Melki's Reviews > Compulsion

Compulsion by Meyer Levin
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bookshelves: first-reads-giveaways, crime-fiction, fiction

Dear Sir:

As you know doubt know by this time your son has been kidnapped. Allow us to assure you that he is at present well and safe.


All lies.

The boy was never kidnapped. He was killed shortly after he willingly entered a car with Judd Steiner and Artie Straus. The kidnapping scam was an attempt to cover their real crime - murder . . . just for the hell of it.

Steiner and Straus, based on the real life Leopold and Loeb, were the privileged sons of multimillionaires. Brilliant and bored, they killed a young neighborhood boy just to see if they could get away with the crime.

This was a crime for its own sake. It was a crime in a vacuum, a crime in a perfectly frozen nothingness, where the atmosphere of motive was totally absent.

Dark, brooding, misogynistic Judd and his nearly polar opposite, popular, fun-loving Artie became the perfect storm of twisted personality defects. The evidence quickly piled up, the boys confessed. All that was left for the court to decide were the questions of maturity, insanity and whether or not there was an instigator and a follower.

Was there less guilt in one than the other?

The biggest problem with fiction based on historical fact is that everyone knows the outcome. We know Lerner and Loeb did it. We know they went to prison for it. This does not exactly make for a compelling read. It worked for In Cold Blood, but this one just did not hold my interest,

However, Levin was an excellent writer and I plan to read more of his work.
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Reading Progress

January 10, 2015 – Shelved
January 10, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
January 14, 2015 – Shelved as: first-reads-giveaways
January 14, 2015 – Shelved as: crime-fiction
March 11, 2015 – Started Reading
March 21, 2015 – Finished Reading
March 22, 2015 – Shelved as: fiction

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Melki Would anyone like to have my copy? I'll be happy to send. (Sorry, I'll have to restrict this offer to U.S. Goodreads friends only.)

Cinderluna twistedly beautiful hey i will take it

Melki PM me your address, sweetie, and it will be on its way as soon as I can make it to the post office.

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