2010. 106. The Postman Always Rings Twice

"They threw me off the hay truck about noon.”

The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain

This is a fast and gritty noir with a classic noir plot - a drifter comes into town and gets involved with the sexy, bored wife of an older restaurant owner.  They plan to murder her husband (see, she wants the man and the cash), and things go awry, as they do in this sort of book.  It’s a pretty classic noir - and I think I’ve read better, but I suspect this is one of the first - at least maybe one of the first that the literary establishment took seriously, and thus is the prototype for Elmore Leonard and all those guys that followed.  And it’s a pretty good fast, pulpy read.  Even if I’ve found the things that are its progeny to be more complex and interesting, I can’t deny that it was a fun ride.  Plus, my copy was about 120 pages, so you can knock it off in an evening.

Categories:  Fiction, Modern Library Top 100

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017