Monday, July 12, 2010

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain *Review*

A few weeks ago when I was looking for a shorter books to read for an all day reading marathon I came across a classic called The Postman Always Rings Twice. Never having read it, watched the movie, or read anything by this author, I pulled it off the library shelf.
The back cover proclaims it was "banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism." Written in 1934, I was curious to see what made this book so controversial it had to be banned.
This short novel is about Frank, a bum who never stays in one place for long, and Cora, the wife of a Greek restaurant owner. The two fall in love and can't keep their hands off each other. Theirs is a violent love full of ripped blouses, bitten lips and deliberate punches. It's a love you know can only end the way it started.
Cora can't stand being married to Nick Papadakis, especially when Frank enters her life and she sees what passion is. Frank and Cora come up with a plan to murder Nick and make it look like an accident. But when their plans are foiled and a local cop gets suspicious, Frank decides the best thing for him to do is to leave town and try to get Cora out of his system for good. Unable to forget about her, he returns and the affair picks up again hotter and wilder than before.
Again they come up with a plan. This time it's foolproof. It's the perfect murder. The Postman Always Rings Twice is a dark book full of cheating, lies, passion, murder, blackmail and double crossing. The violent tendencies during their lovemaking scenes were disturbing and I can understand how, in 1934, this book would have shocked a lot of people. That being said- I can honestly say I enjoyed this classic and would even consider nominating it for our book club's classic read month in October. 3/5 stars