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Du er her: Skole > A kiss before dying

A kiss before dying

About the book.

Anmeldelse (bok, film...)

I’ve read the book called Kiss Before Dying. It’s a criminal novel written by the author Ira Levin, who also have written the well known books Rosemary’s Baby and The Boys From Brazil. Enough about that, Now I’ll give you a summary about what the book A Kiss Before Dying is all about:




Dorothy and Bud are a couple who attend the Stoddard college in Blue River. They love each other, and things were running nice until a slight problem occurred. "Dorrie" was pregnant. Bud didn’t at that point of time really want a baby, because that meant for him that he had got to quit school and get a job, something he didn’t want to. He asks Dorrie to take some pills that will terminate the pregnancy, and promises that he will marry her if they don’t work (something that Dorrie is very keen on.) The pills however never worked and Bud realises what’s going to happen:


He won’t get the education he had hoped for. And he wouldn’t see a single dollar from Dorrie’s rich father who wouldn’t be particularly happy about the marriage. At that point he takes his decision: he has got to kill her. After some comprehensive research and investigations he manages to figure out a nice plan. But to his disappointment things don’t turn out like he had planned to. things starts to hurry as the wedding day approaches, and he has to improvise. However, on the day of the marriage he on a clever way manage to push his darling out from a tall building, and he makes it look like a suicide too. Dorothy is dead.


A time after the murder Bud transfers from Stoddard to Caldwell and becomes Ellen’s boyfriend,(something we gets to know later in the book) the weird thing is that Ellen is Dorothy’s older sister. Ellen is very suspicious about the fact that her little sister committed suicide so she decides to go to Blue River to investigate the case herself. On the way to Blue River Ellen writes a letter to Bud where she tells him about her plans. In Blue River Ellen also gets to know two persons that she suspects have murdered her sister, don’t having a single clue of who it really is.


When Ellen is together with Dwight Powell (one of her suspects) at his home Bud suddenly pops up and shoots him, claiming Dwight was about to kill her. Ellen jumps crying into bud’s arms... A few minutes later she was dead too.


In the summer Bud is back home at his mothers house. There he gets his sick thought about killing Leo Kingships last daughter, Marion. However if he don’t kill her it would be nice to get Leo Kingship as the father in law. (he had tried two times before)


He decides to quit school and try to get knowing Marion. He moves to New York and it doesn’t take a long time before Marion falls into love with him. Maybe not a big thing when you know all about her interests on beforehand, Bud had spent a long time trying to remember what the recent two girlfriends had said about their sister, everything he could remember he put down on a list.


Suddenly Gordon Gant shows up, one of the two that Ellen had suspected for the murder. Now he had involved in the case, and he was suspicious about the murders, he told his ideas to Leo, but he rejected him. But when Gordon found the list Bud had written with all of Marion interests on, Leo became more suspicious.


One day Bud went with Leo, Marion and Gordon (Gordon under a false name) to Leo kingship’s copper facility. After being shown around Leo and Gant suddenly starts to confront him about the murder on Dorothy and Ellen. Bud denies it all, but after being threatened by being pushed in a copper smelter he admits it all.


Now it was his turn... Bud "fell" into the red-hot copper smelter, a murderer was killed.


The main characters


The naive... Dorothy seems like a pleasant and nice girl, maybe a little too nice. she does well at school, but in the real life she may have got something to learn. I think she is a little naive and unaware of what’s going on around her, thinking that things will fix itself.(about the pregnancy and so on) Maybe she is a quiet and conservative girl because it seems that she like things to happen in silence, and don’t like to go at bars/discos like her friends maybe did.(did she had any friends except Bud?) Dorothy was not a special individual girl either she liked to stick to her older sister, where everything was safe. She also thinks that getting married and established is important.


The foolhardy... Is not very like her sister Dorothy I think. She seems like a more lively girl seeking for adventures and taking chances.(she went to investigate the murder. She also claimed for Gordons landlady that she was her cousin, not afraid of what could happen.) I think Ellen care much more about boys and fun things than Dorothy. But she better watch her back, suddenly it goes wrong. At some times she is a little foolhardy.


The Prust fiend... The more intellectual, the more mature and the wiser of the sisters. she attends a good school, and she like doing things that the intellectual individuals like to do. She enjoys going to museums and exhibitions. She is not particularly beautiful like Ellen or (Dorothy), maybe it is therefor she is "smarter" than the sisters? It seems to me like Marion is more similar to Dorothy than to Ellen although, because I think Marion don’t enjoy lots of people either and she is not that adventure seeking type like Ellen and she is definitely not foolhardy.


The killer... He is an honour student, war hero and the boy that all mothers would have loved. A Young, smart beautiful man that all young ladies fall for. Popular and liked by everyone. But in his soul he can’t be a nice man. Not when he choose to kill his girlfriend because HE has done her pregnant. He likes to ride trough his life always choosing the easiest solutions. Wants to make money on a easy way, like getting them from the father in law. When he decides to maybe kill Marion for the cause: Faith, Hope, Charity I thought he was a sick man. He also is a sick man (you are if you murder someone) maybe it has something to do with his past as a war veteran. (hero) He got some medals. maybe he had some cruel memories from there?




I thought it was a very interesting an exciting book. I think that it was nice to try to figure out who the murderer was through the story. I liked the way the novelist had written the book trying to obscure the murderer to the last. she put in Gant Gordon and Dwight Powell in the book on a clever way making you believe that it had to be one of them. (I certainly did) When the killer gets disclosed you get quite surprised, and have to start thinking back who Bud really was. I didn’t think so much about the end when he fells/jump into the smelter maybe I had expected a more shrewd ending.


Overall I thought it was nice book, and it is a book I can recommend for others to read!

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