Archive for James Cain

Re-Visiting The Postman Always Rings Twice

Posted in crime noir, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on December 5, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

The first time I read James Cain’s infamous first novel was summer 1988, I believe, and like many since 1934, I was mesmerized by the hard-boiled lean prose, the cold-hearted murderers, the masochistic rough sex, and the existentialism of the series of events.

Re-visiting the terse 28,000 word short novel, reading it in one sitting like I did 23 years ago, I see it in new light, I can see how much influence it had on, say, Harry Whittington and Orrie Hitt, and how Cain was most certainly influenced by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms, and how most likely Camus was influenced by Cain when writing The Stranger.

Published in hardcover by Knopf in 1934, this classic of crime novels instantly made Cain rich and famous, with a gazillion paperback editions all over the globe and two fine film versions.

Many crime writers in the hardboiled vein can re-read Cain all their lives. I concur,

So, dear reader of this log, go re-read The Postman Always Rings Twice tonight, and tell me what you think and feel.

Books Purchased at the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show

Posted in crime noir, Lawrence Block, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on March 30, 2011 by vintagesleazepaperbacks