Free kindle Double IndemnityAuthor James M. Cain – Albawater.co

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 , this novel reaffirmed James M Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir


10 thoughts on “Double Indemnity

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    I had killed a man, for money and a woman I didn t have the money and I didn t have the woman One of the great Noir lines of all time Cain wrote it Raymond Chandler used it in the movie I could stop my review right here because that line sums up the movie perfectly.But I can t I love writing about books.Walter Huff met a woman A married woman, a woman Huff would be willing to turn himself inside out if that would insure her love Her name is Phyllis and she has a thought, not even a plan I had killed a man, for money and a woman I didn t have the money and I didn t have the woman One of the great Noir lines of all time Cain wrote it Raymond Chandler used it in the movie I could stop my review right here because that line sums up the movie perfectly.But I can t I love writing about books.Walter Huff met a woman A married woman, a woman Huff would be willing to turn himself inside out if that would insure her love Her name is Phyllis and she has a thought, not even a plan, just a thought of what she would like to do about her husband Fred MacMurray and Barbara StanwyckMuch has been made of Phyllis being a femme fatale, maybe even one of the most viperous examples in history It has been a while since I ve seen the movie and maybe Stanwyck does portray Phyllis muchdeviously manipulative than what I found the book Phyllis to be Now I m not saying she is an angel I m just saying she ran into a guy that even surprised himself with what he was willing to do with the hope of getting the girl.Huff has made a career out of reading people and when he meets Phyllis she asks him a handful of suggestive questions and the guy is already formulating a full blown plan for insurance fraud He has been in the insurance game for a long time and he knows about every angle ever thought up by anyone to try and pull one over on an insurance company He is uniquely qualified to formulate the perfect scam.I don t like insurance Life insurance they are betting I live I m betting I die It is kind of crazy if you give it much thought Car insurance they are betting I don t get in an accident I m betting that I do The industry has convinced us to bet against ourselves and pay for the privilege And yet, even though I m aware of the situation, I pay thousands of dollars of insurance premiums every year to insure one disaster doesn t sink the ship Walter Huff would love stopping by to see me Huff is so intent on the details of this insurance rip off that he never learns much about Phyllis He doesn t even really seem to care about why she would be interested in killing her husband She is the bunny and he is the greyhound running around the track There is no hesitation about Huff He leaps at the chance to help Phyllis get the insurance money I m not sure what wasimportant to him pulling off the perfect swindle my vote or winning the girl James M CainCrisp, wonderful writing with pitch perfect dialogue My recommendation is read the book and then watch the movie, a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon At least 18 films have been made from James M Cain novels and stories Besides this novel he wrote two other novels that are not only considered noir fiction classics, but also translated well to film, The Postman Always Rings Twiceand Mildred Pierce In college I took a film and novel class and Mildred Pierce was one of the books movies on the syllabus One of the most enjoyable classes I ever took I love the combination of two different art forms I generally like the book better because there is usuallydepth to the characters andsubplots can be incorporated into the flow of the novel Film is restricted by length, but when they get it right they really get it right I try, as best I can, to judge books and movies from books on separate scales Even a movie that butchers the original source material can be a great movie In the case of James M Cain because he wrote such great dialogue Hollywood did not have to deviate far from his original intentions Highly recommended If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. Alejandro Alejandro says:

    Double as good BOOK TO FILM I watched the film adaptation of Double Indemnity and I loved it I think that the look of the actress Barbara Stanwyck is the very definition of a femme fatale I am aware of other great examples like Rita Hayworth in Gilda, Lana Turner in The Postman always rings twice or Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep to name a few, but when the term of femme fatale comes to mind, the image of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity is my first thought.When I watched for the f Double as good BOOK TO FILM I watched the film adaptation of Double Indemnity and I loved it I think that the look of the actress Barbara Stanwyck is the very definition of a femme fatale I am aware of other great examples like Rita Hayworth in Gilda, Lana Turner in The Postman always rings twice or Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep to name a few, but when the term of femme fatale comes to mind, the image of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity is my first thought.When I watched for the first time the movie, it was shocking to see Fred MacMurray in this kind of movie, he did it masterfully, but my previous experience with him in acting was pretty much with his work on Disney related films like The Shaggy Dog and The Absent Minded Professor, so imagine my shock watching him in such dark role.I think that it was odd that Raymond Chandler was the selected one to co work on the script adaptation for this novel written by James M Cain The film adaptation was well done, but the story is pretty much the same, with some minor exceptions like changing the last names of the main characters, so I don t see why not to hire James M Cain to adapt his own work GREED MEETS LUST Double Indemnity is a quick reading and quite entertaining.Walter Huff, an Insurance Agent, really good at his job, meets a married woman, Phyillis Nirdlingler, and they plot to kill her husband for getting the juicy payment of a double indemnity insurance policy Keyes, an agent in the Insurance Company in charge of checking any foul play in the collection of insurances payments will be a real hound to be sure that everything sounds okay in the case.Maybe my only complain about the story is that Huff is too fast convinced to be involved in the murder plot Yes, Phyllis is described like a sexy lady, but I think that only lust isn t enough motivation for a character like Walter Huff to agree so quick When the story evolves, you will know that this isn t the first rodeo of Phyllis, so it s quite believable that she would be thinking about a way to break off from her husband but with getting a big amount of money for her own in the process.However, Walter is described as hard working, with many years in the insurance business, there isn t any evidence that he had been a ladies man in the past, or even having debts for any reason Also, Walter isn t a fresh young boy, but a mature man, where if he didn t do anything illegal before, it s quite odd to start to do felonies then So, okay, I admit that we, men, don t think well when a sexy woman is around, but one thing is to do some small foolishness to impress a lady and quite another to commit a crime, not only an insurance fraud but also a murder The novel is based on a real life incident, so yes, we, men, are such stupid I am not saying that we aren t able to do such kind of things, only I comment that the character of Walter Huff, in the novel, lacks of a some convincing reason to agree so dang fast to get deep in misdeed.Another factor that I enjoyed about the book is that while it s clearly a noir story, instead of having a private detective as the main character, the story doesn t have any private detective at all Sure, Keyes does many investigative work in his position in the Insurance Company, but he s not a private detective and also, the story is told from the point of view of the culprit ones Double Indemnity is a smart story, with an engaging narrative, showing the dark side of human nature and how a couple can coldy design, step by step, the perfect way to murder a person in order to get money, and how the chaos of real life is ruthless with everybody, good or bad


  3. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Double indemnity , James Mallahan CainDouble Indemnity is a 1943 crime novel, written by American journalist turned novelist James M Cain Walter Huff, an insurance agent, falls for the married Phyllis Nirdlinger, who consults him about accident insurance for her unsuspecting husband In spite of his instinctual decency, and intrigued by the challenge of committing the perfect murder, Walter is seduced into helping the femme fatale kill her husband for the insurance money After killing him in Double indemnity , James Mallahan CainDouble Indemnity is a 1943 crime novel, written by American journalist turned novelist James M Cain Walter Huff, an insurance agent, falls for the married Phyllis Nirdlinger, who consults him about accident insurance for her unsuspecting husband In spite of his instinctual decency, and intrigued by the challenge of committing the perfect murder, Walter is seduced into helping the femme fatale kill her husband for the insurance money After killing him in the Nirdlinger car, they stage an accident from the rear platform of a train But they cannot enjoy their success The crime backfires on them, and soon afterwards, with the insurance company s claim manager Barton Keyes becomingandsuspicious of them, he decides to kill her, toofor what she knew about me, and because the world isn t big enough for two people once they ve got something like that on each otherWith her own distrust mounting, Phyllis also decides to kill her accomplice One night, he tries to ambush her, but she forestalls him and shoots at him, instead He survives, though, and the end sees both of them on a steamship heading to Mexico Keyes has given them an ostensible chance to escape formal justice by booking their passages without them knowing about the other 20131390 151 9786002290250 201397 108 9786004366724


  4. Kemper Kemper says:

    What is it with this James Cain First, I tried reading The Postman Always Rings Twice to prepare for my civil service exam, but it was all about murder and didn t have anything at all about postal regulations Then I read Double Indemnity to try and become an insurance agent and once again, it s nothing but a guy getting busy with another man s wife and then plotting to kill him At least this one actually had some stuff about the insurance industry, and I did learn a bit about fraud Still, it What is it with this James Cain First, I tried reading The Postman Always Rings Twice to prepare for my civil service exam, but it was all about murder and didn t have anything at all about postal regulations Then I read Double Indemnity to try and become an insurance agent and once again, it s nothing but a guy getting busy with another man s wife and then plotting to kill him At least this one actually had some stuff about the insurance industry, and I did learn a bit about fraud Still, it was mostly about murder This Cain must have had a lot of problems Or maybe these books shouldn t have been shelved with the study guides at the library


  5. Stephen Stephen says:

    Ooh la lathe femme fatale Intelligent, gorgeous, self assured and drenched in enough sexual allure to stop a heart at 50 paces These cold, calculating foxes are nature s consummate predators, guaranteed to ensnare any man by his short and curlies faster and tighter than a rusty zipper In fact, the only adversarylikely to separate a man from his giblets is the femme bot toting high caliber machine gun jubblies Well, Double Indemnity has one of the most memorable of these vile Ooh la lathe femme fatale Intelligent, gorgeous, self assured and drenched in enough sexual allure to stop a heart at 50 paces These cold, calculating foxes are nature s consummate predators, guaranteed to ensnare any man by his short and curlies faster and tighter than a rusty zipper In fact, the only adversarylikely to separate a man from his giblets is the femme bot toting high caliber machine gun jubblies Well, Double Indemnity has one of the most memorable of these vile, vexing vixens and central character Walter Huff is played like a string quartet by this virtuoso of diabolicalness Walter s an insurance salesman who finds himself involved in a plot with a rich man s wife to ice hubby and collect on the life insurance The title comes from the 2X payout for accidental death caused by a train All aboardAt the risk of sounding oxymoronical, Walter comes across as a decent bloke provided you discount the positively reprehensible actions in which he finds himself a willing and active participant Unfortunately, and despite being crafty and very intelligent in his own right, Walter s in way over his hairline and is eggs and buttered toast minus the butter and eggs from the opening act However, his lack of a moral compass and unwillingness to second guess his actions makes him less than sympathetic As far as the pacing, taut and gripping doesn t begin to describe the breakneck speed of this masterful tale At a scant 128 pages, this story is sleek, fast and corners like it s on rails, glueing you to your seat from the get go Cain s sparse, detached prose is quintessential noir and he stays in complete command of his verse as he deftly navigates the plot But all of a sudden, she looked at me, and I felt a chill creep straight up my back and into the roots of my hair Do you handle accident insuranceSpeaking of the plot, that is where this story really knocks it out of the park It is pitch perfect As detailed, intricate and well crafted a plot as I have witnessed in my time with crime fiction and I was awed by how on cue every element of the story wasA most unintended pun. My one and only gripe in this otherwise mouth watering bowl of yummy.not enough emotional wreckage Call it sick and twisted, but one of the dark, guilty pleasures of a good piece of noiry nastiness is when the dumb lug with a heart of gold and brains of formica realizes he s been washed, pressed and folded by the Kathleen Turner Sharon Stone Lauren Becall esque villainess Well, because of Walter s own ethical deficiencies, the pay off is not as sadistically satisfying as it would have been if Walter had been truly worthy of sympathy He just had a little too much scum in his bag to truly garner much sympathy Don t get me wrong, Walter s character is superbly drawn and he brings an interesting emotional dynamic to the story, I just wasn t as emotionally invested in him as I ve been with other lead characters that had a better allotment of decency to be twisted by the powers of evil Still, this is just about as good as it gets for noir crime fiction and this is oh so rightfully considered one of the pillars of the genre.5.0 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION P.S Now I m off to watch the movie which, sad as it sounds, I have never seen


  6. Julie Julie says:

    It s obvious that James M Cain was a man who didn t believe in foreplay.Foreplay Nah The broads don t need any of that aggravation.Just open the door, introduce yourself, maybe buy the dame a drink, then BAM Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nuts.Set a man nuts, and kill her husband, too Sure, why not Bada bing, bada boom But, wait Turns out the job was sloppy and the doll s a wench That s all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate.Ah, Mr Cain knows how to cu It s obvious that James M Cain was a man who didn t believe in foreplay.Foreplay Nah The broads don t need any of that aggravation.Just open the door, introduce yourself, maybe buy the dame a drink, then BAM Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nuts.Set a man nuts, and kill her husband, too Sure, why not Bada bing, bada boom But, wait Turns out the job was sloppy and the doll s a wench That s all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate.Ah, Mr Cain knows how to cut right to the chase Always.And, even though foreplay can be so appealing in far better developed novels, I find that I don t need it here I can t quite explain it, but I can crunch up these hardboiled crime fiction novels like pieces of hard candy.They remind me that reading can be so damn fun Like, blowing bubbles with a giant wad of gum in your mouth fun Like, pink bubble gum fun Three stars when compared to The Postman Always Rings Twice and Mildred Pierce


  7. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    The novel begins with first person narrator Walter Huff reflecting back on the sequence of events that started when he remembered a renewal over in Hollywoodland We read That was how I came to this House of Death, that you ve been reading about in the papers It didn t look like a House of Death when I saw it It was just a Spanish house, like all the rest of them in California This sense of foreboding hangs over each and every sentence Alert my review contains what could be considered sp The novel begins with first person narrator Walter Huff reflecting back on the sequence of events that started when he remembered a renewal over in Hollywoodland We read That was how I came to this House of Death, that you ve been reading about in the papers It didn t look like a House of Death when I saw it It was just a Spanish house, like all the rest of them in California This sense of foreboding hangs over each and every sentence Alert my review contains what could be considered spoilers Turns out Walter Huff is an insurance salesman who wants to beat the insurance Industry at its own game Walter sees the whole world of insurance as a roulette wheel, and since he can see its inner workings from behind the scene, he wants to play the wheel and cash in However, Walter needs a partner, that is, an outside plant, a customer willing to join him in playing the game, in placing a bet, in putting the chips down in a gamble to commit a murder that will look like suicide so he and his partner can collect big time, double indemnity, on the life insurance policy.Walter finds his plant in Phyllis who lives with her husband and stepdaughter in that Spanish house in Hollywoodland, a house looking like all the others But what a plant Little does Walter know Phyllis is a flesh and blood embodiment of the goddess of death the energy of the universe that s fierce, dark and chaotic, the energy of the universe that is your worst nightmare Phyllis isthan happy to join Walter in killing her husband to collect the money Of course, for Phyllis, killing her husband is much, muchthan just murder and collecting from the insurance company Phyllis loves the killing.The writing is tight, compressed and filled to the verbal brim with tension Here is an example of Walter Huff s reflection There s nothing so dark as a railroad track in the middle of the night The train shot ahead, and I crouched there, waiting for the tingle to leave my feet I had dropped off the left side of the train, into the footpath between the tracks, so there wouldn t be any chance I could be seen from the highway Hard boiled noir, anyone With Cain we have clear cut, penetrating character descriptions Here is Huff describing one of the men he must deal with at his insurance company Keyes is head of the Claims Department, a holdover from the old regime, and the way he tell it young Norton the company president never does anything right He s big and fat and peevish, and on top of that he s a theorist, and it makes your head ache to be around him, but he s the best claims man on the Coast, and he was the one I was afraid of The end of the novel has Phyllis covering her face in chalk white with black circles under her eyes and with red on her lips and cheeks, rapped in a hideous red silk scarf, all ready to jump to her death from the ship she s traveling on into the ocean, to jump at night and be torn apart by sharks under a full moon Walter, who is also on the ship, tells Phyllis he himself will join her in jumping from the ship under a full moon to be torn apart by sharks Walter finally understands this is what happens when you have evil intentions and ask the goddess of death to be your partner in crime Double Indemnity is James M Cain s unforgettable, one of a kind classic


  8. Carol Carol says:

    OMG I cannot believe the endingPlain old downright great entertainment here from beginning to end with Cain s story of how to commit the perfect murder. While I was totally engrossed in the telling, there were a couple of times I had to stretch my imagination a bit, but I loved it just the same, and oh that endingraised my rating up a whole star


  9. Megan Johnson Megan Johnson says:

    To be honest with you, this book wasn t even on my radar I was having lunch with someone when we got around to talking about my love for Crime Mystery Fiction and they suggested this as their favorite of those type books Lo and behold, they have a copy of it and I read it that very day At only a little over 100 pages, it s easy to read and the fast pace of it makes it all fly by Oh, and not to mention that it really is that good Double Indemnity is about an insurance salesman who meets a wo To be honest with you, this book wasn t even on my radar I was having lunch with someone when we got around to talking about my love for Crime Mystery Fiction and they suggested this as their favorite of those type books Lo and behold, they have a copy of it and I read it that very day At only a little over 100 pages, it s easy to read and the fast pace of it makes it all fly by Oh, and not to mention that it really is that good Double Indemnity is about an insurance salesman who meets a woman interested in taking out accidental insurance on her husband His attraction to her clouds his usual judgement and next thing he knows he s wrapped up in a murder plot that just might do him in But it s not as simple as that It rarely ever is, right As love and loyalty to one s work complicated things even , this story becomes all that muchexciting There s affairs, death, family troubles,death, love, DEATHyeah, it s good I wasn t expecting to read this book, but it s going to be remembered as one of my all time favorites thanks to my friend randomly recalling a book they read back in college Brains are weird What did I think I was pleasantly surprised by this story and couldn t put it down until I knew how it all ended Thankfully I had a rainy Saturday and a broken leg so I could afford to get lost in a story like this Who should read it If you like crime and or mysteries, or eventhe femme fatale style of writing then I think you ll enjoy this one Apparently many people read this back in school, have seen the movie or the play version I had not, sadly and reading back through it as an adult made it all that muchenjoyable I highly recommend it, especially if you re looking for an action packed, easy read WEBSITE TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM


  10. Joe Valdez Joe Valdez says:

    James M Cain shoots onto my list of favorite authors with Double Indemnity Appearing in serial format in Liberty magazine in 1936, Cain s tale was published as a novella in 1943 and became the source material for a film classic adapted by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler and directed by Wilder the following year The text is short, poisonously sweet and became the model for much film noir to come, with a devilish dame snaring a useful dope in her web of deceit and murder Only the eras and in James M Cain shoots onto my list of favorite authors with Double Indemnity Appearing in serial format in Liberty magazine in 1936, Cain s tale was published as a novella in 1943 and became the source material for a film classic adapted by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler and directed by Wilder the following year The text is short, poisonously sweet and became the model for much film noir to come, with a devilish dame snaring a useful dope in her web of deceit and murder Only the eras and instruments change and though set in L.A against the insurance tables of the 30s, Cain writes as if he spit this out on his Mac.The story is narrated by Walter Huff, an agent of General Fidelity of California and to hear him tell it, one of the best at what he does Walter pays an unscheduled call on his client H.S Nirdlinger, an oil company executive in Hollywoodland whose automobile coverage is expiring Smooth enough to get past the maid, Walter is greeted by the lady of the house, Phyllis Nirdlinger, donned in blue house pajamas and a shape to set a man nuts Libido isn t the only thing Phyllis triggers, inquiring about taking out accident insurance on her husband, accident being the type of policy that only someone who believes their loved one is about to have an accident would request.Unable to get around Phyllis when it comes to selling her husband insurance products, Walter is summoned three nights later after the maid has gone home and Mr Nirdlinger is out She again asks about taking out an accident policy on her husband Walter s fifteen years in the business tells him exactly what she s asking One thing leads to another and when Phyllis visits Walter at his place in Los Feliz, he confronts her about her intention to arrange an accident for her husband Feigning shock initially, Phyllis comes around to discussing her ideas with the insurance agent, who thinking with the wrong organ, offers to helpAll right, how are you going to do it I was going to take out the policy first Without him knowing Yes Holy smoke, they d have crucified you It s the first thing they look for Well anyway that s out What else He s going to build a swimming pool In the spring Out in the patio And I thought it could be made to look as though he hit his head diving or something That s out That s still worse Why People do, don t they It s no good In the first place, some fool in the insurance business, five or six years ago, put out a newspaper story that most accidents happen in people s own bathtubs, and since then bathtubs, swimming pools, and fishponds are the first thing they think of When they re trying to pull something, I mean There s two cases like that out here in California right now Neither one of them are on the up and up, and if there s been an insurance angle those people would wind up on the gallows Then it s a daytime job, and you never can tell who s peeping at you from the next hill Then a swimming pool is like a tennis court, you no sooner have one than it s a community affair, and you don t know who might come popping in on you at any minute And then it s one of those things where you ve got to watch for your chance, and you can t plan it in advance, and know where you re going to come out to the last decimal point Get this, Phyllis There s three essential elements to a successful murder That word was out before I knew it I looked at her quick I thought she d wince under it She didn t She leaned forward The firelight was reflected in her eyes like she was some kind of leopard Go on I m listening After spending a night or two determining that Phyllis hasn t done anything that would land her in trouble if Mr Nirdlinger were to meet with an accident, Walter makes an appointment with her to discuss accident insurance for her husband, asking her in advance to provide a witness To his displeasure, Phyllis has her stepdaughter Lola present The idea of getting the daughter of the man they re planning to murder involved with their plot leaves a bad taste in his mouth, but Walter plunges ahead The man he s most worried about is Keyes, head of the claims department at General Fidelity, tiresome, but a wolf on a phony claim Walter proposes to Phyllis that her husband meet his end in a railroad accident, explaining that the odds against such a claim are so high that his company would pay off double, 50,000, in what s known as double indemnity To the surprise of no reader, there are complications Phyllis explains that her husband dislikes taking the train Then, Walter receives an office visit from Lola, who inquires about her boyfriend applying for a loan against his car Walter doesn t let his feelings for the sweet girl deter his plot against her father Fate intervenes when Mr Nirdlinger, scheduled to leave town for a class reunion, breaks his leg Phyllis talks him into booking passage on the train The perfect murder ensues The young owner of General Fidelity suspects suicide and plans to challenge the claim in court Keyes insists this is the wrong call because in his view, Mr Nirdlinger was murdered and thinks he might be able to prove it Keeping his distance from Phyllis, Walter spends personal time with Lola and learns that accidental death seems to follow Phyllis Nirdlinger around Lola intends to testify to what she knows at the inquest That leads Walter to a logical conclusion I don t know when I decided to kill Phyllis It seemed to me that ever since that night, somewhere in the back of my head I had known I would have to kill her, for what she knew about me, and because the world isn t big enough for two people once they ve got something like that on each other But I know when I decided whento kill her, and whereto kill her and howto kill her It was right after that night when I was watching the moon come up over the ocean with Lola Because the idea that Lola would put on an act like that in the courtroom, and that then Phyllis would lash out and tell her the truth, that was too horrible for me to think about Maybe I haven t explained it right, yet, how I felt about this girl Lola It wasn t anything like what I had felt for Phyllis That was some kind of unhealthy excitement that came over me just at the sight of her This wasn t anything like that It was just a sweet peace that came over me as soon as I was with her, like when we would drive along for an hour without saying a word, and then she would look up at me and we still didn t have to say anything I hated what I had done, and it kept sweeping over me that if there was any way I could make sure she would never find out, why then maybe I could marry her, and forget the whole thing, and be happy with her the rest of my life There was only one way I could be sure, and that was to get rid of anybody that knew What she told me about Sachetti showed there was only one I had to get rid of, and that was Phyllis And the rest of what she told me, about what she was going to do, meant I had to move quick, before that suit came to trial.It s so often difficult for me to relate to the fiction published before my birth Not only has the world changed, but our attitudes and relationships with each other have evolved as a result James M Cain is one of those writers who digs deep, excavating lust, greed, the office, fear, love These never become pass The changes in topography to Los Angeles or to technology the lengths Walter goes to make sure no one telephoned or rang his doorbell on the night of the murder are precious add to the charm of the novel as opposed to making it feel old Much of the novel seems like it could ve been written yesterday instead of 1936 You think I m nuts All right, maybe I am But you spend fifteen years in the business I m in, you ll go nuts yourself You think it s a business, don t you, just like your business, and maybe a little better than that, because it s the friend of the widow, the orphan, and the needy in time of trouble It s not It s the biggest gambling wheel in the world It don t look like it, but it is, from the way they figure the percentage on the 00 to the look on their face when they cash your chips You bet that your house will burn down, they bet it won t, that s all What fools you is that you didn t wantyour house to burn down when you made the bet, and so you forget it s a bet That don t fool them To them a bet is a bet, and a hedge bet don t look any different than any other bet But there comes a time, maybe, when you dowant your house to burn down, when the money is worththan the house And right there is where the trouble starts They know there s just so many people out there that are out to crook that wheel, and that s when they get tough They ve got their spotters out there, they know every crooked trick there is, and if you want to beat them you had better be good So long as you re honest, they ll pay you with a smile, and you may even go home thinking it was all in the spirit of good clean fun But start something, and then you ll find out.By electing to have Walter narrate the tale, Phyllis s voice does take a backseat Far from a full throttled femme fatale propelling the story forward as they have in film, we only see of Phyllis what Walter does, which seems like it s through his white T shirt as it s coming off Her misdeeds aren t discovered as much as they re dumped on him by Lola But that same narration by Walter gives the novel remarkable momentum, black wit and panache These virtues were abundant in the 1944 film, in which Billy Wilder cast likable stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as the low down dirty killers and movie mobster Edward G Robinson as the virtuous Keyes.Length 38,130 words