Read Double Indemnity by James M. Cain Free Online
Book Title: Double Indemnity|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 28.83 MB
v The author of the book: James M. Cain
Edition: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Date of issue: January 5th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780307778420
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Double Indemnity:“I had killed a man, for money and a woman. I didn't have the money and I didn't have the woman.”
One of the great Noir lines of all time. Cain wrote it. Raymond Chandler used it in the movie. I could stop my review right here because that line sums up the movie perfectly.
But I can't. I love writing about books.
Walter Huff met a woman. A married woman, a woman Huff would be willing to turn himself inside out if that would insure her love. Her name is Phyllis and she has a thought, not even a plan, just a thought of what she would like to do about her husband.
Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck
Much has been made of Phyllis being a femme fatale, maybe even one of the most viperous examples in history. It has been a while since I've seen the movie and maybe Stanwyck does portray Phyllis much more deviously manipulative than what I found the book Phyllis to be. Now I'm not saying she is an angel I'm just saying she ran into a guy that even surprised himself with what he was willing to do with the hope of getting the girl.
Huff has made a career out of reading people and when he meets Phyllis she asks him a handful of suggestive questions and the guy is already formulating a full blown plan for insurance fraud. He has been in the insurance game for a long time and he knows about every angle ever thought up by anyone to try and pull one over on an insurance company. He is uniquely qualified to formulate the perfect scam.
I don't like insurance. Life insurance they are betting I live. I'm betting I die. It is kind of crazy if you give it much thought. Car insurance they are betting I don't get in an accident. I'm betting that I do. The industry has convinced us to bet against ourselves and pay for the privilege. And yet, even though I'm aware of the situation, I pay thousands of dollars of insurance premiums every year to insure one disaster doesn't sink the ship. Walter Huff would love stopping by to see me.
Huff is so intent on the details of this insurance rip-off that he never learns much about Phyllis. He doesn't even really seem to care about why she would be interested in killing her husband. She is the bunny and he is the greyhound running around the track. There is no hesitation about Huff. He leaps at the chance to help Phyllis get the insurance money. I'm not sure what was more important to him pulling off the perfect swindle (my vote)or winning the girl.
James M. Cain
Crisp, wonderful writing with pitch perfect dialogue. My recommendation is read the book and then watch the movie, a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. At least 18 films have been made from James M. Cain novels and stories. Besides this novel he wrote two other novels that are not only considered noir fiction classics, but also translated well to film, The Postman Always Rings Twiceand Mildred Pierce. In college I took a film and novel class and Mildred Pierce was one of the books/movies on the syllabus. One of the most enjoyable classes I ever took. I love the combination of two different art forms. I generally like the book better because there is usually more depth to the characters and more subplots can be incorporated into the flow of the novel. Film is restricted by length, but when they get it right they really get it right. I try, as best I can, to judge books and movies from books on separate scales. Even a movie that butchers the original source material can be a great movie. In the case of James M. Cain because he wrote such great dialogue Hollywood did not have to deviate far from his original intentions. Highly recommended!
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Read information about the authorJames Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the 'roman noir'.
He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer. He inherited his love for music from his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough.
After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W. Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun.
He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine. On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the 'New York World' and articles for 'American Mercury'. He also served briefly as the managing editor of 'The New Yorker', but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.
Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, 'Algiers', 'Stand Up and Fight', and 'Gypsy Wildcat'.
His first novel (he had already published 'Our Government' in 1930), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' was published in 1934. Two years later the serialized, in 'Liberty Magazine', 'Double Indemnity was published.
He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels: 'Serenade' (about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re-enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow), 'Mildred Pierce' (in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer) and 'Career in C Major', a short semi-comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.
He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, 'The Baby in the Icebox' (1981), Cloud Nine (1984) and The Enchanted Isle (1985) being published posthumously. However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.
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