James M. Cain wrote some of the grittiest novels in American literature, including such classics as The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce. James M. Cain: Hard-Boiled Mythmaker is a critical overview of the authors life, work, and legacy. An updated and expanded edition of two of David Maddens scholarly works on Cain, this new book improves upon the previous works by collecting the most essential writing on Cain by Madden into one volume. In addition to melding existing material, this work contains updated and new material, including fresh commentaries on later books, such as Rainbows End, Cloud Nine, and The Enchanted Isle, as well as later film adaptations, including Butterfly. It also responds to 40 years worth of criticism on Cain and reevaluates his influence.Providing an overview of all of Cains fiction, including an analysis of the major themes of his entire literary career, the book also describes Cains impact on and importance in 20th-century culture, film in particular. In addition to a biographical summary and thematic outline of Cains nearly 50-year career, Madden and Mecholsky examine how Cains works explore the nightmare consequences of the persistent American dream. Finally, Madden and Mecholsky consider Cains technical innovations of the novel and survey the major film adaptations of Cains novels.With its significant in-depth analysis and a foreword by Edgar-award winning author Max Allan Collins, this volume will be of interest to Cain scholars as well as anyone interested in 20th century American literature and film.