Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and Selected Stories (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – July 22, 2003
Save on The Short Drop
“FitzSimmons has come up with a doozy of a sociopath.” —The Washington Post Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Nobody has quite pulled it off the way Cain does, not Hemingway, and not even Raymond Chandler.” –Tom Wolfe
“Mr. Cain is a real writer who can construct and tell an exciting story with dazzling swiftness . . . [his] work has a fast rhythm that is art.” –Saturday Review of Literature
“Cain can get down to the primary impulses of greed and sex in fewer words than any writer we know of.” –New York Times
From the Inside Flap
The Postman Always Rings Twice," Cain's first novel--tried for obscenity in Boston, the inspiration for Camus's The Stranger--is the fever-pitched tale of a drifter who stumbles into a job, into an obsessional passion, and into a murder. Double Indemnity--which followed "Postman so quickly, Cain's readers hardly had a chance to catch their breath--is a tersely narrated story of a blind, excessive love, duplicity, and, of course, murder. Mildred Pierce, a work of acute psychological observation and devastating emotional violence, is the tale of a woman with a taste for shiftless men and an unreasoned devotion to her monstrous daughter. All three novels were immortalized in classic Hollywood films. Also included here are five masterful stories--"Pastorale," "The Baby in the Icebox," "Dead Man," "Brush Fire," "The Girl in the Storm"--that have been out of print for decades.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Published in 1934, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is the truly deadly story of a drifter who squirms his way into a job at a California truck stop--and then squirms his way into the bed of a sexy waitress. Trouble is, the waitress is married to the boss... and she doesn't like it, not one little bit. Dripping with lust, deception, and irony, POSTMAN is at once sickening and fascinating, a true powerhouse of a novel that festers long after the story has ended.
DOUBLE INDEMNITY, published in 1936, is equally hot--the tale of an insurance sales man who stays on the right side of the law until he is tempted by a psychopathic femme fatale who doesn't see anything wrong with picking up a few bucks on the unexpected death of her unwanted husband. MILDRED PIERCE, published in 1941, is equally memorable in its portrait of a driven housewife with a wayward husband who discovers that she will do absolutely anything for her vicious, serpentine daughter.
All three novels have been famously filmed, but while the film versions (most created during the 1940s) stand well on their own, the novels out distance them in nothing flat.Read more ›
The novels are set in the Depression-era 1930s in southern California, including Los Angeles and its environs. There is feeling of place in each of these novels, particularly of cheap seedy businesses, impoverished dwellings, lonely roads and railroad tracks, poolhalls, and chop houses. The novels offer a stark view of human sexuality and lust and a dismal view of human nature as motivated by greed, jealousy, and class envy. Cain portrays a society that is philistine and always on the make. Women tend to be the stronger characters in Cain's novels. They take the initiative with their men, most often by usuing their sexuality but sometimes through ambition and effort as well. The men tend to be shiftless, unfocused and driven by their passions. Cain's writing is tough, descriptive, colloquial, and short.
The two short works in this collection, "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "Double Indemnity" are stories of murder and violence. Both are told in a confessional style by a male narrator who is about to receive his end for his misdeeds.Read more ›
The Postman Always Rings Twice-A bum named Frank falls off a hay truck and into the arms of Cora the waitress. Cora and Frank plan the murder of Nick, Cora's ignorant and ugly Greek husband. The two lovers then develop a loathing for one another. This gritty tale was filmed in 1946 starring John Garfield and the luscious Lana Turner. This is a short novella of only a little over 100 action packed pages. The book is narrated in the first person by Frank.
Double Indemnity-Walter is an insurance man who meets Phyllis. Phyllis and Walter plan to murder her husband collecting the insurance on a double indemnity policy. Walter turns against Phyllis when he learns of her murderous past but it is too late for the doomed pair. The book evokes the atmosphere of 1930s Los Angeles and is tautly written with great one liners. This book was also turned into a film classic starring Fred MacMurray as Walter, Barbara Stanwyck as the evil Phyllis and the deft directorial genius of Billy Wilder on display., A richer book than Postman. Both of these classics show us what happened when a weak man is entrapped by an evil and wily woman. Sex is dangerous in the world of Cain. The book is narrated by Walter.
Mildred Pierce-The longest of the three Cain novels was published in 1941. It concerns Mildred Pierce who begins at the bottom of the ladder as a waitress who climbs to riches as the owner of several California restaurants.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After seeing the movies made from these novels, I can see that the true talent came from the screenwriters, actors and directors. I'm sorry,but these novels are just junk. Read morePublished 19 months ago by huronis1
Interesting relic of fiction writing from the 1940s. Not real sure it is worth reading, unless you have an interest in that particular era, set in California. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Paul C. Gaertner III
Great books; can't go wrong...and familiarity with the movies make them even better!Published 21 months ago by Weatherman
What a great collection. A few things about the Everyman editions before getting on to James M. Cain. These books are great. High quality, beautiful to display, and easy to read. Read morePublished 21 months ago by FeetMustFollow
I was thrilled to get this book. These three stories are on my list of favorite movies of all time, and to get all three together was exciting. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Brenda Mc
I loved the movie versions of these stories. The dialogue and tone of the book was so old Hollywood film noir. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by P. Lownds