Meyer Levin

Meyer Levin has been called “the most significant American Jewish writer of his time” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best American writers working in the realistic tradition” by Norman Mailer. His works include the novels The Settlers, The Stronghold, The Harvest, The Fanatic, the memoir The Obsession (which tells of his long involvement with The Diary of Anne Frank), and the autobiographical In Search. His novel Compulsion (1956), which chronicled the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case and was one of the first “nonfiction novels,” was called “a masterly achievement in literary craftsmanship” by Earle Stanley Gardner in The New York Times Book Review and inspired the award-winning film starring Orson Welles. Levin passed away in 1981.

Bibliography

  • Standalone
    Compulsion
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    The Harvest
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    The Spell of Time
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    The Settlers
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    Citizens
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    The Old Bunch
    Meyer Levin
  • Standalone
    Frankie & Johnnie
    Meyer Levin
  • Anthologies
    Classic Chassidic Tales
    Meyer Levin
  • Non-Fiction
    The Obsession
    Meyer Levin
  • Non-Fiction
    In Search
    Meyer Levin
  • Other Works
    Other Works by Meyer Levin
    Meyer Levin
     

Reviews

Standalone

Compulsion
“Meyer Levin’s astonishingly good novel is a period piece twice over […] COMPULSION is smartly structured to maximize suspense, and the book’s title is descriptive of the urge a reader feels to keep turning pages. The world of the upper class Chicago families is rendered in fine-stitched detail […] As psychological throller and as courtroom drama, this novel has few peers; it ascends to a Dostoyevskian level.”

The Wall Street Journal

“Before IN COLD BLOOD, before THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG, Meyer Levin’s COMPULSION was the standard-bearer for what we think of as the nonfiction novel […] Meyer Levin’s masterful skill as a writer and profound psychological insight into the characters of Nathan Leopold (transformed in the novel into Judd Steiner) and Richard Loeb (fictionalized as Artie Straus) produced a powerful, nuanced, and impressively credible depiction of two equally—but differently—disturbed minds.”

The Daily Beast

“Levin brings a compelling creative power rooted both in subjectivity and objectivity [...] he writes with the immediacy and intimacy of first-hand knowledge of the principals in the case. To this he adds the maturity of a man and novelist who probes the influences, the motives and compulsions, the psychological and pathological forces, that led to the monstrous crime [...] Mr. Levin succeeds brilliantly in creating high suspense in his fictional retelling of it.”

New York Herald Tribune Book Review

"Levin makes the senseless brutality of the murderers palpable, as well as the suffering of the survivors, who include Steiner’s devastated father, unable to comprehend how his child could become a killer [...] this holds up as a landmark legal thriller."

Publishers Weekly

"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."

Midwest Book Review

“COMPULSION is one of the most powerful novels I’ve ever read. It will bring to mind classic Russian psychological novels; it was a groundbreaking novel in 1956 and it stands up superbly today.”

Huntington News

Anthologies

Non-Fiction

Other Works