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Double Indemnity | [James M. Cain]

Double Indemnity

Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. First published in 1936, this novel reaffirmed James M. Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir.
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Publisher's Summary

Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. First published in 1936, this novel reaffirmed James M. Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir.

©1936 James M. Cain; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (53 )
5 star
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4.7 (29 )
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Story
4.2 (29 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marv Lowell, MI, USA 10-25-06
    Marv Lowell, MI, USA 10-25-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a solid listen"

    Classic book from which the "film noir" of the same name is based. This is a story of seedy seduction, double dealing and intrigue leading to ultimate doom. Film ends quite a bit differently from the book, but bottom line is that these two main characters really deserve each other. This is a good presentation, capably read. I found it quite an entertaining listen and give it a solid recommendation.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Baltimore, MD, United States 06-12-13
    Alicia Baltimore, MD, United States 06-12-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cain, still the crime master!"

    Double Indemnity; when Cain is good, he is brilliant. Who else writes crime like this-sudden and gripping? Not word that doesn't drive the story forward with a you-are-thereness few writers can rival. Crime in Cain's novel is like an impulsive, illicit passion, when it's done, the partners separate in mutual disaffection. The intricate insurance scam and murder plot is masterful. Cain's style is odd yet apt and he can write dialogue with the real rhythm of speech and remarkably, Cain's language doesn't feel dated. I found that the terse, controlled tone of the narrator, James Naughton, exactly suited Walter Huff, telling us just how it was, his nightmare venture into crime.

    And Audible, bring us MORE of the fabulous James M. Cain!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 09-20-12
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 09-20-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another Classic"

    Cain is always good. And this is deservedly a noir classic. Like Postman, excellent and a lot accomplished in a short novel. Many writers could learn from his lean style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-28-13
    Ruth Los Angeles, CA, United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The performance was a bit BLAH"

    I'm a huge fan of this movie - it's one of my very favorites - so I was eager to give the source material a listen.

    Maybe I'm just spoiled by Fred MacMurray, but the performance on this was just very lackluster. So much so that I'm not sure I recommend you waste a credit on this title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 10-31-11
    James Springfield, MO, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Morals be gone"

    Written in 1936, this is one of those old fashioned novels in which the main character narrates to the reader. It is a cute form of writing and takes me back to my youth watching those old black and white detective movies. "Her dress was in the hollywood style and could not hide the body that was in it and she knew it." Not an exact quote but close. In this short novel the main character falls in love with two different women, based on looks alone. He kills for one woman who he barely knows. He is an insurance salesman who knows all the angels. He plans the murder and they carry it out. He does this to get $50,000. His only claim to the 50 would be if the wife wants to share. He does not seem to think this is a problem though. It is all very cleverly planned and carried out. Like in all murders, there are some twists and it seems he does not know his lover that well. Like in the Postman Always Rings Twice, which I liked better, he actually gets away with it, but ends up paying for it in the end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 10-06-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good book could have been better if it was longer."
    Where does Double Indemnity rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    maybe in the top half. i have read a lot of books. a lot of them were great.


    What did you like best about this story?

    i liked the fact the book had a conclusion. i hate when books leave you hanging.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the committing of the crime.


    Any additional comments?

    i think if this book was a little more detailed and not written in first person it would have been a five. it had a great plot.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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