Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thoughts: The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

This is one of those books you should read in a bar with cigarette smoke rising in the background, and an icy glass of scotch on the rocks in front of you. Just for the sake of it.

The Postman Always Rings Twice is so fast-paced. The novel is over before you can even say the entire title, but it leaves you with one hell of a punch in the gut. Frank walks into the Greek’s restaurant, and never looks back once he lays eyes on the Greek’s wife, Cora—the ultimate femme fatale. The events of the book flew past my eyes, and I could barely catch my breath.

There’s something so raw, so fresh, just so alive about the characters, especially Frank and Cora. They rampage through life, trying to get the most out of it before it’s over. They give their all to everything—to love, to murder, to hate. The pure vitality of their feelings can make any hot-blooded person envious. Reading about these people almost made me wish that I had half their passion.

Also, I can’t believe that this book was published in the 1930s. There’s a certain freshness to it, and I really enjoyed the concept of the ‘perfect murder’ before Hollywood beat it to death. Pun not intended.

***
Read this for the Smooth Criminals Challenge hosted by Dead End Follies.

7 comments:

Cassandra said...

Passion, cigarettes and the perfect murder - What more do you want?
In general I don't like crime stories to much, but I think I could give this one a try!

Zibilee said...

I have heard the title of this book, but never really knew what it was about. It sounds like the perfect hardboiled read, and I will be looking for it. I am so glad that you loved it!

Red said...

I picked a different book for the noir classic but I'm really thinking I need to switch to this one. Great review

Brenna said...

After I was a few pages in to this I had to turn back and double check the year it was published. I really couldn't believe it was in the 30's either. It reads like it was written more recently. Great review! You really captured the essence of the book.

Kristen M. said...

I rewatched the film version of this recently and really enjoyed it. Now you've made me want to read the book too!

Ben said...

I'm glad you've seen the beauty in it, Darlyn. Cain is the genre's godfather and while it changed over the years, you still can feel his influence on everything noir.

mooderino said...

Such a good book. Great choice.

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