Hard Cover. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Original publisher's orange cloth, titles and decorations printed in blue to front board and spine, blue top stain; original black, red and white dust jacket with wavy design. Near fine book with a touch of soiling to top edge of text block, light wear to bottom edges of boards, and previous owner’s bookplate to front pastedown; very good unclipped dust jacket with a bit of wear to jacket flap hinges and spine ends, closed tear to bottom two inches of spine, small closed tear to bottom of rear panel, a bit of soiling and smudging to rear panel, and minor toning to spine. Overall, a sturdy copy in a bright example of its iconic dust jacket. In The Postman Always Rings Twice, a drifter named Frank Chambers takes a job at a rural diner, and he and the owner’s wife, Cora, quickly begin a passionate affair. Longing to be free from Cora’s husband, the two brutally murder him, but their bond begins to fray when they enter the legal system and are pitted against one another. The first novel written by James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice was an instant classic of the “hard-boiled” genre. The title’s meaning has been the source of some speculation, but Cain has said that the “postman” represents fate, and the two rings refer to Frank and Cora’s initial escape from, and ultimate suffering of consequences for their crime. The book was influenced by Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin, and in turn influenced Albert Camus in his writing of The Stranger. It was adapted into numerous films, most notably the 1946 film noir classic starring John Garfield and Lana Turner.