HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)

by James M. Cain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4571313,704 (3.72)299
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. Performed by Stanley Tucci… (more)
1930s (13)
Read (21)
My TBR (31)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 299 mentions

English (116)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Lithuanian (1)  French (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
I pick this up on a whim at the bookstore because it was only a dollar and change. I didn’t know anything about the book before reading it but I had heard the title before. I was shocked at the beginning because of how It just jumped right into things. But the storyline itself was very entertaining and it was a quick read. Although the ending was somewhat predictable I really enjoyed the overall story and characters and I would really like to read more from this author. ( )
  jbrownleo | Mar 27, 2024 |
Frank Chambers and Cora, one drifter that decided to take a permanent (as possible) post in a Greek restaurant and the other young, bored women that wants more in life but has to come to terms with life with her husband. One called nitro and the other called glycerin. On their own they are bearable, together - they are total mayhem.

In a manner of natural borne killers these two will fall in love, wildly, wildly passionate love that wont bring out the best in them but only the worse. Reason is very simple - they just do not know anything better, they are like adolescents, not thinking, just living on impulse, kicking everything around and only stopping to think when damage is already done.

So it is not strange that their passion gives birth to something dark and terrible, something that will ultimately destroy them both.

Short read but very interesting one. Quite a page turner.

Highly recommended to all fans of crime and noir novels. ( )
  Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
Maybe good plot (guess it was as supposedly used as the basis for "The Stranger" which is also a drag). Without seemingly any morals, a drifter falls in love with the wife of a Greek restaurant owner who took him in. Frank and Cora plan to kill the husband and take off but the planned murder goes bad. Husband is clueless. They try again and succeed. When they are arrested, the prosecution and defense get into this weird back and forth situation. Cora confesses, then she doesn't; he is free; then he's not. Eventually they are both freed only to have a terrible car accident which kills Cora and he is convicted. There are cats, lots of rambling dialogue, and maybe sort of interesting in places. ( )
  maryreinert | Jan 18, 2024 |
Published in the same year as A Handful of Dust, which by chance I read immediately before, I find it difficult to understand why this book remains so hyped in literary circles. Obviously influenced by Hemingway its limitations only point to the superiority of say 'To Have and Have Not'. There are multiple issues with the Harry Morgan stories (‘of their time’ doesn’t adequately cover it) of course, but honestly Cain’s sexism and misogyny really weigh against any virtues the book may have, particularly if you then add a faintly ludicrous narrative and no attempt at all at psychological realism. Maybe Cain would have been better using Evelyn Waugh as a model :) ( )
  djh_1962 | Jan 7, 2024 |
It is the 1930s and the country is still in the throes of the Depression. Frank, a drifter who has made little of his life, stumbles into a roadside dinner in rural California outside of Los Angeles. He cons the owner, a Greek immigrant named Nick, to get a free meal and ends up staying on to work for a while. Frank and Cora, Nick’s beautiful but dissatisfied younger wife, soon fall for one another and begin a clandestine affair. As their relationship deepens, Frank and Cora consider running off together, but ultimately decide that killing Nick would be the best solution. Although their first attempt fails, it manages to put them on the radar of the police and prosecutors, who suspect the accidental blow to the head that Nick received was intentional. After their second attempt involving a staged car accident is successful, Frank and Cora appear to have achieved their dream, but the reality of what they did soon begins to haunt them. When Frank begins an affair with another woman behind Cora’s back, the romance between the two unravels completely and places them both on the path to their tragic ultimate destinies.

The publication of The Postman Always Rings Twice ensured author James M. Cain’s place as a master of the hardboiled detective fiction genre, alongside contemporary writers such as Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye) and Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man). Unlike the stories of those other luminaries, though, the tale Cain tells here really has no detection process at all; as readers, we know right away what’s going to happen, who’s going to do it, and how it all is likely to end. What makes this novel distinctive, then, are the deep psychological themes it develops involving the multitude of deceptions that each character displays at almost every turn. (The title itself is an allusion to the imminent arrival of bad news when it is least expected, but most deserved.) As such, this is a historically important work that has influenced many subsequent novelists, both for its noirish style and technique as well as for its content. What it is not, unfortunately, is a particularly interesting or compelling story. Perhaps due to its brevity, the protagonists are not fully realized to where we end up caring what happens to them, much less understand why they commit some of the actions they do. So, while I do not regret the short amount of time it took to read, this is not a book that I would recommend with any sense of urgency. ( )
  browner56 | Dec 22, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cain, James M.primary 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

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
To Vincent Lawrence
First words
They threw me off the hay truck about noon.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for the original book. It should not be combined with any adaptation (e.g., film adaptation), abridgement, etc.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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. Performed by Stanley Tucci

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.72)
0.5
1 9
1.5 3
2 38
2.5 17
3 244
3.5 98
4 335
4.5 45
5 145

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 204,153,051 books! | Top bar: Always visible