Books: Pulp Classic

SERENADE — James M. Cain — Knopf ($2.50).

In The Postman Always Rings Twice James Mallahan Cain wrote a brief, brisk best-seller in which philosophic overtones could be dimly heard above the rattling melodrama of the plot. Last week he published a second novel that is just as melodramatic as his first, a little longer, equally swift reading. It has its quota of close shaves, fights, flights and two-dimensional characters, suggests an old-fashioned pulp magazine thriller brought up to date by a writer who knows Freud as well as all tricks of suspense....

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