Read Three by Cain: Serenade/Love's Lovely Counterfeit/The Butterfly by James M. Cain Free Online
Book Title: Three by Cain: Serenade/Love's Lovely Counterfeit/The Butterfly|
Date of issue: May 14th 1989
ISBN 13: 9780679723233
The author of the book: James M. Cain
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 21.95 MB
Edition: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Read full description of the books Three by Cain: Serenade/Love's Lovely Counterfeit/The Butterfly:Another lovely gift from my library's e-reader section. I have been hunting James M. Cain books like crazy in my noir/detective fiction obsession and my library is pretty podunk (sorry, but it is--it's tiny so they go with what is popular which is chick lit, romance and mystery lite--none of which I can bear) so if you are looking for classics especially anything unusual it's really tough. Our big library is great but a pain to get to so I usually stick with the one nearest to me. Even the boyfriend's bookstore is painfully short on variety. When I came across this I was so happy as it contained 3 books I was looking for and was available to check out --wheeee! I was not disappointed. The first book, Serenade was a really amazing and unusual book for it's time--as I have said before, I don't do synopsis type reviews--but it contained some pretty fascinating storylines for a book of it's time, including latent homosexuality and a deep and passionate discussion of music. Like so many of Cain's books, a woman played a major role--something I adore about his work--and the women are not always the typical noir femme fatales--they are complicated and move the action forward actively. A really satisfying and emotional read. I did not enjoy Love's Lovely Counterfeit nearly as much--it was pretty anti-climactic after Serenade. Interestingly, it's the only book Cain specifically wrote for the screen. That might be part of what I did not like about it--it had a falseness about it that I don't see in his other work. The Butterfly more than made up for it--wow--what a great book--and a total combination of 2 types of book I love--a hillbilly gothic mixed with noir elements. As I was reading it I was actually nervous and tense (in a good way if that makes sense) and the last few chapters were just "can't put it down" amazing. Even if I had not loved this book and Serenade so much, the afterword by Cain himself would have made it a worthwhile read--absolutely hilarious and honest. I just adored Cain as a person after reading that--funny, sharp and ironic. I plan to keep reading him as much as possible.
Read information about the authorJames 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 his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough.
After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W. Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun.
He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine. On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the 'New York World' and articles for 'American Mercury'. He also served briefly as the managing editor of 'The New Yorker', but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.
Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, 'Algiers', 'Stand Up and Fight', and 'Gypsy Wildcat'.
His first novel (he had already published 'Our Government' in 1930), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' was published in 1934. Two years later the serialized, in 'Liberty Magazine', 'Double Indemnity was published.
He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels: 'Serenade' (about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re-enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow), 'Mildred Pierce' (in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer) and 'Career in C Major', a short semi-comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.
He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, 'The Baby in the Icebox' (1981), Cloud Nine (1984) and The Enchanted Isle (1985) being published posthumously. However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.
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