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Mildred Pierce Relié – 1946

4.3 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client

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Par Gwen 1ER COMMENTATEUR DU HALL D'HONNEURTOP 50 COMMENTATEURS le 16 août 2011
Format: Broché
Californie, années 30.

Frank Chambers, 24 ans, sans profession, s'arrête dans un restaurant pour y casser la croûte et s'y voit offrir un boulot par son propriétaire, le vieux Nick. Il accepte et s'éprend très vite de la jeune et ravissante épouse de ce dernier, Cora. Commence aussitôt entre eux une liaison brûlante, mais qui ne tarde pas à prendre un tour dangereux. Enflammés par leur passion, Frank et Cora échafaudent en effet un plan diabolique pour assassiner Nick et maquiller sa mort en accident...

Classique absolu du roman noir, ce bref chef-d'oeuvre de James Cain n'a pas pris une ride, comme on dit. Auréolé à sa parution, en 1934, d'un parfum de scandale, il brille encore aujourd'hui par la qualité de son style tendu comme une corde à piano. Cain s'inscrit ici dans la veine "béhavioriste" inventée par Dashiell Hammett quelques années plus tôt dans Red Harvest et surtout The Maltese Falcon. Narré à la première personne, son récit refuse toute psychologie, toute introspection. Les personnages se définissent uniquement par leurs actes, leur comportement.

Le plus curieux, c'est que ce roman qui passa longtemps pour immoral, au point d'être interdit dans certaines librairies, me paraît en réalité éminemment moral, ou du moins éminemment objectif dans sa description des travers humains. Prône-t-il l'adultère? Bien sûr que non! Le meurtre? Encore moins!
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Format: Broché
Two famous Hollywood films were made with this title, in 1946 with Ava Gardner as Cora and another in 1981 with Jack Nicholson as Frank, neither of which this reader ever saw. After this literary debut in 1934 at the age of 42, James M. Cain produced some 20 less successful books whilst working on numerous Hollywood screenplays. This book, once banned in Boston for its mix of sex and violence, is today considered an American noir classic and his best. The meaning of the book’s title remains a mystery and adds to its aura of brilliance.
The novel is about penniless drifter Frank (24) meeting cook and waitress Cora (20?) in a roadside diner/gas station owned by her despised Greek husband Nick. They fall for each other instantly and soon decide to kill Nick. Much of author Cain’s brilliance is to write, from start to finish, purely from the perspective of his impulsive, somewhat dim-witted but passionate character Frank, and to gradually expose his past and character, strengths and weaknesses in his own words to us, readers to mull over and judge…
This Cain technique gave readers the chance to judge Frank’s choices for themselves by what at every twist and turn of the tale. Cain always refused to be categorized: hard-boiled crime stories were about catching criminals. His book explored the mind of one (or two) of them. In the 1930s, this was a novelty.
Full of deliberate grammar errors and quasi-clumsy writing, this book is authentic because of the powerful prose and wild passion and poorly defined hopes it exudes. It is written in a raw, fast and furious manner James M. Cain never managed to replicate. Great stylistic writing experiment. Captivating reading.
But what is the drink Frank called "coke and ammonia"?
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Lecture passionnante de la première à la dernière ligne. Livre à recommander pour les gens qui aiment comparer le film avec le livre.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 168 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fine Example Vintage Hard Boiled "Noir" Style 14 septembre 2015
Par FCD117 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is an enjoyable, relatively short, novel. As is the case with most short novels, probably by necessity in a short novel, character development is kept to a minimum. The novel is also a time piece. The traffic and roads in the area around Los Angeles described here are very different from today. I have found this novel on at least one list of the supposed "100 greatest novels". That, of course, is completely a matter of taste. However to me, I am quite certain I have read 100 novels better than this.

By coincidence, I had just finished a Mickey Spillane novel, and I find the writing by James M. Cain to be of a much more developed and sophisticated nature. I think if one studies the biographies of these two authors, one can correlate the comparative writing styles to their backgrounds.

Another interesting comparison (At least to me!) can be made between a short novel like this and a longer novel such as The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. In both novels, there is a side story wherein the protagonist embarks on a somewhat bizarre misadventure to Mexico with an unusual female. If one wishes, one may note the differences in length, detail and style of these two interludes.

There is some allusions to what I might refer to as "rough sex" that surprised me. I cannot recall seeing that in American popular novels composed prior to this work. I do not know if this novel is considered "ground breaking" on that front or not. It did catch me by surprise.

As with the case of many American novels of this time period, there is quite a bit of negative ethnic references. There are negative allusions to people of Greek heritage and some negative terminology about Italian Americans. As I stated above this is common in American novels of this period. I only mention it in case it matters to a potential reader unfamiliar with this work or this literary period.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. Nice, quick read, but so-so character engagement. 27 mai 2016
Par Deborah from Los Angeles - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I give this just three stars because even though, yes, I expected it to be "pulpy", it's so pulpy it's a tad shallow. No real character development and very much just "this is what happened to these people". Now, what happens is interesting and kept my attention, but I didn't at all care WHO it was happening to because Cain never dives deeply enough into who the characters are to make you care about them specifically (versus just the situation, more generally). In other words, you're involved in the characters' stories not for the characters and who they are, but for what they encounter. Also, for a fairly slim novel, it took me kind of a while (about a week) to read it. Whenever I put it down, I wasn't dying to pick it back up.

The book I have doesn't look like the one pictured, with the man and woman hugging on the cover. Mine shows a picture of the TITLE SCREEN from the 1946 movie. It's very cool. The design of the book, quality of the texture of the cover, and the inside formatting are fantastic. I really like that I own this book and have it on my shelf. If you enjoy classic films and hope to read and collect books published in the first half of the 20th century that were later made into classic films, you'll like owning this book.

Finally, NO SPOILERS, but the Lana Turner/John Garfield movie (1946) was actually better than the book, but I won't say how or why because I don't want to spoil anything.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 YOU MADE THE BED, YOU CAN LIE IN IT! 25 janvier 2014
Par Greggorio! - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book is a riveting classic of duplicity, love found, lost, and then found again, even eighty years after its first publication date. It has moments of gut wrenching suspense interspersed with examples of heartless cruelty, and innocent, young, sweet love. The writing is taut, sufficiently descriptive and perhaps most surprisingly, the story is still relevant today.

The best laid plans of mice and men can be lain flat by the simplest of things and early in the book, a cat of all things spoils the party for our two duplicitous love birds.

i find it hard to believe that two people who can be so cruel and heartless can ever amount to anything and if fate or karma has a say in the way things turn out for any of us in this world, then young Cora and the tramp Frank Chambers don't gave much to look forward to. And they won't get any sympathy from me.

This book is a classic of the genre. Those with any interest in crime, suspense, noir, or even the odd love story should get something from reading this delightful work of literature. Full marks for this one.

BFN Greggorio!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry" 23 décembre 2011
Par fra7299 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Set in the backdrop of the 30s Depression, Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice typifies hard-boiled roman noir, with seedy characters aimlessly drifting towards nature's dark side. We see this epitomized in Frank and Cora, whose existences are two-faced and bleak, their ideal happiness seemingly at the expense of others. Yet, Cain aptly takes you along with their schemes, and with a minimalist approach to narrative, exposes his character's flaws and sins. With deceptive, dishonest and generally "no good" people, Cain's novel uses dangerous situations, murderous plots, and gritty suspense to keep you entertained.

Cain sets the stage for his gritty novel when drifter Frank Chambers stumbling in to the Twin Oaks Tavern while checking to see if the coast is clear. When he's introduced to the owner's wife, Cora, it sets in motion big trouble ahead. Taken to one another, Frank and Cora begin an illicit affair and concoct a scheme to bump off Cora's husband. Whether it's Frank's bad nature that rubs off on Cora, or whether she's just a naturally rotten person too is hard to say. Maybe Cora says it best, "We're just two punks, Frank." A perfect murder, however, might not be so perfect.

What Cain brings to this novel is a simple approach to narrative and dialogue, yet effective turmoil and suspense. It is dialogue heavy at points, and at times I found the dialogue a bit confusing (identifying who was speaking), but mostly Cain uses simple, snappy dialogue to hit you quick, often with a cynical tone. A fun part of the read was just following the characters attempt to outmaneuver each other, like Frank and Sackett playing cat and mouse during questioning.

One can read The Postman Always Rings Twice and be reminded of what a noir should feel like, with shady, but street smart characters. It is a quick, easy, short novel to read, but in its one hundred plus pages, it does leave a taste for wanting to read more Cain noir novels.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "Existential Dreadnoir" 22 septembre 2012
Par Mike H - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Talk about being years ahead of time. Before there was "Psycho" and "The Stranger," there was this 1934 novel by James M. Cain, a dialogue-driven, first-person narrative in the form of a diary by a man on death row.
While I still haven't figured out just where the title of the book relates to the story (who cares?), what I have figured out is this novel just plain works. This page-burner is a half-day read at best. It's as though someone lit a fuse on a stick of dynamite and you read faster and faster until it all blows up on the protagonist of the story and his lover, two killers who are in their relationship for the money, sadistic and masochistic carnality and, ironically, love.
The book stuck with me for days. Cain didn't waste any time on the flowery descriptions common with works of literature -- no talk of the sounds of leaves crunching underfoot beneath a sky of azure. He jumps right into the eerie plot and takes you into the minds and actions of two amoral people and what they'd do for money and their own brand of twisted love.
Many reviewers call it noir. Others would say it's full of existential dread a la Camus. I call Cain's unique style "existential dreadnoir,' and it's insanely readable and impossible to put down. Grab a couple cups of coffee, read it in five or six hours and be prepared to examine your thoughts for at least a couple of days.
Unsettling and karmic and full of irony, it's titillating crime reading at its best.
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