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Past All Dishonor

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3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A Confederate spy risks his life to win the heart of a fallen woman

Early in the Civil War, the Confederacy sends Roger Duval to Sacramento, to keep an eye on the situation in California in hopes of turning the Western territory towards the Southern cause. It’s a plush assignment, well out of the line of fire, but Duval hasn’t been there long before he comes into mortal dan
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Paperback, Library of Contemporary Americana, 232 pages
Published October 28th 1984 by Arbor House Publ. Co (first published 1946)
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Robin Friedman
Dec 07, 2016 Robin Friedman rated it really liked it
James Cain (1892 -- 1977) is known for his noir novels, including "The Postman Always Rings Twice", "Double Indemnity", and "Mildred Pierce" and for the films based on them. After reading these and other books, I wanted to read more of Cain, including his little-known historical novel, "Past all Dishonor", written in 1946. Cain always protested against pigeonholing. He wanted to be remembered as a novelist rather than as a noir writer. Among all his novels, Cain held "Past all Dishonor" in high ...more
Andy
Aug 15, 2011 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Larson E. Whipsnade
Recommended to Andy by: W. C. Fields
Shelves: pulp-fiction
There’s a great scene in “The Bank Dick” where W.C. Fields reads a script to a dapper actor dressed in top hat and tails. “You win the game for the football team in the last thirty seconds. You throw passes, you kick field goals, you run touchdown after touchdown”. The actor is outraged and asks “Dressed like this?”
Fields scrutinizes the actor’s elegant suit closely and says, “We’ll give you a helmet”.

“Past All Dishonor” is a lot like that, so convoluted Uncle Bill may have written it himself. H
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Robert
Sep 13, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2012-13-season
Classic Cain. Boy loves bad girl, boy tries to please bad girl by doing bad things, no one gets away with it.
Gregory
Nov 16, 2013 Gregory rated it liked it
I really enjoy discovering somewhat obscure, enjoyable books, and this is certainly one. I'd have been tempted to add a fourth star except for the pat ending, which I didn't find terribly satisfying. But otherwise, very enjoyable, especially the portraits of Virginia City in the early 1860s.

One factual quibble, in the story Duval goes down a mine to the 1,000 foot level in what I think is supposed to be 1863. I don't believe the mines reached that deep until close to the end of the decade.
Douglas Castagna
Oct 15, 2015 Douglas Castagna rated it liked it
Again, not one of Cain's best though I did like the femme fatale more so than some others. The end is a bit telegraphed but like all of Cain's work the story was enjoyable and the characters believable. Also, it was nice that this book was a period piece taking place in the 1860's.
David
Sep 23, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't really remember anything about this book, even viewing the description. But I wrote it down when I read it, and since I generally like Cain, will give 3 stars. How's that for smart?
Clifdisc
Jun 23, 2015 Clifdisc rated it liked it
Interesting period piece from James M Cain. Not quite as gripping as his contemporary fiction.
Fiorella Chávez
Jun 27, 2015 Fiorella Chávez rated it it was amazing
Me impactó el final!
Mark Darrah
Oct 24, 2015 Mark Darrah rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-boiled, western
Past All Dishonor is a hard boiled James M. Cain novel set in the Old West. It doesn't work very well.
Kelly
Aug 07, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
This is the only Cain novel set in a different time period--in this case, the Civil War era. I don't think his formula works as well out of the 1930s/1940s...
Ron Antonucci
Ron Antonucci rated it it was ok
Oct 15, 2016
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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
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