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The Postman Always Rin...
James M. Cain
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The Postman Always Rings Twice

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,907 Ratings  ·  1,286 Reviews
A young vagrant and the sexy, bored wife of a restaurant owner plan to murder her husband--with unexpected results. This master work of hard-boiled detective fiction was also a hit movie, starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.
Published January 1st 1995 by Holiday House (first published 1934)
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Joseph Cruise I would reserve that title for a work by Chandler or Hammett, but still, it's worth the read.
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Talk about false advertising. I read this thinking it was a manual for postal employees that I could use to study for civil service exam. But it was just a story about some guy who starts sleeping with another man’s wife and then they decide to kill the husband. It was a pretty good book, but I flunked the test when there weren’t any questions about plotting a homicide. Oh, and that Kevin Costner movie didn’t help either.
Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 09, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”Stealing a man’s wife, that’s nothing, but stealing his car, that’s larceny.”

 photo POSTMAN_MAIN1520_zpsem8cp40h.jpg
John Garfield and Lana Turner in the 1946 movie.

Frank Chambers is a drifter, a man who, when life gets too heavy, catches the next boxcar out of town or puts his thumb out on the nearest highway. Being comfortable or achieving normalcy comes with too much responsibility. He’d rather bum it than have anyone relying on him.

It all begins with a sandwich in a California diner on a road in the middle of nearly nowhere. Ni
Jason Koivu
Jul 28, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Don't you love it when something you've heard about for ages turns out to be really good, but in a delightfully different way than expected? ...What do you mean, "no"? Go to hell!

I've been laboring under the misapprehension that this was a play about a killer mail carrier. Maybe that's because I grew up in a time when the phrase "going postal" was coined. (In a sidebar: Isn't it great how the English language is still evolving to incorporate new words and phrases?!) My mother had just recently j
Stealing a man's wife, that's nothing, but stealing his car, that's larceny. ~The Postman Always Rings Twice
If Noir can be said to have a cold, black heart it’s Postman that provided the juice to electroshock it into a beating, breathing existence. It is without a doubt one of the most important crime novels of the 20th century (of any century really) and has gone on to influence entire generations of writers and filmmakers. As a debut, it shocked, titillated and disgusted, banned upon publica
Mar 01, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adjust your expectations because there are neither postmen nor ringings (of any frequency) in this novel. Even though I didn't much care for the 1946 Lana Turner-John Garfield film adaptation, I decided to read this because the new cover was visually appealing. Score one for judging a book by its cover! Suck it, wise saying! This nasty little noir features rotten people doing rotten things, like hatching murder plots, trapping pumas in the jungles of Nicaragua, and opening beer gardens. Cora is ...more
Richard Vialet
"Tomorrow night, if I come back, there'll be kisses. Lovely ones, Frank. Not drunken kisses. Kisses with dreams in them. Kisses that come from life, not death."
With the one-two punch publication of both this novel and the serialized version of Double Indemnity in the mid-1930's, James M. Cain truly popularized what we know of now as being the hard-boiled sub-genre of roman noir in American fiction, a long time before the term was even coined. Since it's publication, this book has spawne
The actions of people in the pursuit of love and happiness are sometimes unplanned spontaneous and dangerous. In this story a man comes to town and becomes involved with a married woman. They plan and plot her way out of the marriage, options on the table they want things to be clean. They have a plan, how will it unfold? Will they walk away in each other arms in happiness?

One thing for sure is there will be blood.
Well if your familiar with the authors writing and read his novel Double Indemnit
Edit: It seems I quite overlooked the fact that this book was part of my HRF Keating challenge and as such requires an extra paragraph to discuss the selection by the famous critic/author. "From out of nowhere, in 1934, a journalist-turned-writer produced a kind of masterpiece...placing him at once in the front rank of American storytellers but also adding an equal mastery of place...a story about justice imposed implacably by the ironies of chance." and who really can argue with that or its sel ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I think that’s why James M. Cain’s important 1934 crime novella is not more relevant today. After decades of infidelity and violence, the shocking events Cain describes are just not as disturbing now as they were in the 30s. When this came out there were charges of obscenity and the book was banned in some locations. These days, flip a few channels on TV and you’ll see worse. Hell, kids are playing games where there are more sexuality and violence.

But back in the day, this was edgy
Apr 24, 2015 Kamran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
می گویند پستچی همیشه دو بار زنگ می زند. پستچی هر که هست، چه خدا باشد، چه تقدیر و چه شانس، دو بار حق اشتباه داری، دوبار می شود پای آدم بلغزد، دو بار جان سالم به در می بری و باز به تو فرصت می دهند، اما بار سومی در کار نخواهد بود. پستچی می رود، روی برمی گرداند، هر چه هست، در همان دو بار باید یادشان بگیری، به خودت بیایی و بعد منتظر انتقام سخت پستچی می مانی

دیالوگی از فیلم پستچی همیشه دوبار زنگ می زند

داستانی جنایی/درام که با زبان عامینه توسط قاتل به صورت اول شخص روایت می شود.داستان ریتمی تند و ضربانی
Mar 05, 2014 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, noir, ebook, 2014
James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice is a structurally sound tent pole of the noir genre. While it inspired an entire generation of crime writers, you’ll be shocked to know that it was met with a fair share of criticism when initially published. Due to a high volume of violence and sexuality (for its time), the book was shunned by critics and even so far as banned in Boston. Despite best efforts to keep the novel out of the hands and minds of American readers, the book’s originality an ...more
Barry Pierce
A hard-boiled noir that inspired Camus, The Postman Always Rings Twice is never boring because the plot moves so fast that you barely have time to register what happens. This fully developed narrative is compressed into 84-pages in my edition and feels more fully rounded and memorable than many full length novels. Tragic and bloody, this story has an ending that will leave you shaken and you'll have a damned hard time trying to forget it.
Becca Becca
Jan 10, 2008 Becca Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-college
Good for lessons on how to be a femme fatale.

Lesson one: Say things like, "I don't especially like the way I look sometimes. But I never met a man since I was fourteen that didn't want to give me an argument about it."

Lesson two: Think up an elaborate murder plan

Lesson three: Wear high-heels, red lipstick, and chain smoke while employing bedroom eyes.
Paul Nelson
The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic crime tale from James M. Cain and to be honest you just can't read this without Jack Nicholson being prominent in your thoughts.

Luck is on Frank Chambers side when he gets dumped in southern California with no car and no cash, doesn't sound too lucky admittedly but using his devilish charm he lands a job working at a small truck stop for Nick Papadakis. Then comes Nicks beautiful wife Cora and fervent lust bursts to the fore, and when Nick goes away on
Mar 22, 2016 Kaloyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Уау! Нито то можеш да оставиш тази история, нито тя тебе оставя. И не само, че не те оставя, но ти вкарва толкова мисли в главата, че направо се объркваш. Кое по-напред да прецениш и за кое по-напред да помислиш. Малка книга, която е побрала гигантска история. Първо да кажа, че е написана толкова перфектно, че недоумявам как изобщо е възможно да си толкова точен с фактите и случките. Бездънна прецизност от страна на автора, чудесно познаване на законите. И логическо мислене, от което ти става ча ...more
Dec 03, 2011 Lawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lawyer by: Goodreads Group Pulp Fiction
The Great Depression produced a remarkable cultural history. In 1934, the following books made their appearance: "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" by James Hilton, "Tender is the Night" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett, "Murder in Three Acts" by Agatha Christie, and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" by James M. Cain. However, it was Cain and Hammett that tapped into the mean underbelly of the times. Read any of the remaining three and you'd be hard-pressed to believe that the world's ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2016 صان rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان خوب بود. غافلگیری های خوبی داشت. خوب پیچونده بود شخصیت هارو به هم و جالب تموم شد. اما من زیاد خوشم نیومد. نمیدونم داستان چی باید داشته باشه تا خوشم بیاد ولی اون چیز هرچی هست، نداشت. اما کار قوی ای بود به نظر من. سه ستاره فقد برا اینه که به سلیقه من خوش نیومد. البته بعضی جاها نمیفهمیدم چه دیالوگیرو کی داره میگه و یخورده پیچ میخورد که چه اتفاقی افتاده و یهو انگار یه صحنه ای پریده میشد، ولی جز اون، بقیه چیزاش خوب بود. مخصوصن اخر داستان که هی ورق برمیگشت.
درکل، توصیه میکنم!
ولی حس خیلی محشری نس
Sep 19, 2012 Kinga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some time ago I read an interview with James M. Cain in Paris Review Interviews. I had no idea who he was but of course I had heard of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’. There was a book, there were films. I knew all about it. Here is the storyline as I saw it: it’s some sort of erotic crime thing. A woman lives alone, a guy comes to the door, says he is a postman, she lets him in, he rapes her and kills her but it’s all very ambiguous actually. Anyway, she should’ve known he wasn’t a postman bec ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
"This is a free country. You don’t have to stay out of jail, if you don’t want to."

The title is a non-sequitur. There is no postman except the metaphorical fate. Cain's message to criminals (this could be first crime-noir ever written) is clear - you have to escape justice twice; first when brought by legal hands and second when brought by your own luck. The anxiety brought by expectation of that second ring in a guilty mind is what makes that last one-third part so interesting. The characters
Cathy DuPont
Nov 04, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok...after just getting off my train wreck (for me) of Cain's Serenade, I was gloriously happy to pick up Matthew Hope's (Ed McBain) next in the series, Cinderella.

I had read about 15 pages and just picked up The Postman Always Rings Twice which I got when I got Serenade. It was right there, on my bed in my TBR next two piles now, one on bed, one on shelf. I just picked it up and read the first couple of paragraphs and put it down to pick up Matthew Hope and continue reading.

Well, f
May 04, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 1001, 2010
Another book that I was introduced to by 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. My first venture into the genre of American crime noir, and a successful one.

This short (only about 100 pages) novel is narrated by Frank Chambers - a homeless bum, a morally deficient good-for-nothing fellow who gets by by hitch-hiking, gambling and turning shady deals. One day he comes across a roadside diner/gas station and is quickly hired by its owner - a Greek entrepreneur Nick. The only reason Frank st
Jan 27, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2013
Sharp, lean and deadly - James M. Cains, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is everything noir. While there exists a distinct romanticism central to the plot, the other side of the equation – betrayal, a drifter’s skewed logic for a quick score, and murder drive this tale of one man’s gamble and a woman’s lust for a better life.

Frank Champers blows in like the wind and causes a twister of trouble for restaurant owner Nick and his curvaceous and lonesome wife, Cora. Offered a job at the small time d
This book isn't as cleverly written, dark and thrilling as Double Indemnity by the same author, but I think it still delivers some good dramas and the characters are very much understandable and realistic. And wow, the author also wrote his two lead characters having sex right next to the corpse of the guy they murdered, shocking, isn't it?

Chinese review:

《郵差總按兩次鈴》作為James M.Cain的出道作,其實並不如《雙重理賠》那麼尖銳且令人驚豔;但是作為「一張人性黑暗的X光剖面圖」,《郵差》的確是發揮非一般水平的表現,高手出招初試啼聲,筆峰還是那麼精準、犀利又大膽。

Dec 21, 2013 Shaun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Read this as part of a Library of America collection titled Crime Novels. It is the story of a drifter who falls for an unhappily married woman. The two lovers decide to kill the woman's husband, and they almost get away with it.

This is a strange little novella, yet quite enjoyable. The characters are all quite reprehensible, yet I found myself sympathetic to their plight. The writing style is somewhat simplistic yet extremely effective. The story also offers several twists and turns along the w
Alison ☆彡
Rating: 5 stars

“I bit her. I sunk my teeth into her lips so deep I could feel the blood spurt into my mouth. It was running down her neck when I carried her upstairs.”

I can't write a review. I found this gif who is pretty self-explanatory so yeah...


EDIT: I need to buy this book in English and re-read it!
David Gustafson
Aug 04, 2015 David Gustafson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

After my huge disappointment with Dashiell Hammett's "The Thin Man," I knew I could find the antidote with a re-read of James M. Cain's masterpiece, "The Postman Always Rings Twice." Thin is thin and noir is noir and Cain's first person novella stands out as the noirest of them all.

Since we know the perps from the beginning, this is never a whodunnit, not even a how-did-they-finally-get-caught mystery novel. This is Cain's search among the ruins of lust, betrayal, suspicion, confession, love and
Jul 19, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are inclined to get tattoos of other peoples' names
Shelves: 2015, noir
"I sunk my teeth into her lips so deep I could feel the blood spurt into my mouth."

Oh, noir. Such a shitty kisser.

At just over 100 pages, this is a night's work, and it hits all the buttons beautifully. Murder, passion, weird sex,'s all here. "I hauled off and hit her in the eye as hard as I could," says our hero; "She went down. She was right down there at my feet, her eyes shining, her breasts trembling." Whee!

Camus called this 1934 novella an influence on The Stranger, which
Dec 18, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I'd often heard of this pretty classic crime novel, but I'd never read it. However, it was on my ereader, and I was settled in for a looong car journey, so I randomly picked it up and got going. It's a very easy read: the language is simple, to the point, which helps to define the narrative voice. More flowery language wouldn't work with the character.

Once it gets to a certain point, parts of the plot are obvious, but the trick pulled in court is amazing. It's a simple story, in one sense -- guy
Maria Dimitrova
Mar 24, 2016 Maria Dimitrova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Любими
Аз май наистина много харесвам такива мрачни, черни романи. А когато са написани с майсторство като на Кейн, удоволствието е двойно! :)
Предполагам, повечето хора знаят, но е добре да се отбележи, че в романа няма никакви пощальони, които звънят, и пратки, и прочее. Заглавието е метафора - самият автор обяснява името с думите: "Както пощальона, така и провидението винаги звъни два пъти".
Ето че от една простичка история може да се получи толкова многопластов роман, който предлага много теми за р
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James Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the 'roman noir'.

He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer. He inherited his love for music from h
More about James M. Cain...

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“Love, when you get fear in it, it's not love any more. It's hate.” 80 likes
“Stealing a man's wife, that's nothing, but stealing his car, that's larceny.” 33 likes
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