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.
About the Author
James M. Cain (1892-1977) was one of the most important authors in the history of crime fiction. Born in Maryland, he became a journalist after giving up on a childhood dream of singing opera. After two decades writing for newspapers in Baltimore, New York, and the army--and a brief stint as the managing editor of the" New Yorker"--Cain moved to Hollywood in the early 1930s. While writing for the movies, he turned to fiction, penning the novella "The Postman Always Rings Twice "(1934). This tightly wound tale of passion, murder, and greed became one of the most controversial bestsellers of its day, and remains one of the foremost examples of American noir writing. It set the tone for Cain's next few novels, including "Serenade "(1937), "Mildred Pierce "(1941), "Double Indemnity" (1943), and "The Butterfly" (1947). Several of his books became equally successful noir films, particularly the classic 1940s adaptations of "Mildred Pierce "and "Double Indemnity". Cain moved back to Maryland in 1948. Though he wrote prolifically until his death, Cain remains most famous for his early work.
"A good, swift, violent story." --Dashiell Hammett
"A poet of the tabloid murder." --Edmund Wilson