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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1934 James M. Cain (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the critics say

"A good, swift, violent story." (Dashiell Hammett)

What listeners say about The Postman Always Rings Twice

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 2012-06-25

Tucci's performance of "Postman" is exquisite!

I have long been a huge fan of James M. Cain, having read several times his best novels: The Postman Always Rings Twice; Double Indemnity; and Mildred Pierce. Stanley Tucci's reading of The Postman Always Rings Twice was absolutely terrific! His intonations, accents, emphases, pauses--every aspect of his performance is spot on, as he catches subtle nuances that a less sensitive reader might easily miss. I cannot overemphasize how satisfying this audio version of Cain's classic novel is. First-rate, in every way.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 2019-07-13

Underwhelming

This book did not age well. It may have been regarded as important and novel in its time, but the blatant racism and lack of character complexity leaves much to be desired. The characters are flat, two-dimensional parodies of who they were supposed to represent. This book had lots of reviews in the noir circle that made me want to give it a go, but I found it underwhelming at best. Admittedly, the narration is a great example of the noir genre, but I expected more depth.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Darryl
  • 2012-09-20

Cain always good

It's hard to go wrong with this one. good narration. great noir/existential story. a classic and another that i can return to and enjoy many times. Cain is great and look forward to newly discovered Waitress.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • St. John Smythe
  • 2018-09-04

Hard to Follow Performace

Never read the book and haven’t seen the movie version yet. I enjoyed the story, but Stanley Tucci doesn’t give a great performance of the material. Another reviewer already commented it was hard to tell a lot of the time who was talking. He gives accents to two of the characters, but the two main ones, male and female, talk back and forth a lot and there is no different of inflection between the two.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mike Henderson
  • 2017-09-22

Wow!

I was amazed at how brief, but packed this book was...I had heard about it for years, but never read it..Sparse, evocative, brutal and heart-wrenching...Stanley Gucci gave a no-nonsense, expert reading..no frills, straight to the bone...Noir at it's best...I'll be reading the rest of McCain...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joan-Archer
  • 2016-12-28

good but frustrating

struggled to understand which character was speaking some of the time because of the speaker.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas P. O'Connor
  • 2022-03-17

Excellent- kept me guessing

Better than the movie! James Cain and Stanley Tucci: Doesn’t get any better than this!! Interesting how this novella evokes such emotions - ups and downs, twists and turns, good and evil, and one wonders how can this possibly end well? It simply does. This short work packs a powerful punch.

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  • Paul Tretyak
  • 2022-03-03

Cheese!

I found the main characters, Frank and Cora, obnoxiously stupid. I pretended that I was listening to the narrative of a room-temperature-IQ criminal's diary. It helped make it into an unintentional comedy. Good reading, though.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-02-07

Not too bad

The narration was nearly monotone, the way Detective movies apparently were in the age of black and white. Unfortunately,it's not a "classic technique", it's just dated.

The story is supposed to be one of the best of the 20th century. It IS pretty good, too. I can certainly see how it would get that reputation.

In the end, I'm happy with my purchase, and that pretty much says it all.

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  • Van Zant
  • 2021-08-29

Loved this!

I saw this movie quite a long time ago and really liked it. Decided to listen today while I was cleaning up. It kept my attention 100% of the time. Very good. The narrator had a rich and easy-to-listen to voice. It is short enough to listen to it all at one time. Would highly recommend.