A classic mystery novel by James M. Cain
, published in 1934, which went on to become a classic film noir
flick starring Lana Turner
(looking amazing as usual) and John Garfield
. This was Cain’s first novel of what would be many and is also said to have been the inspiration for Camus
’ “The Stranger
.” The book is on the list of the Modern Library’s 100 best fiction novels.
Plot: Hitchhiker Frank Chambers wanders into a roadside restuarant in California, which is run by a Greek man and his young wife (Turner). The man offers him a job, and quickly Chambers begins an affair with Turner’s character once he begins working there. The couple long to break free from the place and end up getting themselves into a few cold-blooded activities.
I have yet to read the book, which is said to be very quite sexually graphic for the 1930s, though I saw the movie several years ago and thought it was pretty decent. (Slightly predictable.) The book, however, proved quite influential in its time for crime fiction writers. A re-make, which I have not seen, was made in 1981 and starred Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.
Other books by James M. Cain include:
“For Men Only”
“The Root of His Evil”
“The Magician’s Wife”