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The Postman Always Rings Twice

James Cain’s Lost Novel The Cocktail Waitress

Author James Cain best known for The Postman Always Rings Twice and Mildred Pierce has a new novel published 35 years after his death. He began it in 1975 and died in 1977. James Cain is one of the “big three” of crime classics with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. His work Mildred Pierce is a recent HBO award winning series. Before his death at the age of 87, he put elements of his life into one last novel-angina and nitroglycerine pills. He borrowed from his best known work of a young attractive woman getting out of a bad marriage, an older man, a handsome young man, economic challenges and implication in her husbands’ death. The Cocktail Waitress story is told in the main character’s own words and viewpoint. Cain worked on his novel up to his death and it was found in the files of a deceased Hollywood agent. There was a whole manuscript, several partial ones, fragments, lines on notebook paper and another draft labeled “original”. Its completion took nine more years. The reviewer compares the main character, Joan Medford, to Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce. In the editor’s afterword, the story of the publication of the “lost” manuscript describes the collection of its pieces like a mystery solved.


Amazon Says: What Veda wants, her mother Mildred Pierce provides. Even if Mildred must end her middle-class marriage, climb atop the male-dominated business world and marry a wealthy man s more...
Amazon Says: What Veda wants, her mother Mildred Pierce provides. Even if Mildred must end her middle-class marriage, climb atop the male-dominated business world and marry a wealthy man she doesn't love. "I'll do anything," Mildred says in explaining her love for her daughter. But does anything include murder? Just when you think you got this nominee for five other Oscarsincluding Best Picture figured out, along comes a shocking twist ending! Director: Michael Curtiz Starring: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth less...
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AmazonCarol S. Says: A woman with an inconvenient husband and problematic solution. Banned in Boston in 1934
Amazon Says: An amoral young tramp.  A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband.  A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems t more...
Amazon Says: An amoral young tramp.  A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband.  A problem that has only one grisly solution--a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve. First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for its explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. It established James M. Cain as a major novelist with an unsparing vision of America's bleak underside, and was acknowledged by Albert Camus as the model for The Stranger. less...
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AmazonCarol S. Says: A 1946 movie classic, this includes a film historian’s interview
Amazon Says: Adapted from James M. Cain's story, the film relolves around the destructive relationship of two lovers whose troubles mount after they do away with her husband. more...
Amazon Says: Adapted from James M. Cain's story, the film relolves around the destructive relationship of two lovers whose troubles mount after they do away with her husband. less...
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Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
AmazonCarol S. Says: An insurance salesman is obsessed with his client who bought an accident policy on her husband
Amazon Says: Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devasta more...
Amazon Says: Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. First published in 1935, this novel reaffirmed James M. Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir. less...
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AmazonCarol S. Says: A 1944 movie starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray
Amazon Says: Double Indemnity Special Edition: Includes the 1944 version & the 1973 version more...
Amazon Says: Double Indemnity Special Edition: Includes the 1944 version & the 1973 version less...
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Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain
AmazonCarol S. Says: Mildred Pierce had a “yen for shiftless men and devotion to a monstrous daughter”.
Amazon Says: Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness. She used those attributes to survive a divorce and poverty and to claw her way out more...
Amazon Says: Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness. She used those attributes to survive a divorce and poverty and to claw her way out of the lower middle class. But Mildred also had two weaknesses: a yen for shiftless men, and an unreasoning devotion to a monstrous daughter. Out of these elements, James M. Cain created a novel of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence, with a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable. less...
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Rainbow's end by James M Cain
AmazonCarol S. Says: A dead hijacker’s $100,000 and a beautiful stewardess enter a man’s quiet life.
Amazon Says: Book by Cain, James M more...
Amazon Says: Book by Cain, James M less...
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Enchanted Isle by James M. Cain
AmazonCarol S. Says: A stepdaughter’s troubles include a bank robbery and a family’s house of lies.
Amazon Says: Book by Cain, James M. more...
Amazon Says: Book by Cain, James M. less...
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Serenade by James M. Cain
AmazonCarol S. Says: John, a down and out opera singer, meets Juana in Mexico. Winston a former employer, wants to help him regain his career with a price.
Amazon Says: Serenade is the story of the eternal triangle - with a difference. John Howard Sharp is an American opera singer down on his luck, having just bombed in Rigoletto in Mexico Ci more...
Amazon Says: Serenade is the story of the eternal triangle - with a difference. John Howard Sharp is an American opera singer down on his luck, having just bombed in Rigoletto in Mexico City when he first encounters the beautiful Mexican-Indian prostitute called Juana. Miraculously, she offers him the chance to rebuild his career in Hollywood and New York but then Winston Hawes, the young, rich and well-connected conductor who had first launched Sharp, comes back into his life with terrible consequences. less...
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The Cocktail Waitress by James M. Cain
Amazon Says: Following her husband's death in a suspicious car accident, beautiful young widow Joan Medford is forced to take a job serving drinks in a cocktail lounge to make ends meet an more...
Amazon Says: Following her husband's death in a suspicious car accident, beautiful young widow Joan Medford is forced to take a job serving drinks in a cocktail lounge to make ends meet and to have a chance of regaining custody of her young son. At the job she encounters two men who take an interest in her, a handsome young schemer who makes her blood race and a wealthy but unwell older man who rewards her for her attentions with a $50,000 tip and an unconventional offer of marriage... less...
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