Book Concierge's Reviews > The Postman Always Rings Twice

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
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Apr 02, 11

Read in March, 2011

When Cain published this work in 1934 he opened up a new field for writers, and defined a new subgenre .. the hard-boiled noir crime novel.

Frank Chambers is a drifter, who gets tossed off a truck on which he had stowed away, and winds up at the Twin Oaks Tavern. It’s a dusty little “roadside sandwich joint, like a million others in California” including a lunch counter, filling station, and a half-dozen “shacks that they called an auto court.” The owner, a Greek named Nick Papadakis, offers him a job, but Frank isn’t interested … at least not until he gets a look at Nick’s wife, Cora.
The passion between Cora and Frank is palpable. And I don’t just mean lust. They fight, slinging horrible words at one another, and are even physically brutal. Everything happens at breakneck speed. They coldly plan to murder The Greek, and are “saved” only by a dead cat. The reader gets the sense that despite their professed love, these two are each other’s worst enemy, and one can only keep reading to find out what the final body count will be.

It’s a fascinating story, and rapid-paced. The writing is spare and bold. There isn’t a lot of extraneous description or exposition on motives. Emotions are raw and characters act on them without much thought to consequences. Fans of today’s forensic pathology TV series and books may find this simple. BUT, put yourself back in 1934, and just go along for the ride.

You can read this slim volume in a day or two … but you’ll be thinking about it much longer.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Mohammed The passion between Cora and Frank and the way he wrote about it makes this novel so modern,timeless. I couldnt believe he could write so sexy,lustful in a 1930s noir novel. Those days were like 1800s novels the hot stuff, the lines was so careful.


James Thane No doubt, this is one of the classics.


Book Concierge Glad you both like my review. It's a great little book!


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