the science right long before anybody started cloning sheep. And if you're not familiar with the plot, it's a bunch of Neo-Nazis clone Adolf Hitler and implant the embryos into mothers. It has a totally chilling ending. Wonderful stuff.

For thriller readers, this is a real loss.

Mark Terry


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