Literature and film buffs will be delighted by this collection of pulp novels, most of which were made into important films. James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice
is a literary masterpiece with its spare prose invoking a savage, sexy, desperate world. It inspired no less than three great movies: Luchino Visconti's classic Ossessione
, in 1942; the 1946 remake
, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner and directed by the extraordinary Tay Garnett; and Bob Rafelson's underrated 1981 version
with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. When you read the magnificent source for these movies, you'll be astonished at how three different incarnations could all, in their own ways, be faithful to the novel.
Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man also became three movies: No Man of Her Own, with Barbara Stanwyk; the French I Married a Shadow; and the American comedy, Mrs. Winterborne, which starred Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake. Edward Anderson's vivid Thieves Like Us was transformed into They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's first important movie and one of the seminal noir films of the 1940s. It was brilliantly remade in 1974 by the great revisionist director Robert Altman. Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock was transformed into a marvelous film starring Charles Laughton; 40 years later, the same source, retitled No Way Out, brought Kevin Costner to stardom. William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley was the source for Tyrone Power's best movie; Horace McCoy's experimental They Shoot Horses, Don't They? became one of the seminal films of the 1960s.
These dark, evocative novels, when taken together, are a fascinating study of how words can inspire a magnificent variety of cinematic images and styles.
From Library Journal
The Library of America gave a tremendous boost to the reputation of hard-boiled detective fiction with the inclusion of Raymond Chandler among its illustrious ranks (Classic Returns, LJ 9/15/95). This new two-volume set is another giant step in the direction of legitimacy for the pulp mystery genre. This duo collect 11 of the best crime novels in which the criminal rather than the sleuth is the central character. Included here are such gems as James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man, Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Chester Himes's The Real Cool Killers. These tales of murder and mayhem belong in all fiction collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.