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Publisher's Summary

Grieving widow or black widow?

The day Joan Medford buried her husband was a fateful one - because before the day was out she'd meet the two men who would change her life forever. Forced to take a job waitressing to support herself and her child, Joan finds herself caught between the handsome young schemer whose touch she comes to crave and the wealthy older man whose touch repels her… but who otherwise would make a tempting husband number two. It's a classic Cain triangle - brutal and sexual and stark - that can only end in death. But for whom, the guilty…or the innocent?

The final novel written by James M. Cain and never before published, The Cocktail Waitress is a testament to the enduring power of one of the most acclaimed novelists of the 20th century. The author of unforgettable noir classics such as Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, Cain's work remains as impossible to put down today as when first written, and will leave even jaded modern readers breathless.

©2012 The Estate of James M. Cain (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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interesting

Different kind of book, this one was published 30 years after the author's death. James M Cain wrote "The Postman Always Rings Twice" which was twice made into a movie. Cain was most famous as a writer in the 30's and 40's and he was one of the original writers of crime and sin before it became mainstream. He was also know for writing about femme fatale's, women who were caught up in a bad marriage or bad situation and couldn't see a way out and how that played out. "The Cocktail Waitress" fits this mold. The person who got this last novel published was a Cain fan who heard the book existed and went to work looking for it. It took him 9 years. He found some of it in the Library of Congress, some with the author's last agent, who was also dead. He put all the pieces together, edited it, and this is the result. The author was in his 80's when he wrote this. If you're a Cain fan or like these types of books, it's worth the effort, it's a fairly short book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Reader was great

This was a fun book in that it had sort of a campy, "trashy novel" feed about it. The best aspect,however , was the reader, who can make or break an audiobook experience.This reader made this story come alive .The plot itself was just okay, not Cain's best work. Both audiobooks I ve listened to by James Cain have been enhanced by the choice of narrator.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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disappointing

Would you listen to The Cocktail Waitress again? Why?

probably not

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

i really was really enjoying the story but the ending was very disapointing - at least to me it was. Kind of left my hanging waiting for more.

What does Amy Rubinate bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The way she read was kind of monatone - which added to the mystery of the story. I liked the was she narrated it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

THE ENDING FELL SHORT.

What made the experience of listening to The Cocktail Waitress the most enjoyable?

THE STORY TOOK A LONG TIME TO GET GOING BUT IT GOT VERY ENJOYABLE ONCE JOAN BECAME INVOLVED WITH MR. WHITE.

What other book might you compare The Cocktail Waitress to and why?

IT REMINDS ME MORE OF A SONG. BILLY JOEL'S "LYING EYES" THAN ANOTHER BOOK.

What about Amy Rubinate’s performance did you like?

SHE WAS EASY TO LISTEN TO.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

IN SEVERAL SITTINGS.

Any additional comments?

I WISH THE ENDING WAS BETTER. I FELT CHEATED. BUT THE BOOK WAS ENTERTAINING.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Not for me

Any additional comments?

World view and attitudes of characters are like the (I think 1940s) black and white movies, which I enjoyed. But it does not come across as enjoyable to me in text form. I guess the movies with the black and white, classic actors, hair styles, cars, etc of the era allow you to identify with the characters mindsets and situations so you can enjoy the story in it's context. In text torm without all the visual and audio world building of the times, too much seems silly from a point of view of today and it just didn't work for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good Listen

Enjoyed the book and narrator.It became a more complex story than the title would indicate.

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  • Adeline Stephen
  • 05-27-13

Excellent all round.

If you only ever listen to one audiobook, make it this one. Superb reading and great story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful