Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: James M. Cain

From: Patrick King (
Date: 04 Oct 2007

Well, I can't agree with you. The subplots in Postman make the story real. That's how things go with plans and plots. It's those nuances that, to me, make Cain better than most other crime writers.

Serenade is the story of the opera singer who psychologically loses his voice due to guilt over a homosexual affair. The important thing to remember is that Cain's work fits into the era in which he lived. Cain researched this aspect of his story and discovered that in the 1930s it was quite common for guilt to manafest in this form. Today, homosexuality has less stigma attached to it, but at that time you could be imprisoned and your family ostracized. Someone should dust this story off and make a movie of it now that we can deal candidly with this subject. Mario Lanza made a movie of it in the late 50s but it was a disaster. Josh Grobin might do better, today.

Patrick King
--- William Ahearn <> wrote:

> --- Patrick King <> wrote:
> Still, no one has
> > written better than Postman, Double Indemnity, and
> > Serenade.
> I've been trying to stay out of this but the mention
> of Postman is more of a lure than I can resist. When
> I
> wrote about Miami Purity and then when I started
> watching early noir films I reread Postman and I
> think
> Visconti did a way better version than Cain did.
> Cain's Postman bogs in all the legal sideroads and
> subplots with wild cats and whatnot. It's really a
> clunky book as far as I'm concerned. I've been
> meaning
> to read his other stuff but right now I'm slammed
> with
> material for the site. Is Serenade the novel about
> the
> opera singer? I remember having a lot of trouble
> with
> the plausibilty of the story. It's all a matter of
> what floats your boat, I guess. But Cain isn't on my
> list of stuff to read for fun.
> William
> Essays and Ramblings
> <>
> Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect.
> Join Yahoo!'s user panel and lay it on us.

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