SCYLLA

 
Full Name: Doc Levy
Codename: Scylla
Nationality: American
Organization: The Division
Occupation Agent

Creator: William Goldman
Time Span: 1974 - 1988
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Scylla is an agent with the Division.
       The Division is an American clandestine agency with assassination as one of its main specialties. If a matter requires special handling, up to and including elimination, it is the agents of this group that gets the call. Scylla is one of the oldest and best agents this department has had.

       And yet while the character is the key protagonist of the second book in the series, and plays a major role in the first, this agent is not the man first thought of by anyone who has read the books or, more commonly, has seen the movie version of the first book. Star billing in that book, Marathon Man, easily goes first to the younger brother of Scylla, a graduate student named Thomas Levy but known more by his nickname of "Babe". It is Babe's misfortune to be related to the agent and even more unfortunate that he is suspected by a desperate Nazi war criminal of having information he doesn't have.
       It is the stalking and kidnapping of Babe by the criminal that made the first book and movie so captivating and chilling - that and fantastic acting by Dustin Hoffman and even better role-playing by the incomparable Lawrence Olivier. In that movie, the role of Scylla was superbly handled by Roy Scheider.

       In the second book, it is Scylla who is the star and he shows just how good he can be. Many think him too old to still be doing what he does and the question of his injury that nearly killed him is a factor but Scylla shows that he is still a man to be depended upon by his bosses and feared by his targets. And still loved and admired by his younger brother.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1988

1 Marathon Man Marathon Man
Written by William Goldman
Copyright: 1974

Even as Thomas "Babe" Levy prepares for a marathon and tries to deal with his recurring emotions of his father's suicide years before, a mysterious agent known as Scylla find his dealings with a notorious Nazi war criminal change in nature, bringing terrible danger to Scylla and to the unsuspecting Babe.

2 Brothers Brothers
Written by William Goldman
Copyright: 1988

Scylla is assigned the task of removing two scientists who have come up with new and diabolical ways of killing, one a drug that compels the victim to follow any order and the other a drink that pushes the victim to commit suicide. Controlling these two weapons can change the power structure in the world.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:1976
Last Appearance:1976

1 Marathon Man Marathon Man
Director: John Schlesinger
Writer: William Goldman
Actors: Dustin Hoffman as Babe, Laurence Olivier as Szell, Roy Scheider as Doc / Scylla, William Devane as Janeway, Marthe Keller as Elsa
Released: 1976

A post-graduate majoring in history and looking to explain his father's suicide years before runs afoul of a former Nazi war criminal looking for stolen diamonds and the young man's brother, a government agent.

MY COMMENTS

       Anyone who watched the awesome movie, and most who read the equally compelling novel, had the same thoughts about what happened to Scylla/Doc Levy in the first book. Apparently the author had other thoughts, or came up with them some time later. Certainly the time separation between the two books, 14 years, is among the longest of all the series reported herein, lending credence to that supposition.
       In the books not quite that long separates the two adventures but some time definitely goes by, enough that each brother has changed significantly enough to make these two books quite a bit different.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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