The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

Cain wrote these two novellas in the 30s. Each is about a man and a woman who knock off the woman’s husband. Both are written in the first-person, from the man’s perspective. There are few descriptive passages, just fast-moving narrative and lots of dialog. The men and women meet and quickly start plotting their crimes. Neither story ends happily. And neither story is very plausible. (Maybe greedy, passionate people trying to commit the perfect murder always come up with plans that are too complicated.)

One bit of commentary from Double Indemnity: “I had killed a man, for money and a woman. I didn’t have the money and I didn’t have the woman”. That sums up the situation for both these guys.  (12/10/10)