Ira Marvin Levin (August 27, 1929 November 12, 2007) was an American novelist and dramatist.
While he worked in a number of genres in his career (his output even includes a Broadway musical), he is most associated with the Thriller. In particular, he excelled at stories that placed outlandish premises into realistic settings, with plenty of suspense but also heavy doses of Satire and Black Comedy. He's been praised by the likes of Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk for his mastery of plotting and pacing.
Ira Levin works with their own trope pages include:
- A Kiss Before Dying (1953 novel, 1956 and 1991 films)
- Rosemary's Baby (1967 novel, 1968 film, 2014 miniseries)
- This Perfect Day (1970 novel)
- The Stepford Wives (1972 novel, 1975 and 2004 films)
- The Boys from Brazil (1976 novel, 1978 film)
- Deathtrap (1978 play, 1982 film)
- Sliver (1991 novel, 1993 film)
- Son of Rosemary (1997 novel; sequel to Rosemary's Baby)
This author's other works include examples of:
- Cerebus Syndrome: Except for the Noir-ish novel A Kiss Before Dying, his earliest successes were Broadway comedies. After Rosemary's Baby he switched to Thrillers with some Black Comedy elements.
- Chekhov's Armoury: Probably one of the finer examples of this trope, he's famous for salting his books with loads of foreshadowing clues, many of which fly under the radar until the second (or third!) reading.
- Trope Codifier:
- No Time for Sergeants, the Mac Hyman novel adapted by Levin for a live TV presentation and later a Broadway play (and a film, which Levin didn't write) established Will Stockdale (played by Andy Griffith in all three versions) as the definitive comedic version of Southern-Fried Private (and the Griffith-spinoff Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. centered around a Stockdale Expy).
- You Cloned Hitler! in The Boys from Brazil.
- Stepford Smiler in The Stepford Wives
- You Have to Have Jews: Levin, himself a non-practicing agnostic Jew, generally slips a Jewish character into most of his work; perhaps as a dark joke, the Jewish character's usually doomed. (This is notably subverted in The Boys from Brazil.)