Books: Current & Various: Aug. 27, 1965

THE MAGICIAN'S WIFE by James M. Cain. 233 pages. Dial. $3.95.

For 30 years, Novelist James M. Cain has worked a literary lode bordering a trash heap. Even his best works−The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity−reeked of their neighborhood, and no doubt as a consequence were made into movies. In this novel, his sixteenth, Cain has at last achieved breakthrough. The Magician's Wife is pure trash. The book is so bad, in fact, that it is redeemed by its own absolute sins against credibility, plot, characterization and style. Reading it becomes...

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