Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Double Indemnity

I really liked The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Double Indemnity is also by James M. Cain, and shares many of the same elements: the protagonist has an affair with a woman and they plot to murder her husband; after the murder, the forces of justice which pursue them are driven by the financial interests of the insurance company. If anything, the murder setup may be even better in Double Indemnity than in The Postman Always Rings Twice.

But I did not like the ending of Double Indemnity as much as Postman, because it requires an additional coincidence that was too much for my suspension of disbelief. Basically, Double Indemnity requires the protagonist to fall for a woman to the point where he is willing to risk prison or the death penalty for her; and he has to do this not for one woman, but for two different women over the course of the book; and the two women are stepmother and stepdaughter. I found that to be a little too much to swallow.


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