Steve's Reviews > The Butterfly

The Butterfly by James M. Cain
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Aug 22, 12

Read in August, 2012

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 hardboiled efforts of Hammett and the minimalism of Hemingway is revealing, and not in a flattering way.
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