Saturday, January 09, 2010
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
I picked up a handbound volume of James M. Cain’s three most famous novellas in the dog-days of August in Austin.
James M. Cain didn’t write what I expected. From this legendary name in crime, with a title like this (no, I’d never seen the movie) I was expecting a tale of a criminal stalker and real mur-der. There is murder and death does come to call, but not in the way I expected.
Cain writes in a cropped style here which makes the whole sleazy Southern California Diner scene every bit as unambitious and lowbrow as he intends. This is a crime novel in a very literal sense, not in the stylized noir mode of Pulp Fiction.