Novelist whose violent, sexually obsessed, and relentlessly paced melodramas epitomized the hard-boiled fiction that flourished in the U.S. in the 1930s and '40s. Three of his novels - The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), Double Indemnity (1936), and Mildred Pierce (1941) - were also made into classics of the American screen. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice
(1934), is probably his most sought after title. Jacketed copies can range widely in price, from the low thousands, up to an imposing figure if in truly beautiful condition. His novel Serenade
(1937), comes in two color variant jackets - primarily either purple (in our experience the scarcer) or red. As the basis for a very good movie, Mildred Pierce
(1941), ("everything you ever wanted to know about chicken" according to our colleague Peter Stern) has of late attracted some serious collecting interest. Cain's first book, Our Government
(1930), comes in two variant jackets - one with a large dollar sign (generally adjudged the first issued) and the other illustrated with the portrait of a bloated plutocrat. Curiously, no one seems to care much about this book, although I think it's a mistake - it is scarce, particularly in nice condition.
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