Show Business: Killers Done to Death

Ernest Hemingway wrote The Killers before breakfast one morning in 1927, cabled it that day from Madrid to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, at Scribner's Magazine in New York, and has never changed one of its 2,000 words. Seen through the eyes of Nick Adams (i.e., young Hemingway), it is a brief, spare story that tells—mostly in a well-wrought ladder of dialogue—about two hired gunmen who have come to a small Michigan town to rub out a doublecrossing Swedish prizefighter. When The Killers appeared on CBS's Buick Electra Playhouse last week, the story's reading time of six minutes had been blown up...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!