The Postman Always Rings Twice

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934.

Price: $10,000.00

Hardcover. First edition. Boards are slightly soiled and near fine, with a supplied proof dustwrapper which came directly from the estate of the artist Arthur Hawkins, Jr. The jacket has been folded with a crease at the spine, Knopf's small Borzoi logo has been cut away from the rear panel (possibly for another design by Hawkins), and Hawkins has written the date "1933" on the front flap, although the book wasn't released until 1934. However the jacket is exceptionally bright and otherwise fine, and about 1/4" taller than the finished version, to which we have compared it (although otherwise identical to it). The jacket was unsigned by Hawkins, unlike most of his work, but is credited to him in Heller and Chwast's seminal study of jacket design, *Jackets Required* – the survival of this proof in his estate seems to confirm their research. A milestone of hardboiled literature that was the basis for the classic 1946 film featuring Lana Turner and John Garfield (as well as at least three other versions). *Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone.* This proof jacket is likely unique.

Item #328346

item image

The Postman Always Rings Twice. James M. CAIN.
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Postman Always Rings Twice

James M. Cain
birth name: James M. Cain
born: 7/1/1892
died: 10/27/1977
nationality: USA

View Reference Info

Biography

Novelist whose violent, sexually obsessed, and relentlessly paced melodramas epitomized the hard-boiled fiction that flourished in the U.S. in the 1930s and '40s. Three of his novels - The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), Double Indemnity (1936), and Mildred Pierce (1941) - were also made into classics of the American screen. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literaturemore

Collecting tips:

Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), is probably his most sought after title. Jacketed copies can range widely in price, from the low thousands, up to an imposing figure if in truly beautiful condition. His novel Serenade (1937), comes in two color variant jackets - primarily either purple (in our experience the scarcer) or red. As the basis for a very good movie, Mildred Pierce (1941), ("everything you ever wanted to know about chicken" according to our colleague Peter Stern) has of late attracted some serious collecting interest. Cain's first book, Our Government (1930), comes in two variant jackets - one with a large dollar sign (generally adjudged the first issued) and the other illustrated with the portrait of a bloated plutocrat. Curiously, no one seems to care much about this book, although I think it's a mistake - it is scarce, particularly in nice condition.

Email us to request a printed copy of our catalog of James M. Cain Rare Books and First Editions (or download it via the link as a 1.59 MB pdf file). We also offer a comprehensive James M. Cain Bibliography and Price Guide.more