Ira Levin

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 9:19 PM

I just discovered via agent Lori Perkins' blog that Ira Levin died this week. Although not prolific, he managed to write some tremendous novels, often with entirely bonkers concepts (Mengele makes baby Hitlers! Lapsed Catholic girl makes baby Satan! Suburban men make robot babes!). He carried these ideas off with such unflinching disregard for 'believability' that the reader has no choice but to be swept along.

Rosemary's Baby is one of the finest horror novels ever written, with an ending so creepy it'll linger with you long after you've finished the book. It also happened to make one of the finest horror movies too, and even after forty years it remains a lesson in the power of subtlety in expressing the unspeakable. When I visited New York recently I spent a little while gazing up at the Dakota building, and while mindful of its place in Beatle history, it was really the The Bramford I was seeing.

Sigh. I guess I'll have to crack out my well-thumbed paperback of Rosemary's Baby and give it another whirl.

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