‘A Kiss Before Dying’

The book I read was: ‘A Kiss Before Dying’. This is the first book of Ira Levin. It’s a thrilling novel. Ira Levin wrote ‘A Kiss Before Dying during his study. This influenced his book a bit. It namely takes place at a university. The places where he studied, Des Moines, Iowa and New York City, appear in his novel. The book takes place in the 1950s. The same time it was written in. You can clearly see this because of the dates on the letters which are written in the book. The characters sometimes speak about WW II as if it just stopped.

Other work of Ira Levin, like ‘Rosemary’s baby’, was received positively like ‘A Kiss Before Dying’. His novels are written thrillingly.

Generally the opinions about ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ are positive. Even the connoisseurs gave him an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ was turned into a movie twice, first in 1956 (movie from 1956 click here) and again in 1991 (movie from 1991 click here). ‘A Kiss Before Dying’ is translated in Dutch by the writer Remco Campert. The book is called: ‘Een kus voor je sterft’ LINK.

‘A Kiss Before Dying’ is about a girl called Dorothy, she has a rich dad. At the university, where she studies, she meets a guy named Bud Corliss, they get a relationship. When she gets pregnant, which was a big scandal in that time (1950), Bud wants to get rid of her. He comes up with a plan to get rid of her, without her knowing that he wants to hurt her. In the newspaper it says that Dorothy committed suicide: the papers concluded that she couldn’t bare it anymore, because she got pregnant.

Her sister, Ellen Kingship, didn’t believe this conclusion and started doing research herself. She traveled to the university where her little sister studied and had a look around. At the university, she met Gordon Gant, first she thought that he was the murderer. He makes her believe that he isn’t and they go find the killer together.

When Ellen finds out the truth, she gets killed. No one will ever find out what she found out about the death of her sister.

Leo Kingship, the father of Dorothy and Ellen, has another daughter: Marion Kingship.After the death of his two daughters Leo becomes more and more careful when Marion is concerned. Marion meets a guy who makes her feel fantastic and comfortable. In the end, they want to get married. Her dad isn’t too glad about this, especially not when Gordon comes to him and tells him what kind of boy Bud is..

‘A Kiss Before dying’ is written thrillingly. It is easy and it isn’t really difficult or dreadful to read. It is a nice book because it isn’t a standard book like all others, because there are happenings which you would not expect and you are constantly misled. Because of this the book has some interesting turns. You have to place yourself in that time and those situations to understand people’s reactions. It is definitely a good book for young and old, even when you don’t like thrillers!


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