THREE OF A KIND. James M. Cain.


New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943. First Edition. First publication in book format of three short novels: Career in C Major, The Embezzler, and Double Indemnity. Because screenwriting in Hollywood occasionally dried up, Cain often found himself in need of money; Double Indemnity was written during one of those dry periods. Cain worked quickly to finish this tale of sex, murder, and insurance fraud set in California, and managed to sell it to Liberty Magazine for $5,000, where it ran as an eight-part serial in 1936. The serial was sensationally popular, reportedly adding eight million to the circulation of Liberty (Hoopes, p.303). Basis for Billy Wilder's 1944 film noir, with a screenplay by Raymond Chandler, starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edward G. Robinson. The Dark Page, Vol.1, pp.44-45; Hubin, p.61; Pronzini & Muller, pp.106-107. Item #3633

First Printing. Octavo (20.25cm); rust-colored cloth, with titling and decorations stamped in gilt on spine and author's initials in blind to front cover; maroon topstain; dustjacket; xx,327,[5]pp. Base of spine gently nudged, else a fresh, Fine copy, with a bright, unfaded topstain. In the second issue dustjacket, with upper corner of front flap clipped, rubber-stamped price of $2.50 to lower right corner, and rear panel printing a two-paragraph statement by Cain regarding war bonds; light wear and a few tiny tears to extremities, with gentle sunning to spine and front panel; Very Good+.

Price: $850.00

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