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on 3 December 2014
Short American book with affairs and murder but no postman.
Set in 1920s California.
An easy enough read but worth reading.
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on 17 June 2014
A classic, a good read at a great price, ideal for my kindle, easy to buy and delivered instantly to my kindle, what's not to like!
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on 11 October 2013
A great read and surprisingly graphic considering the era in which it was written. Very true to the film version.
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on 14 June 2014
Beautifully written, gripping and fast paced. If you like noir them you will love this book! It is a classic
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. The story is based around three characters, Frank Chambers - a petty crook, Nick Papakadis - a Greek bar owner whom he goes to work for his moody wife Cora. Chambers and Cora are imorral and greedy and the Greek bar owner is affable but stupid. However, the book is so well written that you come to empathise with all the characters despite their obvious flaws.

Whilst the style might be characterised as "hard boiled", it is also moving. This is a very short book, almost a novella. The startling thing about it is the simplicity and sparseness of the language. Not a word is wasted. The suspense is maintained throughout. I felt that I wanted to read it it again to work out how the author had made so much out of so little. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2011
It seems no accident that the victim of the crime in this story is a Greek, for the plot seems to have much in common with a Greek tragedy: the protagonists are subject to their own passions and their behaviour seems to be punished by a series of fateful events. Lust, murder and a series of betrayals lead to the ultimate downfall of the central character, the narrator of the story.

The prose style is terse and reminiscent of other similar stories of the thirties, such as the novels of Raymond Chandler. It's easy to see how this book so easily lent itself to the 'film noir' genre and not only inspired Hollywood films, but also Visconti's Italian classic film 'Ossessione'.
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on 14 March 2015
Gripping and well written. (I had not, and still have not, seen the film.)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eros diam, interdum nec pharetra nec, aliquam in lacus. Vivamus ullamcorper.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2008
Some books are just straight disturbing - this is one of them.

I initially thought it was only a tacky thrill getter - bit of sex, bit of violence and a `tough talking dude' - but once I broke through that (and it did take some breaking through) I realized this is quite a well written book.

It is about violence - it is about alienation - it is about deprivation and emotional screw-up: It is about justice and the perverseness of morality.

That is a pretty strong cocktail, and the language, of necessity, is harsh, unforgiving and downright brutal at points.

So too the plot - with an economy to be admired, there is an attempted murder, a successful murder and an accident resulting in another kind of murder ... all in the space of around 120 pages.

Women get slapped around - and like it: Men get beaten-up - and don't. It is the `film-noire' world beloved of the gangster genre. But this is not a gangster book.

The chief character is a drifter - he bums around America - scratching a living here, stealing there, spending short periods in jail before moving on.

He drifts into a situation where his animal driven lusts and craftiness allow access to what I am tempted to say is a perfect partner for him. There is the problem of her husband - and their attempt to remove him forms the spine of the story.

But, `As flies to wanton boys ... `

The God's agents are the forces of law and order - who are playing a game with lesser mortals. Any sense of justice or basic human decency is soon swept away once we encounter the petty motives fuelling both defence and prosecution.

I have to admit, I am reminded of Tess, of Lear and Heathcliffe ... pretty strong company for a pot-boiler to evoke.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2010
I read this book inspired by the film. The book's starkness means that unlike most adaptations there is more texture on screen than on the page. However, the clipped style of writing inspires a much more vivid sense of the main character and more appropriate lack of clarity about Cora, the 'dame'. Well recommended.
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