The Postman Always Rings Twice
by James M. Cain
reviewed by Grace Tighe
The Postman Always Rings Twice, is one of James M. Cain’s best works of fiction. James M. Cain is the author of many 20th century horror mysteries. In The Postman Always Rings Twice you will be filled with suspense and confusion, not knowing who to trust and what will happen next. I enjoyed questioning and analyzing this story to finally form my opinion of what happened. James M. Cain gives the reader two sides of the story and allows them to portray the story in their own way. If you are a fan of books that will leave you questioning the entire story and even more, then this is the perfect book for you.
The story starts with Frank Chambers finding himself at the Twin Oak Tavern in Southern California. Frank had previously hitched a ride in the back of a truck from Mexico. Here Chambers eats a meal however declines to pay saying a friend he is meeting will pay for it all. Chambers also tells the owner that if his friend does not arrive he will still be unable to pay for his meal. Mr. Papadakis who is the owner of the Tavern agrees to this then offers Frank a job. Frank then notices a beautiful woman named Cora, the wife of Mr. Papadakis. After seeing Cora, Frank agrees to work at the Tavern. Cora and Frank immediately like each other and form an aggressive yet loving relationship. With few options of how they can continue their affair, Cora and Frank think up the worst.
James M. Cain uses an unreliable narrator leaving the reader questioning the whole outline and outcome of the story. At first our narrator, Frank Chambers, comes across as a average man who is always on the move, however his later actions and events from his past question how reliable his word is. Cain’s story will have you full of suspense until the very last page. The reader will be left questioning if Chamber’s actions are ones based on love or wondering how true his love was for Cora. Cain’s complex storyline is not fully shown until you find the true meaning of the title. The title, The Postman Always Rings Twice, is not meant to be taken literally but to serve the purpose that doing something once is just not enough for everyone.