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The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and Selected Stories
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The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and Selected Stories

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  967 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)These three classics from the master of the noir novel, along with five otherwise unavailable short stories, are electric with the taut narrative voice, the suspense, and the explosive violence and eroticism that were James M. Cain’s indelible hallmarks.The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cain’s first novel–the subject of an obscenity trial in Bos ...more
Hardcover, 594 pages
Published July 22nd 2003 by Everyman's Library (first published 1934)
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Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of noir, short stories
This is certainly a big collection, and I have to say that perhaps reading all of the stories in one shot was not the greatest idea. It all tends to kind of blur together at points. However, I shall discuss each portion separately, and try to be fair.

The Postman Always Rings Twice - still gets 4 stars because it is really very well written, tense and suspenseful, but I do feel it kind of lags after the initial trial. However, that last line packs way more of a punch than I recalled. A-1 writing
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I wound up at Cain (I think Dennis Lehane spawned some googling of influences) but I'm glad I did. I hunted down Postman from the library and initially wasn't aware of the contents so was pleasantly surprised to find some familiar names (though I've never seen any of the movie or tv versions).

Postman is starkly savage and straight to the point with a wonderful pace and set up. For my money though, Double Indemnity was the best of the bunch. It shares some common themes with Post
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
This is a terrific collection of some of the very best of James M. Cain's fiction. I really enjoyed rereading The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, but it was my first-time reading of Mildred Pierce that really made an impression on me. Mildred Pierce is a novel of high quality and an extraordinary character study of a woman trying to make something of herself in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Mildred felt like a real person to me, I rooted for her and wanted her to succeed, but it was ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had previously read the longer works in this collection but kept it kicking around until I could get to the short stories. I am glad I did. They were great reads and Cain doesn't lose any of his skill when penning shorter work. Although I've read and reviewed the novels before, I would be doing a disservice to those who have not if I didn't mention how awesome Cain is. Mildred Pierce is one of my favorite novels. Tom Wolfe is quoted as saying that even Chandler can't approach what Cain has don ...more
Oct 18, 2009 rated it liked it
For anyone wanting to explore the works of Cain, I highly recommend this Everyman's Library edition. The editor made great choices regarding what to include and in which order. Each of the three novels was better than its predecessor, and the short stories at the end are like lovely niblets of almost-too-ripe fruit and delicious stinky cheese after a fine three-course meal full of fat and cholesterol. You love every bite, even while dreading the inevitable heart attack.

This entry is specifically
Jay McNair
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I don't know what to say about these. They embrace savagery. These stories know how to move.

Three novels in my edition, and five short stories. Of the novels, Mildred Pierce by far the longest, surprisingly slow and subtle in comparison with the reckless pace of the first two. Pierce also the least satisfying ending. Double Indemnity the most satisfying ending, and maybe the most satisfying overall. But The Postman Always Rings Twice has a clout to it, that filling station, the moment of grace i
Lisa Locke
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, suspense
If you are a fan of film noir, these are the stories the movies were based on. I also really enjoyed reading Mildred Pierce in particular even though it does not read as dark as Postman or Double Indemnity. Will not describe any more as it would spoil the plots.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What else can I say? Cain is a master.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
i only read the postman always rings twice. it wasnt that good.
Matthew Lipson
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
This is a Review for The Postman Always Rings Twice (read in this collected edition).

This book is particularly interesting and much deserving of its place in the lexicon of noir/crime fiction, while at the same time being an obvious early novel of a great master. The plot is tight, while the writing, at times, is lacking in finesse and clarity. Cain appears to be feeling his way around long form fiction, which he does become a master of.

More after I finish Double Indemnity.
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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...