The Postman Always Rings Twice

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934. First Edition. The author's seminal first novel, a cornerstone of hard-boiled fiction that was filmed twice: first in 1946 with John Garfield and Lana Turner, and more nihilistically, with a David Mamet screenplay, in 1981 with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.

James M. Cain's initial title for the book was "Bar-B-Que," thankfully altered as a result of a conversation Cain had, oddly enough, with screenwriter Vincent Lawrence. Lawrence told Cain that he was always anxious about the mail arriving because it often contained rejections for scripts he had submitted. Lawrence pointed out that he dreaded the second ring, because that practice in those days was relegated exclusively to the postman that goes back to the Victorian era in England. Cain decided it was an appropriate metaphor for the fate of the book's protagonist.

Near Fine in a moderately rubbed, about Near Fine, professionally restored dust jacket. In a custom gray cloth slipcase.

Haycraft Queen Cornerstone.

The Dark Page I: 1940-1949, p. 48.

[Book #156557]