From the Trade Paperback edition.
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 ...more
BOOK TO FILM
I watched the film adaptation of Double Indemnity and I loved it!
I think that the look of the actress Barbara Stanwyck is the very definition of a femme fatale. I am aware of other great examples like Rita Hayworth in Gilda, Lana Turner in The Postman always rings twice or Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep to name a few, but when the term of “femme fatale” comes to mind, the image of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity is my first thought.
When I watched for the first ...more
Intelligent, gorgeous, self-assured and drenched in enough sexual allure to stop a heart at 50 paces. These cold, calculating foxes are nature's consummate predators, guaranteed to ensnare any man by his short and curlies faster and tighter than a rusty zipper. In fact, the only adversary more likely to separate a man from his giblets is the femme bot toting high caliber machine-gun jubblies.
Well, Double Indemnity has one of the most memorable of these vile, ve ...more
At least this one actually had some stuff about the insurance industry, and I did learn a bit about fraud. Still, it ...more
The novel begins with first person narrator Walter Huff reflecting back on the sequence of events that started when he remembered a renewal over in Hollywoodland. We read: "That was how I came to this House of Death, that you've been reading about in the papers. It didn't look like a House of Death when I saw it. It was just a Spanish house, like all the rest of them in California." This sense of foreboding hangs over each and every sentence. Alert: my review contains what could be considered sp ...more
Foreplay? Nah. The broads don't need any of that aggravation.
Just open the door, introduce yourself, maybe buy the dame a drink, then BAM!
Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nuts.
Set a man nuts, and kill her husband, too.
Sure, why not?
Bada bing, bada boom!
But, wait! Turns out the job was sloppy and the doll's a wench.
That's all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate.
Ah, Mr. Cain knows how to cu ...more
Double Indemnity is a 1943 crime novel, written by American journalist-turned-novelist James M. Cain. It was first published in serial form in Liberty magazine in 1936 and then was one of "three long short tales" in the collection Three of a Kind. The novel later served as the basis for the film of the same name in 1944, adapted for the screen by the novelist Raymond Chandler and directed by Billy Wilder. Walter Huff, an insurance agent, falls for the marrie ...more
Plain old downright great entertainment here from beginning to end with Cain's story of how to commit the perfect murder.
While I was totally engrossed in the telling, there were a couple of times I had to stretch my imagination a bit, but I loved it just the same, and oh that ending......raised my rating up a whole star!
Double Indemnity is about an insurance salesman who meets a wo ...more
This is simply put, quintessential noir. Dark, menacing, seductive and taut as wire, this short novel from James M. Cain really packs a nasty punch.
Insurance investigat ...more
I don't think I agree with myself on this one. I like both book and movie, and the movie version is a wonderful treat available free on YouTube. I'll put the two on a par.
Rating: 4.875* of five
The Book Report: Yet again I feel like a fool offering a summary of a story doubtless extremely well-known: Young wife of older, boring man seeks life insurance for the coot from desperately smitten insurance agent. His lust f ...more
While I wouldn't go as far as to call this my favorite noir novel, it's definitely as good as, if not better than, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Cain does a phenomenal job building the tension with his minimalist style. It may only be 128 pag ...more
It's not too spoilery to give you a summary of the book, however, if you intend to read Double Indemnity, I'd suggest not reading the next two sentences. SUMMARY: A woman consults an insurance agent about taking out a special kind of insurance on her husband, the kind which sends up red flags for the agent, red flags which he ignores. Seduced by the woman and greed, the insurance agent helps her commit murder.
The flippant way in which human life is treate ...more
There's a reason this is a classic and has stood the test of time, and you only have to read the first few pages to fully understand why. It all starts with a delicious chill up your spine, your eyeballs riveted to the page, your breath held, the "gotta know what happens next" monster rattling the bars of his cage. Your first thought: Strap on baby, this is gonna be g-ooood
Cain is a MASTER storyteller: his cutthroat instincts for plot and pacing unerring and enviable. His ear for dialogue is eno ...more
It's a shame that most people are more familiar with the movie based on this novel than with the book itself. Don't think for a moment that if you've seen the movie you've read the book because it's just not so. There are a number of differences between page and screen, and also, watching the movie doesn't allow you to really enter and experience Cain's dark and cynical worldview as much as reading the book does. If nothing else, the ending of this book (as compared to the movie) is just phenome ...more
"No one has ever stopped reading in the middle of one Jim Cain's book." - Saturday Review of LiteratureThis is true. This is my second Cain and I read this non-stop. Well, that was possible because it was Sunday today and I was just at home.
I liked this better than his other equally popular book, The Postman Always Rings Twice (3 stars). Well, I have not seen the movie adaptation of this book while when I read "Postman," I had already seen and liked the Jack Nicholson-Jessica Lange movie in the ...more
"All right, I'm an agent. I'm a croupier in that game. I know all their tricks, I lie awake nights thinking up tricks, so I'll be ready for them when they come at me. And then one night I think up a trick, and g...more
Description: Walter Huff has a good steady job in the insurance business and leads a quiet life. Then he meets and falls in love with Phyllis, an unhappily married woman, enquiring about accident insurance for her husband. They come up with a plan in which Phyllis's husband will die an unlikely death, by falling from a moving train. The 'accidental' nature of his demise will trigger the 'double indemnity' clause of the policy, forcing the insurance company ...more
Walter Huff (not Neff) the insurance agent pays his client Mr Nerdlinger (not Dietrichson) a visit for an auto-renewel and his entire life changes. That one decision is the catalyst for multiple dead bodies in this taut hardboiled thriller from James M. Cain.
Right off the bat this was clearly not the Billy Wilder/Raymond Chandler movie, that classic pairing took Cain as a starting point, rejigged things and created cinematic gold. This book is not as ...more
The story revolves around Walter Huff, an insurance agent who one day comes to visit his client, Mr. Nirdlinger in his house in order to renew his car insurance. However, he's met by his beautiful wife, Phyllis Nirdlinger, and he falls under her spell. Together they plot to kill the husband after ma ...more
Walter Huff is an insurance agent who heads out to a Spanish mansion in the hills above Los Angeles to renew – and hopefully upgrade – an automobile policy for Mr Nirdlinger. The client is not at home, and Mrs Nirdlinger asks Huff to return the next night, but before he leaves she also asks about accident insurance. Huff knows the woman is trouble – with a capital T – but he lets himself get reeled in and before you know it …
Cain is a master of the ro ...more
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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