COMPULSION: A "Deftly Crafted" and "Highly Recommended" Novel

Author: Meyer Levin

May 5, 2015

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From the May 2015 edition of Midwest Book Review‘s “Small Press Bookwatch”:

Synopsis: Judd Steiner and Artie Straus have it all: wealth, intelligence, and the world at their feet as part of the elite, upper-crust Jewish community of 1920s Chicago. Artie is handsome, athletic, and popular, but he possesses a hidden, powerful sadistic streak and a desire to dominate. Judd is a weedy introvert, a genius who longs for a companion whom he can idolize and worship. Obsessed with Nietzsche’s idea of the superhuman, both boys decide to prove that they are above the laws of man by arbitrarily picking and murdering a Jewish boy in their neighborhood.

Critique: Meyer Levin’s “Compulsion” is a fictionalized portrayal of the infamous case of Leopold and Loeb. Paying close attention to historical detail, “Compulsion” is a deftly crafted novel that documents author Meyer Levin as a particularly gifted storyteller that will keep his readers total engaged from beginning to end. Highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Compulsion” is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).