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The Butterfly

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  223 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Jesse Tyler vit seul dans la montagne. Sa femme l'a quitté avec ses enfants. Un soir, il découvre devant sa porte une jeune femme qui le provoque de façon sensuelle avant d'avouer être sa fille Kady. Elle s'installe chez lui et l'incite à fabriquer de l'alcool clandestinement. Au bout de quelques semaines, le vieux bigot solitaire a bien du mal à contenir ses sentiments da ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 165 pages
Published 1947 by Knopf
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Andy
Jun 18, 2008 Andy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: incest fans, toothless survivalists
Shelves: pulp-fiction
Erskine Caldwell-styled hillbilly mung about a grizzled old poppa fallin' down hard for his lil' Ozark daughter Kady, all budding inta womanhood and fallin' for his rival's son.
They fight like grizzly bar's for Kady's tender touch, leadin' to murder in the coal mine! She has a baby and the only way you can tell who's the paw is a birthmark shaped like a butterfly. Dopey hillbilly books are always a hoot to read.
Philip Fracassi
Let me synopsize for you so you don't have to bother:

"Hey daughter, I kinda like you."

"Oh Pa, I'm such a slut."

"Hey, that guy stole Ma!"

"I'm gonna kill that sumbitch."

"Coal mine moonshine? Count me in!"

"Oh no, everybody's dead...oh no..."

The End.
Jeff Powers
Though far from the best this great author wrote during his career, Butterfly is still a rather tight noirish thriller with an unlikely setting. Gone are the urban landscapes of California. This story of weakness and betrayal takes place in the small town, almost Western genre feel, of the eastern mountains. Cain writes deeply flawed broken characters whose only chance at survival is to claw their way through the human refuse around them. The world is painted a deep shade of grey. Filled with th ...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - The James Cain Series:
When Jess Tyler's two-timing wife left him he stayed on at the farm alone, growing corn and going to Church. Nearly twenty years later, a young woman turns up with a suitcase, and there's an immediate attraction between them. The problem is that the young woman is Jess's daughter, Kady. Or is she? Only the butterfly birthmark can settle the question for good. A tale of revenge, murder and forbidden love, adapted by Adrian Bean.
Wanda
Daddy want pork daughter. Daughter take advantage. No end well. Duh.
Azzageddi
In the preface, Cain said he was originally working on a story about a family that migrates from rural Kentucky to California during the lean years, looking to improve their station in life. But then Steinbeck published his magisterial Grapes of Wrath, so he scrapped the project. As time went on, he collected more and more ideas for other stories. When he finally wrote The Butterfly, he picked and chose various disparate elements from these stories to create one cohesive narrative. All I can say ...more
Marley
Erskine Caldwell meet Jim Cain!

This is the last novel in my collection of Cain books I'm reading this year. My edition has Pia Zadora on the cover to go along with the releae of the film.

Strangely enough, I like this book. It' hardly rivals Mildred Pierce or Postman, but I liked to watch trainwrecks sometimes. Beside, I went to high school with a girl who liked to brag that she was sleeping with her father. I have no idea if she really was, and she was absolutely no Cady/Pia/or Anais Nin for tha
...more
Rowland Bismark
Narrator Jess Tyler lives alone on his small farm in a coal town where they stopped mining years ago. His wife, Belle, left him ages ago and he's been alone ever since -- until the beginning of this story, when he comes home to find a very forward nineteen year-old girl sitting on his stoop.

She plays coy for a while, but finally lets him in on her secret: she's his daughter, Kady, whom he hasn't seen since she was small. "Your little girl. The one you like."

He takes her in. Problem is, she plays
...more
wally
must be about the 4th or 5th from cain for me...onward and upward.

finished...28 nov 14...good story...give it a go.
Steve
It's not quite up to par with Cain's legendary noir classics (DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE). But it's not quite as awful as its subject matter (hillbilly incest) and its adaptation (the legendarily awful 1981 Pia Zadora film) might imply. If you must read it, save Cain's introduction for last. He manages to blow several key plot points as he discusses false starts on the road to writing the novel. However, his curiously defensive responses to critics comparing his work to the ...more
James
After reading this book, I understand why Raymond Chandler hated James Cain's fiction. Chandler's ideal hero was urbane, sophisticated, and strong. Cain's heroes are weak-willed, desperate men forced into brutality by desire for an unattainable, and usually evil, woman.

The Butterfly is a story about a man's incestuous desire for his daughter. It gets worse from there.
Howard Goodman
James M. Cain leaves the shady side of Southern California to take us to Appalachia for a mangled love story involving incest, feuds and bloody misunderstandings among the hill-and-holler people.

With this book, he shows he was much more than a genre novelist. Recommended to anyone with an interest in this writer.
Robert
Just as real and murky as his other, better-known novels. As an added bonus, the author's introduction is a fascinating read in its own right not only relaying the origin of the story but relaying a multi-page rant against lazy and uninformed reviewers and critics.
Dan
It's no coincidence that Cain is famous for The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce—and not for The Butterfly.
Irmak Ertuna-howison
this is one twisted book: think hard-boiled faulkner. (although, cain would probably not like the label.)
Jianbo
I like the rhythm of Cain's writings although the story is so stale.
Paul Phillips
Well, now I know why I hadn't heard about this book before.
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James 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 h
...more
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The Postman Always Rings Twice Double Indemnity Mildred Pierce The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and Selected Stories The Cocktail Waitress (Hard Case Crime #109)

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“Yes, I have actually mined coal, and distilled liquor, as well as seen a girl in a pink dress, and seen her take it off. I am 54 years old, weigh 220 pounds, and look like the chief dispatcher of a long-distance driving concern. I am a registered Democrat. I drink.” 4 likes
“...if he can write a book at all, a writer cannot do it by peeping over his shoulder at somebody else, any more than a woman can have a baby by watching some other woman have one. It is a genital process, and all of its stages are intra-abdominal;” 3 likes
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