Mildred Pierce

  • by James M. Cain
  • Narrated by Christine Williams
  • 10 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness and determination. She used those attributes to survive a divorce in 1940s America with two children and to claw her way out of poverty, becoming a successful businesswoman. But Mildred also had two weaknesses: a yen for shiftless men and an unreasoning devotion to her monstrous daughter.Out of these elements, Cain created a novel (later made into a film noir classic) of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence - and a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.

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What the Critics Say

"[James M. Cain is] the poet of the hard-boiled school of the American novel." (Washington Post)
"A novel that, once begun, will almost surely be read to the end....it reflects no codes, no restrictions, and none but the primordial necessities. It is a bath in sensation." (New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mildred -- you pierce my heart

Great quickie read. Terrific rendering of the 1930s - 1940s. But better even was the psychological impact of the book. As the plot surged forward, just when you think you know what is coming, well, something else happens. The twist at the end is delicious. In the end it caused me to shake my head at how little the world has changed. The mother-daughter tensions are wild and real. The title could easily been Veda Pierce. The audio book reader, however was ill-suited for this dark tale of warning. If not a man, then a woman with a less childish, more mature voice with a better sense of pacing and drama would have made this a finer experience. Looking forward to HBOs 5 night presentation of Mildred, played by Kate Winslett (3/27/11).
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- P. Giorgio

You can get arrested for bad morals

This is like historical fiction. Cain writes about the common man or woman. I like it better then books about presidents or rich guys. Cain's writing is usually exciting and he has mastered the ability to keep you interested in the story and the characters.

Mildred Pierce is a housewife who divorces her worthless husband and starts a business on her own in the 30's. She is hard working and you really want her to succeed. Unfortunately those around her just want to take advantage of her. The relationship between her and her daughter is different. The daughter is a major bitch and all Pierce wants to do is make her happy. Some people might find it unrealistic that a mother would cow tow so much to her daughter, but I have seen such things in real life.

In the thirties if two people want a divorce they must go to court and one of them must bring charges against the other. In one part of the story a young man is threaten to be taken to jail, because he may have gotten a young lady pregnant, because evidently we once had moral laws. It is very interesting to see how life has changed in the last 80 years.

The first half of this book is better then the second half, but none of it is bad. I have now listened to all three Cain books offered by audible and liked them all. The Postman always rings twice is my favorite.

The narrator is very different. It is like she is yelling at you from across a crowded room. Everything is read in a rush and as if each sentence is extremely exciting. You get used to it and it may have even helped some of the slower parts of the book. At other times it is little distracting.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.