Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain (35/81)

Category: 1001 Books to Read Before You Die

This short book was my introduction to classic noir. It is the story of the dangerous passion between Frank, a drifter, and Cora, a married woman. Driven by their uncontrollable desires, they plot to murder Cora's husband, referred to only as The Greek.

It is one of those stories where you just know that everything is going to end badly for pretty much everyone and sure enough it does. Narrated by the amoral Frank, the reader is drawn into their world and almost feel some sympathy for them despite their wrong-doings, and this technique still works, but in other ways the book seemed incredibly dated. The dialogue that was supposed to show the intensity of their passion just made me want to laugh, which ruined the drama somewhat.

On reading this I could see why this and other noirs were made into films as I kept think how it would work better on screen than on the page.

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