Double Indemnity

  • by James M. Cain
  • Narrated by James Naughton
  • 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 1936, this novel reaffirmed James M. Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

a solid listen

Classic book from which the "film noir" of the same name is based. This is a story of seedy seduction, double dealing and intrigue leading to ultimate doom. Film ends quite a bit differently from the book, but bottom line is that these two main characters really deserve each other. This is a good presentation, capably read. I found it quite an entertaining listen and give it a solid recommendation.
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- Marv

3 ½ stars.

Not the kind of story I like to read, but it was different.

It’s probably above average for readers who like hard-boiled crime fiction noir.

It’s famous so I was curious. It’s told in first person by Walter Huff. At times he talks directly to the reader using the word “you.” Walter is an insurance salesman. He sounds like a good salesman – a smart guy. But he’s a dweeb or goof or something odd when it comes to love. He talks to a woman a couple times and claims he’s in love. Something happens and he is immediately out of love. He talks to another woman a couple times and says that is true love. And when he loves someone, murder is just something to do for them. Weird. But I like weird things.

Although, his murder motive is not just for love. Huff claims the big score appeals to him. And since he’s an insurance guy he knows how to get around the problems.

The main story is about two people planning a murder. They are the bad guys. We are never in the murder victim’s head. We are in the good guys’ heads just briefly – when we listen to insurance company executives discuss the insurance claim. That part was a little boring.

I did not like the ending. It was disappointing and vague. I had to make assumptions. It was bad news for the bad guys, so I suppose that makes it a happy ending for good guys. But I wanted something more.

This was written in 1935-36. There’s something neat about the dialogue. The writer did not grow up watching TV, movies, etc. So he sounds different from contemporary writers. I liked it. There is a directness about it.

It is a third the length of a regular novel.

James Naughton was excellent.

Genre: crime fiction.
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- Jane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-24-2005
  • Publisher: HarperAudio