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James M. Cain Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Double Indemnity (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Serenade (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Embezzler (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mildred Pierce (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Love's Lovely Counterfeit (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Past All Dishonor (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Butterfly (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sinful Woman (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moth (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Everybody Does It (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jealous Woman (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Root of His Evil (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Galatea (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mignon (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Magician's Wife (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rainbow's End (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Institute (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cloud Nine (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Enchanted Isle (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cocktail Waitress (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Bad Woman (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Career in C Major: And Other Fiction (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sixty Years of Journalism (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Pulp Frictions: Hardboiled Stories(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writing Los Angeles(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder On The Railways(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Los Angeles Noir 2(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Books to Die For(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

James M. Cain was an American novelist as well as journalist. He composed in the genre of crime fiction. He is acknowledged as being one of the many creators when it comes to ‘roman noir’.

Cain was born on July 1, 1892 in Annapolis, Maryland. His family was Irish Catholic and his parents were an opera singer and an educator. He was able to inherit a love of music from his singer mother. However, any hopes that he had of becoming a singer for his own career were somewhat dashed when he was told that his voice might not be good enough.

Cain attended Washington College. His father was also the president there. He found work in 1910 in journalism at the Baltimore Sun. The author ended up being drafted by the United States into the army. He would spend the last year of the first world war writing in France for the Army’s magazine.

When he returned back home again, James decided to continue his work in journalism. He wrote editorials for publications like New York World and articles for publications such as American Mercury. He briefly served The New Yorker as their managing editor. He eventually would end up turning to writing first screenplays and then move on to fiction.

He spent some time in Hollywood, writing screenplays while he was there. Cain achieved middling success during that time. His name appears on three films’ credits. Cain had his work published for the first time in 1930 with the release of Our Government. His first full length fictional novel came out four years later in 1934. Double Indemnity ended up being published after seeing life in print as a serialized story with Liberty Magazine. It was made into a movie in 1944 and a television movie in 1973. A multitude of his stories have been adapted for the screen, including Mildred Pierce.

He has always retained his love for opera and music. It has also been featured in a few of his stories. For instance, Serenade revolves around an American opera performer that ends up losing his voice and spends some of his life in a new place, then deciding to come back illegally with a woman from Mexico along with him. Mildred Pierce has a daughter of a business woman training to be an opera singer, and his somewhat comedic short novel is all about a husband of his aspiring wife that finds out he might have a voice that is better than hers.

Cain would continue to write up to the point of his passing. When he passed on October 27, 1977, he was 85 years old. The last three of his published works were published after his death. He had a long and varied career with plenty of early successes.

The Postman Always Rings Twice is the first fictional novel from James M. Cain and the inspiration for the famed novel The Stranger. If you are interested in mysteries and suspenseful stories that have plenty of twists, then check out this novel to check out every word of this violent and engagingly passionate story for yourself!

Postman would also be made into a riveting feature length movie that has since become a classic. The 1946 movie starred the dynamic pair of Lana Turner and Garfield in a black and white full length feature film that had movie goers flocking to the theater to see it. The movie also was revived in 1981 into a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. It has been adapted into plays, radio dramas, and an opera as well.

The Postman is a must read for any fan of the noir genre. It is a fever pitch story of a driver that ends up stumbling his way into getting a job, and then erotic obsession, and then finally murder. This is where readers get to meet Cora and Frank, the iconic couple, for the first time. This is the book that influenced as well as inspired crime writers for a generation.

The book was met with a bit of criticism and concern when it first was published. This was thanks to an unusually high amount of sexuality and violence, especially for the time frame. Some critics shunned it and it was even temporarily banned in placed like Boston. The book eventually was too original and popular to be resisted for too long and eventually became a classic crime novel regarded as one of the best of the entire twentieth century.

A man named Frank Chambers comes into town one day. He doesn’t have much more in his thoughts happening other than lining up the next meal he’s going to have. As a result, he ends up in a diner by the side of the road, a quaint place. He talks with the diner’s owner for a while and somehow finds that he has gotten himself a job.

It isn’t too long before Frank finds out that he has an attraction to Cora, the wife of the owner. He does not ignore his feelings and eventually the attraction grows to an all out affair. The two of them also start conspiring together, planning to try and kill her husband off and then leave to travel elsewhere.

Cora and Frank are both slaves to their lust and willing to sink to low levels to get what they want. Full of their desire, they both buy into the idea of going on the road and living freely. If Cora could just get rid of her spouse, maybe she would finally be happy. Will the two of them succeed in their devious plans? Read this book to find out!

Serenade is the second book from James M. Cain. The main character of John Sharp is in big trouble. He was in Rigoletto in Mexico when he glimpsed Juana for the first time. When he meets her, he is convinced that together they can find a way to return to the states.

The prostitute will go with him. John thinks he can start up his career again, going back to Hollywood and New York. It’s a great plan, but will it go wrong when Winston Hawes comes into his life again? Read this book to find out!

Book Series In Order » Authors » James M. Cain

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