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Cain's classic novel, and the source for the 1945 film starring Joan Crawford, makes its way onto audio with this reading by actor and singer Williams. Cain's purple prose and then-scandalous dialogue take on new life under Williams's direction, her assured tone underscoring the legendary noir writer's rip-roaring tale of a woman scorned who survives no-good men and a hateful daughter to make it in 1930s Los Angeles. Williams is out of her depth encountering tense or high-pitched dialogue, reading it in a clipped monotone that does little for Cain's drama, but is on far stronger ground with the rest of the book, which flourishes under her steady, patient, ever-so-slightly melancholic gaze. Williams's reading lacks the rage that moved Crawford's Mildred, but her version of the now-familiar story amplifies our sense of Cain's heroine as an abandoned woman who finds her own way, on her own terms. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“[James M. Cain is] the poet of the hard-boiled school of the American novel.” —The Washington Post
“Nobody has quite pulled it off the way Cain does, not Hemmingway, and not even Raymond Chandler.” —Tom Wolfe
“Cain can get down to the primary impulses of greed and sex in fewer words than any writer we know of.” —The New York Times
A remarkable story of human relationships, complexities, perseverance, and weakness!
All too often people turn a blind eye to what they refuse to believe, or perhaps can't... Read more
I don't know quite where to start when writing a review of this book. Even though I had seen the movie and so knew more or less how the story would unfold (or thought I did), I... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2002 by Jennifer M.
I re-read this novel after recently seeing the movie again. I remembered that Cain's novel felt darker and dingier than the movie, but I had forgotten how different the novel... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2002 by annbenden
Unlike the famous film version, Cain's novel of a hard-knocks woman who dumps her no-good husband and raises the kids on her own is completely devoid of any Hollywood glamour--and... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2001 by Gary F. Taylor
If you think that rotten, ungrateful children began in the 90's (or ended with King Lear's daughters), meet Vida Pierce, Mildred's daughter, an amoral young thing with a talent for... Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2001 by Duke
This is a classic story of a family destroyed and a mother's attempt to shield her daughter. Left financially insecure after a divorce, Mildred experiences the American dream and... Read morePublished on July 16 2000 by "labibliophile"
This book is impossible to find in libraries. I was pleased to be able to find it at Amazon.com. I had seen the movie with Joan Crawford over 20 years ago. Read morePublished on March 11 2000 by Jean Morris Robbins
Why is this listed under crime? The only crime in this book is that Mildred loved her daughter too much. Read morePublished on April 20 1999