Just got finished with some noir readings. Here’s my thoughts:
The Postman Always Rings Twice
This novel struck me as exceptionally dark and somewhat erotic. Frank and Cora’s views on life, love and death were equal parts straightforward and twisted, and their actions were always fueled seemingly by passion alone. I thought of this reading as sort of a darker version of The Great Gatsby in a few senses: both featured passionate love to which marriage was the barrier. Also, to bluntly but accurately compare their endings, multiple people ended up dead, and nobody ended up happy.
I really enjoyed the twist at the end of this story when it turned out to be Martan who was set on killing Dubrille. I was not surprised by Dubrille’s two faced ways, however, as the Shadow and Dr. Evans seemed to be the only good-intentioned characters. I was especially intrigued by the Shadow’s cleverness and powers of deception and invisibility. Although his identity was revealed to be that of Lamont Cranston, acquaintance of Margot, he appeared to have abilities beyond the scope of a normal person.
I found this reading to be somewhat anticlimactic. There was a long build-up to what I was sure was going to be a murder, but then the assassins left when Ole Anderson didn’t show up. I found it odd that there was not more of a reaction from Anderson when Nick told him that he was the target of a murder. Finally, the story was never really resolved, as it ended without the audience knowing whether Max and Al succeeded in murdering Ole Anderson.
Dopamine Agonistes from Shenandoah Literary
This reading had a decidedly different flavor than the others. There were no murders or attempted murders, but rather a sad snapshot into the life of a man newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Lorne, the main character, contemplates suicide, has an extramarital affair in a casino bathroom, and almost gets himself in trouble for kidnapping. While different from the other readings I did, this story was just as dark and definitely the most depressing one I read.