Compulsion By Meyer Levin


071015_mishmash_book.jpgWhen truth is more sensational than fiction, just fictionalize the truth — which is precisely what Levin did in “Compulsion,” the classic 1956 novel that reimagines, ever so slightly, the famous kidnap-murder case of Leopold and Loeb.

Levin was the killers’ classmate at the University of Chicago and covered their 1924 trial for the Chicago Daily News. And though he changed names and details, his book (and the play and movie that followed) is generally recognized as paving the way for nonfiction novels such as Truman Capote’s
“In Cold Blood.”

Nearly a century after this “crime of the century,” Levin’s tale — in this new edition, with a foreword by O.J. prosecutor-turned-novelist Marcia Clark — is no less gripping or disturbing.

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