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Extended Audio Sample A Kiss Before Dying Audiobook, by Ira Levin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 5 4.17 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ira Levin Narrator: Mauro Hantman Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781482980509
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book is a succession of quite legitimate surprises, the suspense is admirably sustained, the detail is thorough and convincing, and the writing is considerably above the level usually associated with fictional crime and passion. A pleasure to recommend.” 

    The New Yorker

  • “Here is not merely an extraordinary first but an extraordinary suspense novel by the highest professional standards; and you have an evening of incomparable excitement ahead of you. Levin combines great talent for pure novel writing with strict whodunit tricks as dazzling as anything ever brought off by Ellery Queen or Agatha Christie.”

    The New York Times

  • “A remarkably constructed story depicting in inconceivably vicious character in episodes of chilling horror.”

    The Chicago Sunday Times

  • “A unique, intelligent novel that dares to evolve beyond a whodunit into a thoughtful journey into the mind of a sociopath…Levin…shows an astounding ability to craft a portrait.”

    AudioFile

  • “Levin’s thrillers are always fun.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karl | 2/16/2014

    " Very enjoyable page turner playing on the readers in ability to see the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hope Barrett | 2/12/2014

    " How is it that one can spend a lifetime of reading books and not have read this one? Ira Levin's classic was not selected by author, review, or recommendation, but the one thing we are told we should never do: judge a book by its cover. The cover offered promise and fulfilled by providing prose and structure that you just know broke boundaries when it first came out. Riveting reading that makes you want to find more books by the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 2/10/2014

    " Well now I have to read 'Rosemary's Baby.' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/30/2014

    " One of the best thrillers I have read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 1/30/2014

    " Great book, especially if you like your college boys totally nuts and 1950's Americana. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine Boris | 1/27/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. ALthough it was written in the 1950's, its twisting murder tale holds up. But what else would you expect from the author of Rosemary's Baby!? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 1/22/2014

    " This book was awesome!! I can't believe it was written in 1951 and Ira Levin was so young when he wrote it. What a story, what a roller coaster ride. It was so full of surprises, twists that I never saw coming at all. Spell binding from start to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wessel van der Merwe | 1/21/2014

    " His writing is style is what attracted me to reading this little book of Ira. Crime with interesting twists in the plot - very real characters created with a somewhat interesting view of women and their attraction to a man. I mean what is the possibility of three sisters falling for the same man and all he wanted was money... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara Schweitzer | 1/19/2014

    " This was interesting in an historical way,but not particularly good.The movie was much better. Ira went on to write some pretty great things,but this was not it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 1/17/2014

    " Really good read, not really a murder mystery as you know who the murderer is fairly early on, but a good thriller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Namiko | 1/17/2014

    " I'm glad that there are some twists, which I didn't expect, in "Ellen." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharla | 1/9/2014

    " Enjoyable read....plenty of reading time with airport delays! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanne Jones | 1/3/2014

    " Awesome book -- couldn't put it down...highly recommended! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cerina | 12/28/2013

    " Interesting mystery/suspense novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gordon Houghton | 12/24/2013

    " A silky smooth writer with a perfect sense of structure. I haven't read a bad book by him; and for a first novel (written in his early twenties), this is an amazing and confident piece of work. Anyone who likes murder mysteries should pick it up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/9/2013

    " One of those books that doesn't stand the test of time... it just read very old-fashioned even though it took place only a few decades ago. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Garietta Falls | 12/5/2013

    " Loved the story's concept, but very dated and old fashioned. Perfect story for a contemporary update. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi Key | 6/16/2013

    " A fast paced noirish thriller that crackled along with a heart stopping cold elegance. Only 99p on kindle, too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miles | 4/16/2013

    " A classic of the pulp genre. Fast-paced, smartly written, gripping, with a couple of ingenious twists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia ❤ | 3/28/2013

    " This one is the best crime novel I've ever read (apart from "And Then There Were None"). What a thriller! Smooth language, amazingly twisted story, interesting characters, oh and the end! What an ending! Ira Levin, you really are a king of the suspense novel. You absolutely have to read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mardell | 3/14/2013

    " Even though the "end of story" is at the beginning, it is still a spellbinding novel. Well written! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 1/8/2013

    " A very well written, classic horror/thriller. Can't understand why it's never been made into a film. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 9/22/2012

    " In my opinion, A Kiss Before Dying is one of the best mystery/suspense novels ever written. Ira Levin never lets up with the suspense, and keeps adding more twists and turns to surprise the reader. AKBD is exquisitely written and plotted, and never predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dionne | 8/24/2012

    " I like this book because of the way it was written. It's so much better than the movie and it shows that with writing you can do things you'll be unable to do in film or at least it's very hard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Curd | 7/14/2012

    " A cracking thriller with a tight, twisting plot. This reissue of Ira Levin's 1954 debut is an object lesson in how to write a tense and pacy crime/mystery novel, but more importantly it's an immensely enjoyable read. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sidycun | 7/1/2012

    " Kept me hooked the enitre time :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregor Xane | 6/15/2012

    " Although a bit predictable, with some pretty heavy-handed symbolism, this book was an enjoyable, tightly-plotted, fast-paced read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Rampton | 4/28/2012

    " I'm not normally into suspense novels and I picked this up by accident from the school library. So glad I did because I couldn't put it down! The book was so exciting and fast paced. I could hear my heart beating loudly and I was full of adrenalin. I don't think I've read anything quite like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah Paton | 12/24/2011

    " I read this book in a matter of days. How can I have reached this point in my life without discovering Ira Levin before now? A work of art - keeps you guessing, smiling, wondering and dreading the second the book ends. As the introduction neatly sums up - worst. boyfriend. ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela Dominguez | 10/13/2011

    " pretty good book not the best I've read. "

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About the Author
Author Ira Levin

Ira Levin (1929–2007) was 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 also wrote Deathtrap, the longest-running thriller in Broadway history. He was a two-time winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award.

About the Narrator

Mauro Hantman has been a resident actor at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, where he has appeared in over fifty productions since 1999. He's the artistic director of the Providence Improv Fest and a founding member of Improv Jones, an improv troupe formed in 1992.