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By Meyer Levin

Judd Steiner and Artie Straus have all of it: wealth, intelligence, and the realm at their toes as a part of the elite, upper-crust Jewish group of Twenties Chicago. Artie is good-looking, athletic, and well known, yet he possesses a hidden, strong sadistic streak and a wish to dominate. Judd is a weedy introvert, a genius who longs for a better half whom he can idolize and worship. keen about Nietzsche’s thought of the superhuman, either boys choose to turn out that they're above the legislation of guy by means of arbitrarily selecting and murdering a Jewish boy of their neighborhood.

This re-creation of Meyer Levin's vintage literary mystery Compulsion reintroduces the fictionalized case of Leopold and Loeb – as soon as thought of the "crime of the century" – to a brand new iteration. This incisive mental portrait of 2 younger murderers seized the mind's eye of an period and is usually famous as paving the way in which for the 1st non-fiction novel. Compulsion forces us to invite what drives a few extra into darkness, and a few to hunt redemption.

Heartbreaking because it is gripping, Compulsion is written with a stressful and penetrating strength that led the Los Angeles Times to name Levin, “the most vital Jewish author of his times.”

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Example text

And his brother was a respectable businessman, a real-estate man, practically retired. He had no enemies. He shook his head. His brother was a respectable real-estate man. The car swept across the Midway, past the university. “Paulie was going to go there in a few years,” the uncle said. “I go there; I’m just graduating,” I remarked, and I thought of the sensation I would make about this, with my campus crowd, with Ruth. We crossed Hyde Park Boulevard. The area of red-brick apartment houses ended, and there began the enclave of tree-shaded streets, with mansions set far back on their lawns.

And Artie had stormed, “It’s nearly summer, you sonofabitch. ” Judd wondered, now. Had he really meant that it should never happen? That one thing or another should delay them until the day he would be going away on his trip to Europe? And Judd was a little ashamed of his own past hesitations. For everything was working fine. Here now was Artie coming from the ticket window, wearing the easy smile whose meaning was known only to the two of them. As always, Judd felt illuminated by Artie’s smile.

He had scarcely used the glasses during the past few months, not even for studying. It must have been weeks ago that he had stuck them in this coat pocket, and, hardly wearing this suit, he had forgotten they were there. Then what had made him choose this suit yesterday? And when could the spectacles have dropped out? Had it happened when he was bending over, in the back of the car, the glasses dropping into the lap robe half wrapped around the boy? Judd saw again the boy entering the car, the quick blows, the suffocation—that part of it already done, so hastily, so irretrievably done before you could decide finally whether or not to do it.

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