1934 1st edition; Grosset & Dunlap publishers, New York; hardbound in red boards with black lettering on cover and spine; quite good conditon with unmarked pages and tight binding; dust cover quite good.
The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1934 crime novel by James M. Cain.
The novel was successful and notorious upon publication. It is regarded as one of the more important crime novels of the 20th century. The novel's mix of sexuality and violence was startling in its time and caused it to be banned in Boston.
It is included in Modern Library's list of 100 best novels.
The novel has been adapted as a motion picture seven times (see Adaptations). The 1946 version is probably the best known and is regarded as an important film noir.
The story is narrated in the first person by Frank Chambers, a young drifter who stops at a rural California diner for a meal and ends up working there. The diner is operated by a beautiful young woman, Cora, and her much older husband, Nick Papadakis, sometimes called "the Greek".
Frank and Cora feel an immediate attraction to each other and begin a passionate affair with sadomasochistic qualities (when they first embrace, Cora commands Frank to bite her lip, and Frank does so hard enough to draw blood).
Cora is tired of her situation, married to a man she does not love and working at a diner that she wants to own and improve. Frank and Cora scheme to murder the Greek in order to start a new life together without Cora losing the diner.
They plan on striking Nick's head and making it seem he fell and drowned in the bathtub. Cora fells Nick with a solid blow, but a sudden power outage and the appearance of a policeman make the scheme fail. Nick recovers and because of retrograde amnesia does not suspect that he narrowly avoided being killed.
Determined to kill Nick, Frank and Cora fake a car accident...