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Download Mildred Pierce Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mildred Pierce Audiobook, by James M. Cain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,036 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James M. Cain Narrator: Christine Williams Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781455186839
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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, Cain creates a novel of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence, with a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “This novel, by the author of The Postman Always Rings Twice, is compounded of shrewdness, artifice, a brittle vivacity and a commanding of psychological penetration. It sports a toughness of sentiment that is perhaps not quite so modish as it was, and yet at the same time it performs feats of surgical analysis that are undeniably impressive…It is all cleverly done, Mr.Cain’s air of hard detachment steadily gaining in power in the somewhat gruesome domestic scenes of the closing pages.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “The drugstore-library sensationalism that still overhangs Cain’s work does not stop him from being one of the most readable storytellers in the U.S.” 

    Time

  • “[Mildred Pierce] take[s] on new life under Williams’ direction…[the story] flourishes under her steady, patient, ever-so-slightly melancholic gaze. Williams’ reading…amplifies our sense of Cain’s heroine as an abandoned woman who finds her own way, on her own terms.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemary | 2/18/2014

    " Great book that deals with relationships. I kept wanting to read to see what was going to happen. The characters were not very nice but I was still interested in what was going to happen to them. I think this book may have had more of am impact if it was read closer to the time period of which it was written. It takes place during the depression. Quite interesting to see what some people will do to survive and become more prosperous during difficult times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 2/6/2014

    " This is one of those books that will always be better than any movie video version, though the HBO series did make a serious effort to track the book as written, and though I do have a lasting soft spot for the Joan Crawford film version, which barely tracks the book as written. The reason no film can compete is that Mildred herself, like all the characters as written, is only human, not a film-friendly super mom whose daughter betrays her. This does not detract a whit from the poignancy and appeal of the book. The underlying story is fascinating,a great modern riff on the classic wheel story strcture (person loses all, gains all, and loses all again) and the characters ring true. And Cain's sparing prose and perfectly pitched dialogue takes us right back to Depression era California. Reading this book is like living in a film noir. Great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regina | 2/3/2014

    " Wow! It was hard to put this one down. Never a dull moment. The life of a woman set during The Great Depression focuses on her ambition and determination, her bad choices of men, her tragic personal losses and her obsessive devotion to her psycho daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridgid | 1/27/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Since it is a hardboiled novel, I was expecting a murder mystery and was surprised to find it more like a melodrama. I found the depiction of Depression era Glendale looking uphill to tony Pasadena perfectly represents Mildred's social and economic aspirations. I also enjoyed how driving and the real estate boom symbolize freedom and the idealized dream of Southern California. Behind this facade lurks Mildred's desperation and pride to provide for her family, class conflict and mass unemployment. Mildred's relationship to Veda is spectacularly dysfunctional and painful to watch unfold. I learned later that author James Cain's mother was an opera singer, so he deftly used classical pieces from Rachmaninoff and operas to illustrate Veda's passion. Her schemes and emotional abuse of Mildred would make fore the plot of a great tragic opera. Although some plot points seem implausible, many themes resonate during the current recession. From the grass widow in the opening scenes to getting stinko at the end, Mildred Pierce is a great example of the roman noir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ridgway 14 | 1/23/2014

    " Female characters are hateful. Very discussable soap opera. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chas | 1/21/2014

    " A strange upheaval of the genre Cain helped invent. This isn't a crime novel, in the way that "Double Indemnity" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" are, but in some ways, the wrongs and misdeeds perpetrated are far worse. Our protagonist is repeatedly undone by a femme fatale, as reprehensible a being as I've ever encountered in fiction. The caveat? The protagonist is a woman, and the femme fatale is her own daughter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 12/30/2013

    " I liked this book, and I like how closely the HBO miniseries followed the book as far as plot and dialogue. My biggest problem was that since I had already watched the series and knew what was coming, I had a difficult time reading it. Sometimes I can do it, other times I can't. This was one of those times I couldn't. Still, it was a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 12/22/2013

    " Left with the message to not live your life for someone else. It isn't spelled out, but that is what I took away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Tamarin | 12/20/2013

    " weird noir incest book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 12/10/2013

    " While I appreciated the new TV mini-series of this novel-- its essence is better captured by the classic film noir with Jian Crawford. The Mini-series made her too frumpy and took away her edge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 12/8/2013

    " Loved it - much more interesting than the movie which I also liked. More character development in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaitlyn | 6/6/2013

    " Damn, this is a good book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mindy | 2/4/2013

    " Most uninteresting book ever. Don't waste you're time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 10/22/2012

    " one of my faves this year! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/13/2012

    " I am not sure whether I dislike Mildred or... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Shumolis | 6/3/2012

    " Really enjoyed the book; now want to see the movie. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hawra | 9/11/2011

    " There was no climax through out the whole novel, and felt like there was something missing in the book the whole time that didn't really make much sense from start to end. But overall it was an okay read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 8/23/2011

    " I really enjoyed the book. It was fast paced and entertaining; just scratching the surface, it chronicles the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and the sacrifices inherent of pursuing the American dream without much reflection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 7/29/2011

    " Fantastic. Not a Cain mystery, but writing but a sordid human affair just the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Blakemore | 6/2/2011

    " I loved this book. It was nothing like I expected. I'll be studying this one for examples of "show, don't tell." In his greatest moments, Cain distills a life of petty worry and lost opportunity as a catalog of mundane calculations, and every penny counts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cat | 5/22/2011

    " the simplicity of the language belies the complexity of the characters. they're all selfish, which is notable because it more closely approximates reality than most books. could not put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ridgway | 5/22/2011

    " Female characters are hateful. Very discussable soap opera. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelli | 5/14/2011

    " REALLY liked it in the beginning - tappered off for me toward the end. Her blinding love for her daughter was a bit annoying to me and hopefully too unrealistic for most moms to believe.

    ...and OF COURSE you knew IT was going to happen. Read it - you'll know what I mean.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 5/14/2011

    " I really wanted to like this book. Although not my usual fare, I was intrigued that it had been made into an HBO special starring Kate Winslet. The story caught and held my attention but I just couldn't bring myself to like, or care about, any of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 5/13/2011

    " I want Veda Pierce to become real. So that I may punch her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danie | 5/9/2011

    " Oh Veda how I despise you and Mildred... you keep getting drawn to her everytime! A great story about love, family, triumph and despair. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Priscilla | 5/9/2011

    " WARNING - Once you pick up this book, you CANNOT put it back down!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marmar | 5/6/2011

    " I found the ending to be ridiculous.... but, life can be that way sometimes. All the loose ends aren't always tied up....... Veda needed to be committed. I was happy that MIldred and her 1st husband seemed to have an understanding at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Courtney | 5/3/2011

    " Loving this book! And was so pleased to find out my grandmother was a fan of it, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 5/2/2011

    " I picked this up simply because I'd been seeing it in the airport bookstores and hearing about the HBO mini-series, and I loved it. It has made me want to read more of James Cain. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherry | 5/1/2011

    " How could anyone have loved so deperately such an awful daughter? Not appealing characters but he is a good writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grace | 4/24/2011

    " a rather dark story, but had some interesting twists and turns. Set in 30's & 40's & Muriel's struggles with being/becoming an independent woman "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/20/2011

    " This book was so good. I felt torn for Mildred but happy for her in the end. This is a quick read but does not follow the movie with Joan Crawford very much. Check it out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 4/17/2011

    " I really enjoyed the book as much as the mini-series and it was nice to see the (slight) differences between the two as well as to get more of Mildred's inner thoughts and feelings. "

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About the Author
Author James M. Cain

James Mallahan Cain (1892–1977) worked as a reporter during World War I and was managing editor at the New Yorker before going to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. His novels, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity, became film noir classics. In 1974, he was awarded the Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America.

About the Narrator

Christine Williams is a singer and actor based in Ashland, Oregon. Her performance credits include productions at regional theaters and on concert stages across the country and around the world, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Barbican Centre in London to the Aspen Music Festival and the Grotowski Institute in Poland.