The Cocktail Waitress

The Cocktail Waitress Following her husbands 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 rega

Following her husbands 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 olderFollowing her husbands 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

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The Cocktail Waitress

  1. James Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the roman noir.He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer He inherited his love for music from his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Balti Sun.He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the New York World and articles for American Mercury He also served briefly as the managing editor of The New Yorker , but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, Algiers , Stand Up and Fight , and Gypsy Wildcat.His first novel he had already published Our Government in 1930 , The Postman Always Rings Twice was published in 1934 Two years later the serialized, in Liberty Magazine , Double Indemnity was published.He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels Serenade about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow , Mildred Pierce in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer and Career in C Major , a short semi comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, The Baby in the Icebox 1981 , Cloud Nine 1984 and The Enchanted Isle 1985 being published posthumously However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.

163 Reply to “The Cocktail Waitress”

  1. If this book actually were a cocktail you d probably find it was pretty smooth going down, but think that it s not all that strong while drinking Then you d be surprised by the twist you found at the bottom of the glass, and when you tried to stand up you d fall over and realize that you were completely shitfaced after all Joan Medford is burying her husband, but since he was an abusive drunk she isn t exactly upset that he crashed and burned in a drunk driving accident However, he s left her st [...]

  2. 7 10 The long lost final novel of James M Cain, written when the author was 83 years old, is well deserving of the atribute hidden gem , especially to fans of the pulp author already familiar with his style a first person narration that throws the reader into the middle of a maelstrom of human emotion, with a strong sense of impending doom, courtesy of the opening scene at a funeral and of the confessional type of first person narration from the widow Joan Medford.My review borrows heavily from [...]

  3. James M Cain is best known for his three classic novels Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Mildred Pierce The Cocktail Waitress is his last book and was unpublished at the time of his death Cain was still working on the book, although he had completed several drafts of it, and there is no way of knowing at this point whether he was happy with the work he had done and whether he thought it was ready for publication The fact that he had not yet submitted it by the time he died, w [...]

  4. Meh No doubt I started with the wrong Cain novel for my first read For a thoughtful, detailed review, read this one from my GR friend Algernon review show

  5. Why, oh why, don t I read these kinds of books often James Cain is a master of the crime noir novel Not a word is wasted as he suspensfully sets the scene smoky, dark bar love triangle a voluptuous young cocktail waitress who already has one dead husband and needs to find a way to get a lot of money quickly The story is told in the first person from her point of view, which works so well as a reader can we trust her This was Cain s last book and he died before it was finished Editors painstakin [...]

  6. I finished this book and thought, Well, that was nice I couldn t figure out why Stephen King said the book will ock you with an ending you will never forget As far as I was concerned, things were wrapped up quite nicely and it was a 3 to 4 star book.But then I googled thalidomide It was then I realized that I had just read a horror novel And it is a horror novel that is so wicked it sent chills down my spine Looking back, I see now that the murderer in this story is by far the cruelest, most evi [...]

  7. The Cocktail Waitress was James M Cain s last work of fiction before his death in 1977, a hard case crime story that was written and lost in the final years of his life The novel was eventually recovered nine years later by the editor of the hard case crime series, Charles Ardai He assembled a publishable version from Cain s transcript and many notes with vital scenes played out many times The story is told in first person with the narrator being the young, stunningly beautiful Joan Medford, sta [...]

  8. I really, really, really wanted to like this book when I first opened it, but the truth of the matter is that I did not Ostensibly the story of a woman s anguish about getting her child back from relatives in whose care the boy has been left, and how she goes about doing so, what we have here is a sort of sleaze version of the Perils of Pauline, as the narrator gets stuck in bad situation after bit situation, none of it, of course, her fault The novel is set up as a confession, of sorts, being t [...]

  9. The Cocktail Waitress reaffirms James M Cain as a true master of noir An intelligent and emotionally satisfying portrayal of a middle class beauty living below the poverty line who only wants the best for her son A victim of domestic abuse and punished for her curvaceous body and move star looks, Joan Medford faces adversity in every mirror Public perception immediately ridicules and downgrades her intellect and ambition, yet through a strong reserve and perhaps a muddled sense of justice, she s [...]

  10. Posthumously published novel, assembled by an editor from various drafts Cain wrote before his death Not bad, especially for the way it was put together, but not his best.The story is told by Joan, who has to take a job as a cocktail waitress after the death of her husband, to support herself and her young son We are shown her struggle to become financially stable, in order to keep custody of her child The way she achieves this isn t always above board She gets into some situations that put her [...]

  11. Joan Medford is a young beautiful woman in an unhealthy marriage, but when her husband dies in a suspicious car accident, does that mean her life will improve No, she now has to take a job as a cocktail waitress to make ends meet and somehow make enough money to finally be able to take her son back from her mother in law On the job, two men take a special interest in her, one really gets Joan s blood racing and the other is a very wealthy older man who tips very generously if she gives him her a [...]

  12. Joan Medford is a widow her husband died on a drunken binge and crashed a borrowed car Mrs Medford is being watched by the suspicious eye of the law, but a friendly officer takes one look at her womanly body and recommends she wait tables at a restaurant and bar called The Garden She gets the job and makes good immediately, which is good since she has a young son to care for But men always get in the way A young, handsome man name Tom with grabby hands sets his sights on Joan, and in spite of a [...]

  13. If you have read many of his novels you will know of his characters, his femme fatales and women stuck in situations where their other half could do with a killing off for a hefty sum of insurance.His storytelling is about ordinary people mostly men and women, where the women go to extraordinary lengths to win and get what they want, they wish to get that much out of the plan of things, manipulation of love and deceit their modus operandi.He writes with a dynamic plot and narrative drive that h [...]

  14. This book is not as advertised It is from Hard Case so one would assume a degree of noir, and it has some buried deep in it s pedigree However in it s reassembled final persona it would appear to be pages of pure Stella Dallas except this kid is a boy named Tad but again this is only slightly correct This is all going to a very different place way though and beyond the world of Helen Trent and on to a dark plane of dread What we have here, buried under yards of soap opera text is a true horror s [...]

  15. I know we re all supposed to hate Ethel here, but come on, at least someone is watching Tad I ended this book still unclear on why Joan had to marry the old guy instead of the young guy if you basically just need a husband so you can stop cocktailing get your kid back from your horrid sister in law, who cares if he has tons tons of money as opposed to some money We d all like our kids to frolic on giant lawns have maids cooks all that, but really, wouldn t we rather give up that big house so we [...]

  16. THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS 2012 James M Cain According to the publisher s blurbs on the jacket, this was the last novel that Cain wrote before his death, but only recently found among his papers Cain was 85 years old when he was working on this book, and was still producing edited copy The book is complete as issued, but really doesn t reflect the genius of Cain as demonstrated in his earlier works, such as Double Indemnity, or The Postman Always Rings Twice This work harks back to Cain s earliest da [...]

  17. Scandalous stuff indeed, with some killer plot twists Unusually for crime noir, the story is told from the P.O.V of the femme fatale The Cocktail Waitress was published posthumously after years of determined sleuthing by Charles Ardai, founder of Hard Case Crime, to find the lost manuscript Thank you, Charles, from the bottom of my heart

  18. Often referred to as the lost Cain novel, The Cocktail Waitress is the noir extraordinaire James M Cain s final published work It takes things from the female side of the mystery, as a woman whose husband has died under mysterious circumstances narrates and tells us her tale She seems to come across as a victim from her narrative, but is she really telling us all As the plot moves forward after her late husband s funeral, we learn that Joan is divided between two men, the one she wants, and the [...]

  19. Joan Medford is a twenty two year old cocktail waitress whose first husband Ron, a brute and drunk, dies in a fatal auto crash She marries a second husband Earl who is loaded and lots older than she is The goal she has to get back her little son Tad currently under the care of her sister in law Ethel who has designs to keep Tad as her own I found myself wondering throughout reading the story whether Joan is actually an unreliable narrator since it s her speaking in the first person Some of her d [...]

  20. Stylish dialogues and an attractive woman with history James.M.Cain is a genius I m JAPANESE,and don t fully understand subtle nuances but this is worth rereading.

  21. I reserve five stars for only the very best of the best The plot was engaging and the end so perfectly twisted.I loved this book for two reasons First, I found the plot, writing style and narrative pacing to be lovely It doesn t have the grit and edge that Postman has it is measured and nuanced I love the ease with which it unfolds and draws you in not too rushed or forced It meanders up and down through the minor crescendos, and brings you to the very end wondering what is going to happen Then [...]

  22. James M Cain is often mentioned, along with Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, as one of the Big Three of the original hard boiled crime genre from the 30s, 40s and 50s His most famous works were undoubtedly The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity, all of which were published in the first half of his career And now, 35 years after his death, we are treated to a lost book, written in his final yearsat one last book that he had in him as it were According to the a [...]

  23. La camarera fue uno de esos libros que te encuentras en las librer as de tu pa s que est n abajo precio y venta final por que 1 Nadie los lee 2 Ya son libros muy viejos en el inventario, cuando lo vi y le la sinopsis me intrigo mucho de que iba, este junto a otro que compre ese mismo d a por que estaban a un precio super bajo, los compre pero sin tener muchas expectativas y sobre sin tener referencia de los autores, el segundo no me dejo un mal sabor de boca pero tampoco me sorprendi por eso le [...]

  24. James Cain faugh Everything he touches smells like a Billy goat He is every kind of writer I detest, a faux na f, a Proust in greasy overalls, a dirty little boy with a piece of chalk and a board fence and nobody looking Such people are the offal of literature, not because they write about dirty things, but because they do it in a dirty way Nothing hard and clean and cold and ventilated A brothel with a smell of cheap scent in the front parlor and a bucket of slops at the back door Do I, for God [...]

  25. Schrijver moet maar een matig leven gehad hebben als die denkt dat vrouwen zo denken Maar dan nog hoefde hij het ni zo saai te maken.

  26. James M Cain s final novel, The Cocktail Waitress, written just before his death in 1977, was also his last foray into his own classic Cain milieu for which he was most famous he also wrote the bestsellers, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity Cain was known for exposing the scheming raw edge of everyday life and dragging the sins of the Everyman or Everywoman, as in this case into the unforgiving light of day I found the novel to be an entertaining read on a few different levels [...]

  27. 4.5 stars actually Original review posted at Layers of Thought.A page turning posthumous noire novel, by crime fiction master James M Cain Told from the first person perspective of the gorgeous Joan Medford who, the reader is left to decide, is either a victim or a murderer.About Joan Medford is a knock out leggy, curvy and smart too some of the characteristics of a quintessential femme fatale However, looks and brains have not stopped her from making mistakes, like her accidental pregnancy and [...]

  28. Once, years ago, while buying a couple of Black Lizard editions of James M Cain books, the cashier looked at the books, frowned slightly and said, You know, he only wrote three good novels The rest are crap I was as much surprised by this opinion of Cain s oeuvre as I was at finding a bookstore cashier who had actually read all of Cain s novels.With every subsequent book I ve read of Cain s since The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce and Double Indemnity, I ve begun to fear that that ca [...]

  29. always difficult melding left over pages posthumously, so maybe unfair to judge what might have been, but this is not cain s best it does very well with title character s perspective she justifies, excuses, evades telling exactly the truth but this unique narrative of a gold digger sums up cain s obsessions the wealthy but repulsive older man, the young stud, the young mother who can say she does everything for her baby son not admirable as mildred pierce, not knowing as the lovers in double ind [...]

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