Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

The Postman Always Rings TwiceThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic crime novel from 1934. It revolves around, and is told from the perspective of Frank Chambers, a homeless tramp who stops in at a diner for a meal and makes a connection with the owner, Nick Papadakis, who puts him to work. Frank quickly falls for Nick's wife Cora who is also attracted to Frank.

It soon becomes clear that Cora is unhappy in her life in the diner and dreams of a different life filled with adventure; Frank, she thinks, can provide that life for her. They soon begin to scheme for Nick's murder. The characters are a bit two-dimensional but that is part of the fun of the book. Having said that, Frank was well-formed enough that I questioned his motivations throughout as he shifted dependant on circumstances just as a person might be expected to in those same situations.

It is a short book that moves quickly and is flavoured by the language of the time and genre. It was a fun read that had me wondering where these characters would end up and pleased with the finale.

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