Book 77 – The Postman Always Rings Twice

Book – The Postman Always Rings Twice
Author – James M Cain
Year – 1934
Genre – Crime (again, thanks Wikipedia, but I’m not sure I agree with that)

Another from the pack of books that were adapted to films that I recently bought, The Postman Always Rings Twice tells the story of Frank Chambers, a wanderer in the south of the United States who falls in love with a married woman, and their plans to be together.

The story is fine, if somewhat predictable, but doesn’t drag at any point, with a fast paced narrative and plenty enough happening to keep your interest, but in my eyes, is never truly anything special or groundbreaking – even allowing for the fact that it is now seventy six years old.  The most unusual thing about it is how Cain writes his dialogue.  You will sometimes go a whole page and a half of short lines of dialogue, and not once be told who is saying what.  Sometimes this is no problem and easy to follow, and indeed in doing this it keeps up the excellent pace of the book.  However sometimes it just becomes confusing, and working out who is speaking becomes a mathematical task of relating all of the other lines back to one stand out line which can be attributed to one direction.

It would be harsh of me to particularly criticise this book, but I find relatively little to recommend in it.  If you are a massive fan of early twentieth century American literature, then knock yourself out, otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much should you not get around to reading it.


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