The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

The Postman Always Rings TwiceThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This classic noir novel deserves its place in history. Told in the first person by a drifter who falls for the beautiful young wife of a Greek diner owner, it has more twists and turns than the road to Malibu, a road that plays a critical role in the story. Frank, the drifter, and Cora, the young wife, fall hard for each other and soon devise a plan to knock off the Greek. The plot is too complex, and too much fun to read, to spoil it with further details.

Written in the 1930’s, the style has an earthy retro feel you just won’t find anywhere in today’s writing. The characters inhabit the lowest rungs of the social ladder and talk with an ungrammatical patois that’s crude without being obscene. The mood is all about hard fists, ripped blouses, lust and love, yet the plot is anything but simplistic. Just when you think you know how it’s going go, you get thrown a different direction.

This is a very short novel at 116 pages, and thus a quick read. In case the title rings a bell, but you can’t place it, it’s been made into a movie twice, once starring Lana Turner, and again starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. I started this book with a skeptical eye, but loved it by the end. I highly recommend it.

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