Genre = Crime, Fiction, Romance
Author = James M. Cain
This scandalous story of lust and love follows Frank and how one he just walks into a restaurant and knows that he must be with Cora. However, Cora has a husband but she is unhappy. So will the two of them just runaway or will Cora get cold feet? Is there something else holding her back that Frank doesn’t know about? But as they continue to fall for each other they get into more and more trouble.
My Pitch To You:
The Postman Always Rings Twice has been a classic in the thriller genre due to its content pushing the boundaries of fiction at the time specifically violence and romance. You can see the influences of the time of the outlaws of the 1930s spattered throughout this book especially in relation to Bonnie & Clyde as you have the two main characters in this constant dilemma of trying to runaway but never getting far enough.
It brings up that sense of urgency and need to explore the world especially at the time it was set due to the major feats in transport and technology. It discusses that argument of that once you were born in that town there was no way out of it, you can see that through Cora struggles over the life she knows or the possibility of the unknown.
The dialogue in this book is very punchy and quick which you can see how it transferred so well to the screen as a film twelve years later. In my edition I have an introduction by James Lee Burke whose Detective Robicheaux series I have enjoyed for many years thanks to my Nan introducing them to me. He talks about the theme of the American Dream which runs through all Cain’s characters as a strong belief and Frank embodies that idea of constantly moving to find that ultimate dream but never quite grasping it. It makes you empathise with his character more as he is this lost soul that doesn’t know what he wants. In this short novel it encompasses a lot American society and how it was transforming at a rapid pace which is brought through the thriller side with the characters changing their plans all the time.
As a woman reading Cora’s story of how trapped and confused, she was about how to find her happiness one part of my brain was saying go on the adventure with Frank, but the other side was saying do it on your own then you will realise the freedom you have now as a woman. Cain captures that feeling of there is only one route for a woman quite well for a man in this time period which surprised me.
The romance in this book you would equate nowadays with the style of teenage romance because its steamy and its forbidden but then you have the knotting of responsibility and duty through it which makes you wonder are, we all teenagers at heart when it comes to love. This book takes the trope of someone just crash landing into your life with an impossible spark that won’t go away which kept me reading as in this day age you constantly have that cynical voice in your head saying ‘it will never last’ but you’ll just have to read it to find out.
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