Re: RARA-AVIS: Surprise Endings (was "Unreliable narrator")

From: crimeflix (
Date: 12 Nov 2005

Karin, I don't know if I agree that the films of Double Idemnity and Postman are better than the books (though the films are so good it's a very tough comparison) but I've always felt the adaptations significantly contributed to the longterm success of these novels. If the films hadn't been made would Double Indemnity, for example, have fallen out of print at some point and become a candidate for a Hard Case Crime reprint? What if, for example, one of the many lesser known Harry Whittington novels had been made into a classic film noir? Would that novel be considered the classic today rather than Double Indemnity? J

--- In, Karin Montin <kmontin@s...> wrote:
> No racism in Cain? The slurs against Mexicans and the Greek caf頊
owner (husband) bothered me when I read the book a few years ago. Cora is insistent that she's not a "Mex," that she's white, and the Greek is called greasy over and over. These remarks serve to build the characters, yet our sympathies are supposed to lie with the narrator, at least at the beginning.
> In my humble opinion, The Postman Always Rings Twice is vastly
overrated. Cain, unlike Agatha Christie, was a two-hit wonder. I know he wrote more but everyone thinks immediately of Postman and Double Indemnity. I think the movies based on those two Cain novels were better than the books.
> Looking for a Cain quote, I found this interesting Anthology of
Thirties Prose, which includes essays, short stories (I think) and excerpts from novels, divided into various sections, including one on hobos and tramps. Authors discussed in Rara-Avis are among them
(Ahlgren, Cain, McCoy, West and more):
> Karin
> At 19:43 12/11/05 -0500, you wrote:
> >I think Hammet is much worse on the racism/misogyny than other
writers of
> >that period because of the casual assumptions that fall into the
background. It's
> >fine to have a character who's a racist, as a character flaw, but
it bugs me
> >how it's not really a purposeful point in the Maltese Falcon.
Notice that
> >Cain, being in the same era, has no racism, and his women might be
bad, but
> >they're not weak.
> >Vicki

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Nov 2005 EST