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The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M.…
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The Postman Always Rings Twice (original 1934; edition 2005)

by James M. Cain

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1,899723,611 (3.73)180
Member:spwebdesign
Title:The Postman Always Rings Twice
Authors:James M. Cain (Author)
Info:Orion (2005), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Owned (in London), Books Read (since 2005), To give away, on loan to A.R.
Rating:****
Tags:crime, fiction

Work details

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (1934)

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» See also 180 mentions

English (66)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Lithuanian (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James Cain, is told just like they played it. The description of the old Gas Station in the middle of nowhere, on a lone highway, is a model for setting (I hope to achieve someday). The story traces a sordid love triangle, and the administration of justice to the perfect crime. This book is a parent to sub-slime instinct of form and is a crime novel par excellence.
James Cain poses a number of questions: Will the lovers be able to get away with the perfect crime? What justice will win: that of the jungle cats or that of the courts? Which justice administered by men is most morally correct? Can you teach old dogs new tricks? Where’s far enough to get away from yourself?
The morale of the story is: mad dogs and loony cats should not mix; but they make for a perfect tragic story.
The book will not take you long to read. The unabridged audio version is only three hours long. Stanley Tucci read the book perfectly.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James Cain, is told just like they played it. The description of the old Gas Station in the middle of nowhere, on a lone highway, is a model for setting (I hope to achieve someday). The story traces a sordid love triangle, and the administration of justice to the perfect crime. This book is a parent to sub-slime instinct of form and is a crime novel par excellence.
James Cain poses a number of questions: Will the lovers be able to get away with the perfect crime? What justice will win: that of the jungle cats or that of the courts? Which justice administered by men is most morally correct? Can you teach old dogs new tricks? Where’s far enough to get away from yourself?
The morale of the story is: mad dogs and loony cats should not mix; but they make for a perfect tragic story.
The book will not take you long to read. The unabridged audio version is only three hours long. Stanley Tucci read the book perfectly.
( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
A good short novel with economy of words. The characters/actions are a little dated, but he has such a wonderful way with words, it can be easily forgiven. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
Shelf Notes Review

Dear Reader,

Can you believe I went into reading this book without ever watching any of the movies or knowing the plot line? Well, I did and you know what? I loved it. It might have been just because of that reason, I didn't know the plot. For anyone who does know the plot, you have to admit that it's pretty darn clever. You have a beautiful married woman who falls in love with a drifter who comes to work with her elderly and fat husband. The two elicit a love affair that turns into something more, plotting to get rid of the inconvenience of her marriage. What do you get when you put two terrible people together, make them fall in love and figure out ways to trust the untrustworthy? A really great story. That's what this is.

After reading the book, now I've got to see the movies (especially the 80's version that stars Jack Nicholson & Jessica Lange). Check out some photos from the movie below (the last picture is just so you can check out the young & beautiful Jessica Lange):


Lana Turner & John Garfield in the 1946 Movie Version



Jessica Lange & Jack Nicholson in the 1981 Movie Version



Look how adorable Jack & Jessica look! Love it!



She is so beautiful, Jessica Lange with her bewitching stare.



Just looking at those pictures makes me want to rush out and get the movies today! I would HIGHLY suggest reading this book before watching the films though. I read them unbiasedly, without certain Hollywood Actors in my mind (which is for the best in my opinion).

Back to the book, I want to mention the language James Cain uses. He wrote the character of Frank (the vagabond) as exactly the way you'd suspect. We didn't even need a description, the dialogue alone gives us a rich and colorful view of who Frank represents. The same can be said about most of the characters, especially Cora, which results in extremely well written characters that can stand out without much of a story. However, James Cain gives us that story, and... it's a really fun ride. I felt thrown back into that time period, I could even feel the gritty air surrounding them. Cora shows us the reality of a woman selecting her path in life (to marry and be secure or to be a vagabond herself and wonder where the next meal will come from). So much has changed, yet we still feel for her because the discrimination still exists today. I also fell in love with Frank, even though he's a pretty rotten scoundrel in many ways. I think it's the typical bad boy attitude that got to me. This love story, it's my kind of love story... dirty (not in the sexual way) and honest, the way real relationships depend on trust and hardships. After reading this, I want to check out some more from James Cain. At least I can be secure in knowing the characters will be brightly colored and easily pictured, which is something I truly appreciate in any Author.

Happy Reading,
AmberBug
( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
What a good story. I thought it would be a murder mystery, but it was more like Crime and Punishment. The culprits had their just desert in the end. I didn't see the plot twist in the end. ( )
  annertan | Jul 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James M. Cainprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berritz, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dons, AageTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huhtala, EeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovács, GyörgyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
López Cruz, FedericoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pedrolo, Manuel deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salvatorelli, FrancoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tucci, StanleyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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They threw me off the hay truck about noon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Description in Albatross 239 (1935): A murderer's story in his own words, this vivid 'super-shocker' with its sidelights on the underworld and its revelation of the forces which drive men and women to crime is unusually thrilling. Frank Chambers 'hobo' and tough is far from being the usual 'killer'. His meeting with and love for a woman as primitive and uneducated as himself and their attempt to get rid of the woman's husband is the beginning of a tale as dramatic and drastic as can be imagined behind which the reader is able to watch the mind of the tramp who is the narrator and to gauge the character of the woman reflected in his confessions. How they both fare at the hands of fate and the police is as neat a piece of tragic irony as one can find.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679723250, Paperback)

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 Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:39 -0400)

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The sultry young wife of a diner owner conspires with an aimless drifter to murder her husband.

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