Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Birthday, James M. Cain!

James M. Cain: "American journalist, screenwriter, and novelist - identified with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and others as a central member of hard-boiled school of crime fiction. However, Cain's own opinion was 'I belong to no school, hard-boiled or otherwise'. Three of Cain's novels-THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1934), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1936), and MILDRED PIERCE (1941)-were also made into classics of the American screen. His books continued to appear after World War II, but none gained the success of his earlier work.

'I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hard-boiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called. I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from the fields, the streets, the bars, the offices and even the gutters of his country, has acquired a vividness of speech that goes beyond anything I could invent, and that if I stick to this heritage, this logos of the American countryside, I shall attain a maximum of effectiveness with very little effort.' (Cain in preface to Double Indemnity)"

5 comments:

Duane Swierczynski said...

You've gotta love Big Jim.

Ed Gorman said...

I still prefer Cain to Chandler or Hammett. Better storyteller and wrote the fine mainstream novel neither of them were capable of, Mildred Pierce, a novel that gets richer every time I read it. Ed Gorman

Bill Crider said...

I still remember the first time I read Postman. What a kick in the head that was!

Anonymous said...

Magna cum Murder attendees are asked to read THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE for this year's conference. So I gotta get a copy. Sounds like you guys enjoyed it. I love the movie.

Bill Crider said...

The book is even better. Trust me.