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The Boys from Brazil: A Novel (Pegasus Classics) Paperback – November 15, 2010
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“A novel by Ira Levin is like a bag of popcorn: there's no way to stop once you've started. An irresistible novel, with a science fiction twist.” (Newsweek)
“Ira Levin's most inventive plot since Rosemary's Baby. Extremely clever, consisting of familiar Levin themes―biological engineering, the rebirth of the devil, human automation.” (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt - The New York Times)
About the Author
Ira Levin is the author of The Boys from Brazil, Rosemary’s Baby, Son of Rosemary, The Stepford Wives, This Perfect Day, Sliver, and A Kiss Before Dying (for which he won the Edgar Award). Levin was also the recipient of three Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Awards. His website is www.iralevin.org.
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Top Customer Reviews
Odds are, however, that you already know it's about cloning and Nazis, so I'll go ahead and say this: I put off reading the book for years because I wasn't interested in either of those subjects. But "The Boys" is not what you'd expect at all, and superlatives can't describe Levin's skill. "Couldn't put it down" doesn't touch it.
Plus, any gore or references to sex and violence are only what is necessary for the sake of the plot, which is important as far as I'm concerned.
And, just like with his other books, this is more than just a roller coaster ride that you walk off of and forget. There's satisfying poetic justice, interesting moral contrast, and important ethical questions raised -- not just the usual pronouncements about weren't-the-Nazis-terrible or isn't-cloning-awfully-dangerous, either. It's one of those books you love to discuss with a friend.
Then he gets a call that is cut short when the caller is murdered. But before he is killed the man alerts Liebermann to a new Nazi conspiracy that threatens the fate of humankind. What follows is a roller coaster of exciting, suspenseful scenes, cutting edge technology and enough plot twists to satisfy any thriller reader. Ira Levin only wrote seven novels in his lifetime, including ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE STEPFORD WIVES, but he is deservedly recognized as one of the real shining stars in the galaxy of American thriller writers and I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a classic work of the genre.
Initially released on LP by A&M Records with the film's release it made for a very cohesive listening experience as
the composer selected various cues from the score to fashion an uninterrupted suite lasting nearly twenty minutes with the second side of the record featuring a song and two extra tracks from the score. As much as I enjoyed the album it suffered from the omission of many choice musical moments which Intrada has corrected on this excellent (yet limited) release which sold out nearly a year after its release in 2008.
What really stands out in this music is the composer's amazing facility to immerse himself in the differing styles of such classical masters as Strauss and Wagner. The film's main theme is an amalgamation of the lilting Viennese waltz he devised and the brutal seven note motif for tuba/trombone. Goldsmith's harmonic language here is one of his most accessible and enjoyable and was generously displayed on the original album but here his harder edged action writing for the Nazis is also given a large amount of exposition here. One of the most outstanding moments of the score is the first previously unreleased track, "The Killers Arrive" in which the composer allows the Nazi motif to make its first appearance and dominate by way of the immense brass section of the National Philharmonic Orchestra. It is well over five minutes and gradually builds to a lush treatment of the waltz theme (the Strauss influence with the Nazi motif obviously his take on the Teutonic heaviness of Wagner's music).
For those out there who are die hard fans of this particular composer this is definitely one of his best works that should be in any collection. Like other releases of Goldsmith's music from that label THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL is
presented on two discs: the first presents the complete score (including pieces that never made it into the finished film) as heard in the film in chronological order and the second presents the original soundtrack album digitally remastered and includes several bonus features including source music and alternate versions of "The Hospital" and "The Killers Arrive." I was lucky enough to snap up a copy when they were first released (and will never part with it) and was overjoyed to finally hear all the music after thirty years of hearing it in my head. The booklet is excellent and full of interesting information. Their most recent releases in this two-disc format are PATTON and FIRST BLOOD and I can't wait to get those. Like their other two Goldsmith releases in this format (THE WIND AND THE LION and ALIEN) those two are regular releases and not limited editions and worth having as well.
But THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL is one of Goldsmith's aggressively best works of the 1970s---hell, his whole career---and if you can snap up a copy then do so, its a great score.