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April 16
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

the postman always rings twice.
 

The torrid story of Frank Chambers, the amoral drifter, Cora, the sullen and brooding wife, and Nick Papadakis, the amiable but inconvenient husband, has become a classic of its kind, and established Cain as a major novelist with a spare and vital prose style and a bleak vision of America.

Frank Chambers is a con artist and a bum who is unable to remain in the same city long enough to settle down. His wanderings have gotten him into trouble with the law at many of his stops and finally he is looking to start anew, or so he has us believe. Outside of Los Angeles, he stops at Nick Papadakis' roadside restaurant, and enjoys it so much, that Papadakis offers him a job. The real reason Chambers desires employment is Papadakis' lusty wife Cora, who Chambers is determined to have for himself.

This is a terrific noir novel, a prime example of the genre. This book and this writer have certainly had an enduring impact on not only the hard boiled mystery novel, but also on literature and Hollywood. The book has been filmed seven times with most people agreeing that the 1946 version with John Garfield and Lana Turner was the best.

James M. Cain was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1892. Having served in the US Army in World War 1, he became a journalist in Baltimore and New York in the 1920's. He later worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Cain died in 1977.

Submitted by Pete

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