RARA-AVIS: Cain's novels

From: Paul Farrell ( pm_farrell@hotmail.com)
Date: 14 Nov 2005

Karin Montin wrote:
>No racism in Cain? The slurs against Mexicans and the Greek café ¯wner
>(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.
>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.

My thoughts: While the 1940s movies based on Cain's books certainly increase his profile, I think his best books still stand on their own. POSTMAN and DOUBLE INDEMNITY are excellent, but I reckon his best novel is THE BUTTERFLY, which is a perfect example of a lean, taut noir story. Also, SERENADE is a good novel, although its views on homosexuality would be seen as reactionary by today's standards. This is the dilemma that you'll find if you enjoy older books and movies - although many of them are still great, you're likely to find ideas that are now outdated. I always try to remember the context that the book was written in, and the prevailing beliefs of the time. It doesn't make those beliefs correct or justified, but it does allow you to read older books without unrealistic expectations. I wonder how many books published in 2005 might have sections that will be found offensive 50 years from now, when today they are accepted as ordinary?


_________________________________________________________________ Find the coolest online games @ http://xtramsn.co.nz/gaming

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Nov 2005 EST