Oh man this book is hilarious. Painfully.
A front man for a tinhorn gambling syndicate... a woman who had never been touched... a dissatisfied husband... a lesbian ... and all of them strangers.
Then the snow came, thick as mud, cold, cruel snow, and the swift streamliner could not break through the icy wall.
Strangers they were one minute before, but now--while the storm howled outside and passions raged within--they were lovers, killers, savages.
Oh so very hard to rate. It's utterly hilarious, as I said, but it wasn't meant to be. I actually liked the writing, it's really tight, and packs an enormous amount into a fairly short book.
The cultural view of 1950's america is quite entertaining, and boy do these characters have real lives: There's everything from sculpture, an inside look at a news wire operation, carpets, a fairly deep (if brief) theological discussion that manages to cover Catholicism, Luther and Calvinism in three paragraphs (no really!). Also a mixed race out of wedlock baby, a junkie military wife, a bad boy who finds redemption after literally getting kicked upside the head and then hearing a random bible verse, And a lot of alcohol. Really a lot.
Oh and the predatory Lesbian (ob. caps, every single time. There are no small caps lesbians in 50's america!). Who is written without a single redeeming feature, unless you count that she's slim and doesn't look her age.
Anyway, mark this one down as a guilty pleasure. I love these old pulp novels, and this is definitely one of the most fun to read that I've come across. Other than the raging homophobia mind.
Best read: With copious amounts of alcohol.