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The Postman Always Rings Twice

Critique • Quotes • At the movies

The Postman Always Rings Twice first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1934, United States

Literature form

Literary, crime

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 38,000 words

Notable lines

They threw me off the hay truck about noon. I had swung on the night before, down at the border, and as soon as I got up there under the canvas, I went to sleep. I needed plenty of that, after three weeks in Tia Juana, and I was still getting it when they pulled off to one side to let the engine cool. Then they saw a foot sticking out and threw me off.

— First lines

Except for the shape, she really wasn't any raving beauty, but she had a sulky look to her, and her lips stuck out in a way that made me want to mash them in for her.


"And when I began to talk, up there on the screen, they knew me for what I was, and so did I. A cheap Des Moines trollop, that has as much chance in pictures as a monkey has. Not as much. A monkey, anyway, can make you laugh. All I did was make you sick."


Stealing a man's wife, that's nothing, but stealing his car, that's larceny.


I kissed her. Her eyes were shining up at me like two blue stars. It was like being in church.


Father McConnell says prayers help. If you've got this far, send up one for me, and Cora, and make it that we're together, wherever it is.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes • At the movies