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Ebook The Magician's Wife by James M. Cain read! Book Title: The Magician's Wife
The author of the book: James M. Cain
Edition: Dell
Date of issue: 1966
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 489 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.4

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Double Indemnity is one of my all-time favorite movies. This has the same elements--greed, lust, murder. In fact, this one would probably make a cracker-jack film, too. On the page, though, something doesn't quite work for me.

Clay Lockwood is a big-shot in the meat business. He meets Sally Gorsuch and before the day is out they're in the midst of a passionate affair and Clay is proposing that she leave her adulterous husband. But Sally has her eyes on the prize--when her father-in-law dies, her magician husband will inherit millions. Clay thinks Sally means to bring about this inheritence without waiting for nature to take his course...and her mother, Grace, has similar worries. Grace secretly meets with Clay to egg him on, hoping that if he can persuade Sally to leave her husband then murder can be avoided. And this is one of the weird-ish elements of the story--Clay propositions Grace, too. Trying to bag a daughter and her mom is just unsavory.

Clay thinks he has Sally convinced to divorce her husband. However, that very night her father-in-law dies--it looks like he choked on a peanut, but Clay is pretty sure that Sally smothered him. Her husband is pretty sure, too. He persuades the police to investigate, but nothing can be proved.

Sally's vengeful nature has been aroused, however. As far as she's concerned, her husband deserves to die for trying to rat her out to the cops. She and Clay plot to kill Alec in a not-so-accidental car accident.

Sally stays home and invites her mother and two other women over to serve as an alibi. Clay contrives a more circumstantial alibi for himself--conspicuously checking in with the switchboard operator at his apartment, arranging to have his car sent out for repairs, and making and receiving phone calls.

When he runs Alec off the road, he hears a female scream; Alec's magic assistant and lover was also in the car. Clay is first hit by guilt, thinking he has killed the girl, and then he's hit with panic when he reads in the paper that Buster not only isn't dead, she believes she saw the license number of the car that hit her.

Clay and Sally are finished; she doesn't intend to go down for murder and makes it clear that she'll throw Clay under the bus if it comes to that. Clay realizes that it's Grace he loves, and he quickly marries his lover's mom. He tells Grace everything, and she agrees to stand by him.

Clay keeps expecting the police at his door, but it turns out that the license number Buster thinks she saw was Sally's. But Sally's alibi holds up, and now nothing will satisfy her except seeing Buster convicted. Once the police discover that Alec had taken out a life insurance policy to benefit Buster, they come around to Sally's way of thinking.

Clay and Grace do everything they can to keep Buster from being convicted. First they pay for her lawyer, and then Clay agrees to testify; after all, he was waiting near the parking lot of the club where Alec and Buster did their magic act, and he overheard the final fight they had before the crash. He knows that she didn't, as one witness claimed, threaten to kill Alec. But the police have already checked out his "alibi" and are persuaded that he was at home, not at the club. Buster is convicted of manslaughter.

Clay decides he must confess. He types his confession and drops it in the mail. One final copy he takes with him to Sally's home. First he tells her that he's turning himself in, then he strangles her, and then he jumps to his death from the roof of the building.

Not bad, except for the love triangle. I couldn't figure out why he wanted to be with Sally in the first place, and once I had decided to just go with it, I couldn't figure out why he would go after her mom. I think in a movie this might work better. Maybe if Sally were played by a suitably scrumptious actress and with Grace played by a slightly older but still delicious woman his divided attention would make sense.

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Ebook The Magician's Wife read Online! James Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the 'roman noir'.

He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer. He inherited his love for music from his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough.

After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W. Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun.

He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine. On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the 'New York World' and articles for 'American Mercury'. He also served briefly as the managing editor of 'The New Yorker', but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.

Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, 'Algiers', 'Stand Up and Fight', and 'Gypsy Wildcat'.

His first novel (he had already published 'Our Government' in 1930), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' was published in 1934. Two years later the serialized, in 'Liberty Magazine', 'Double Indemnity was published.

He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels: 'Serenade' (about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re-enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow), 'Mildred Pierce' (in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer) and 'Career in C Major', a short semi-comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.

He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, 'The Baby in the Icebox' (1981), Cloud Nine (1984) and The Enchanted Isle (1985) being published posthumously. However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.

Reviews of the The Magician's Wife


After reading this book, Your life will change!


Useful book, lots of information


This book will make you shudder, infiltrate, and change your mind about this crazy world.


The idea is great, but sometimes the text suffers


A charming book, a lot more!

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