An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve.
First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America's bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for The Stranger.
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Penzler Pick, April 2000: It is sometimes easy to trace a literary genre to its source, and James M. Cain's first novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, is the noir novel that paved the way for all the noir fiction that followed. The famous film starring Lana Turner and John Garfield is notoriously dark, but the novel is even more full of despair and devoid of hope. It is a short book--little more than a novella--but its searing characterization and depiction of tawdry greed and lust is branded into every reader's memory.
Frank Chambers, a drifter, is dropped from the back of a truck at a rundown rural diner. When he spots Cora, the owner's wife, he instantly decides to stay. The sexy young woman, married to Nick, a violent and thuggish boor, is equally attracted to the younger man and sees him as her way out of her hopeless, boring life. They begin a clandestine affair and plot to kill Nick, beginning their own journey toward destruction.
Horace McCoy, David Goodis, Jim Thompson, and the other notable noir writers never achieved Cain's spare brilliance. Virtually all of his major works have been filmed, though several Hollywood studios refused to make the films, directors refused to be involved, and actors turned down roles because of their repugnance at the lack of morality inherent in all Cain's characters. Reading him may not be fit for a Sunday school class, but once you begin you will be unable to resist continuing, like picking at a painful scab or watching a tarantula inside a glass dome. --Otto PenzlerFrom the Back Cover:
"A good, swift, violent story." --Dashiell Hammett
"A poet of the tabloid murder." --Edmund Wilson
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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Cain s first novel, banned in Boston, was an instant sensation and established him as a master of the mystery/suspense genre. Bookseller Inventory # KNV9780679723257
Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0679723250
Book Description Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0679723250 The sultry young wife of a diner owner conspires with an aimless drifter to murder her husband. Bookseller Inventory # 4133418
Book Description Vintage Crime, 1978. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Trade paperback. Reprint. A few minor hints of edgewear. Bookseller Inventory # DH04615
Book Description Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0679723250 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI210871553
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 218602
Book Description Vintage, 1989. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A good, swift, violent story." --Dashiell Hammett "A poet of the tabloid murder." --Edmund Wilson. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0679723250
Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0679723250
Book Description Random House USA Inc 1 Mar 1993, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Book Description\n'Nobody has ever quite pulled it off the way Cain does, not Hemingway, and not even Raymond Chandler' Tom Wolfe --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. About the Author\nJames M. Cain was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1892. Having served in the US Army in World War 1, he became a journalist in Baltimore and New York in the 1920's. He later worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Cain died in 1977 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. Bookseller Inventory # 3d0c1d25938f6060f0c0cb3cd89f72c3