Re: RARA-AVIS: The Cain Line

From: Richard Moore (
Date: 06 Dec 2004

I agree with what's been said about the importance of Cain and his influence. There are several factors that have worked against his reputation. Long after his best work was done, he continued to write and publish inferior novels. Secondly, I think he dissed the field by denying any kinship...and this when he was sending short stories to Manhunt, not all of which were accepted.

Charles Williams, Gil Brewer, some of JDM and Thompson, Harry Whittington, really, the Gold Medal line of PBOs was heavily indebted to Cain.

Richard Moore
--- In, "Bill Crider" <bcrider@h...> wrote:
> Juri said: ". . .the line coming from James M. Cain is more
> than the line coming from Hammett and Chandler. We wouldn't have
> Thompson, we wouldn't have Day Keene's and Gil Brewer's best works
etc. The
> other line has lots of crappy imitators, full of empty PI bubble
> overdose of similes and supposedly funny lines."
> We wouldn't have Charles Williams, for sure. Oddly enough, John
> MacDonald's most Cain-influenced novel, WEEP FOR ME, is one that
he didn't
> like and wouldn't allow to be reprinted except once. Maybe he
thought it
> was too much like Cain. CLEMMIE is another one that seems
influenced by
> Cain, but maybe MacDonald liked that one better. I think it was
> often.
> Bill Crider

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Dec 2004 EST