Thursday, December 19, 2019

Top ten novels about adultery

Douglas Kennedy's new novel is Isabelle in the Afternoon. At the Guardian he tagged his ten favorite "novels on the agonies and ecstasies of the extramarital adventure," including:
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain

Cain was a seriously great writer working in the genre of crime fiction; a chronicler of small desperate lives in the Great American Nowhere. The Postman … is a straightforward tale of a drifter who ends up at a diner in a dusty corner of California owned by a blob of a guy – who also has a garage and a very young, sultry American wife, bored to despair by her husband. Naturally, the drifter picks up her sexual need. Naturally he fulfils it. Naturally they begin to plot her husband’s death. Written with a spare, dustbowl lyricism it is the best adultery noir ever written.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Postman Always Rings Twice is among Vincent Zandri's top ten doomed and deadly romances in noir fiction and Benjamin Black/John Banville's five top works of noir.

--Marshal Zeringue