Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $2.84 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Mildred Pierce has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: 1989. Paperback. Fine.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Mildred Pierce Paperback – May 14, 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

See all 24 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.11
$4.74 $0.86

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$12.11 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Mildred Pierce
  • +
  • Film Art: An Introduction
Total price: $146.85
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cain's classic novel, and the source for the 1945 film starring Joan Crawford, makes its way onto audio with this reading by actor and singer Williams. Cain's purple prose and then-scandalous dialogue take on new life under Williams's direction, her assured tone underscoring the legendary noir writer's rip-roaring tale of a woman scorned who survives no-good men and a hateful daughter to make it in 1930s Los Angeles. Williams is out of her depth encountering tense or high-pitched dialogue, reading it in a clipped monotone that does little for Cain's drama, but is on far stronger ground with the rest of the book, which flourishes under her steady, patient, ever-so-slightly melancholic gaze. Williams's reading lacks the rage that moved Crawford's Mildred, but her version of the now-familiar story amplifies our sense of Cain's heroine as an abandoned woman who finds her own way, on her own terms. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

''[James M. Cain is] the poet of the hard-boiled school of the American novel.'' --The Washington Post

''Nobody has quite pulled it off the way Cain does, not Hemmingway, and not even Raymond Chandler.'' -- Tom Wolfe

''Cain can get down to the primary impulses of greed and sex in fewer words than any writer we know of.'' --The New York Times

''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

''[Mildred Pierce] take[s] on new life under Williams's direction . . . [the story] flourishes under her steady, patient, ever-so-slightly melancholic gaze. Williams's reading . . . amplifies our sense of Cain's heroine as an abandoned woman who finds her own way, on her own terms.'' --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reissue edition (May 14, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679723218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679723219
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I don't know quite where to start when writing a review of this book. Even though I had seen the movie and so knew more or less how the story would unfold (or thought I did), I still couldn't put the book down. The Washington Post said that "James M. Cain is the poet of the hard-boiled school of the American novel," and that compliment is well deserved. I was immediately drawn into the story and stayed completely absorbed until the last page. As others have mentioned, the book is much darker than the movie, and more complex as well. I went back and read the last chapter over a few times just to savor the ending again. The first time it was so startling that I couldn't quite believe what I had read. This is just one example of the power of Cain's writing. It's simply remarkable.
1 Comment 105 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Mildred Pierce is one of those 'tough as nails, heart of gold' mothers who should an inspiration to all women. She kicks out her dead-beat husband, works her tail off to keep food on the table and her daughters happy, and has the guts/brains to start her own successful business. So what's wrong (and why did James M. Cain bother to write about her)?
Unable to face reality, Mildred is the victim of her own blindness to her rotten eldest daughter's ways. Not only is her daughter unappreciative, she actually ridicules her mother as being some uncouth and ignorant embarassment. Mildred's toughness melts when confronting her monster daughter, much to her detriment. While a heartbreaking story overall, the ending is especially moving ... have your hankies ready.
Perhaps many folks reading this review has seen the famous film adaption (starring Joan Crawford) of Mildred Pierce. While the film generally carries the intent of James M. Cain's written word, there are several differences. Obviously Hollywood wanted to over-dramatize, or simply invent scenes. As much as I like the movie I enjoyed the book more; I found it to be more personal , intense and believable.
Bottom line: required reading by all mothers, strongly recommended to everyone else.
2 Comments 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
It's inevitable that most readers should go into this book with the excellent film version starring Joan Crawford in their minds. However, the two are quite different beasts, which is a credit to the strength and originality of both.
This is not a crime novel as the film implied, but a tough Depression era story of a woman determined to get by in a world of snobbery and class prejudices that even she herself cannot deny that she holds. When she becomes a single mother, Mildred is ashamed to have to take on a job as a waitress to keep her children in the relatively wealthy lifestyle to which they are accustomed. With nothing more than determination, she becomes the mistress of a restaurant empire and a wealthy businesswoman. But none of this is enough to endear her to her spitfire daughter Veda, whom she both dislikes and passionately admires.
It comes as a surprise that the Mildred of Cain's novel is more a Veronica Lake than a Crawford, a short-skirted coquette who uses her physical as well as mental assets to achieve what she needs. More complex is Mildred's relationship with Veda, and the character of Veda herself, a swaggering, overbearing, thoroughly nasty piece of work. If you thought Ann Blyth's Veda was unlikeable, meet this one! It's even more clear here that Mildred's motherly love has turned into unhealthy obsession. Unlike the film, the monster that is Veda is never really exorcised here.
It's the ending of the book which lets the rest down. The final quarter seems hasty - it smacks of an author who is getting a little tired of his characters and has run out of hoops for them to jump through. And while the book closes on a bleak sort of denouement, no real sense of conclusion or capitulation is gained.
Read more ›
Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I never met a James M. Cain novel I didn't like and this one was no exception. The title is of the lead character who rises to great success during the Depression with a series of restaurants in early California. However, she has one big problem: the daughter she raised alone, Veda. Veda becomes a singer and also a master at deceiving and betraying her mother. Veda does not even consider her mother's spouse, her stepfather, off limits. This showcases the same intense Cain focus on a twisted relationship but this time it is on the mother-daughter relationship, arguably a more powerful one than the lover-lover one. This was made into a movie starring Joan Crawford, who won an Oscar playing Mildred. I thought this film version went too over the top though and veered into being maudlin and soap operaish. Stick with Cain's novel, the far more complex work.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
Comment 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Hammett, Chandler, Ellory, and a few others who can take you inside the minds of people you'd never want to meet, yet might resemble a little too much. But as time goes by I'm beginning to lean towards Cain as the master of the noir genre, and this as his masterpiece.

As much as people love the Curtiz/Crawford film, its wellspring is overall a much finer, deeper work. Where the movie panders to its audience by including a murder that doesn't occur here (and needn't), Cain never once takes the easy route of administering easy moments of "justice" (read enough noir and that word will never seem the same...). He knows how people work, and it ain't very pretty most of the time, and he ain't afeared that we'll be unentertained when things go all too realistically.

Our heroine here is in most respects a very sympathetic lady, and we start pulling for her right out of the gate. But Cain doesn't let us off that easy. He also shows Mildred's various flaws, the fatal one being her obsessive love/worship/need for the respect of her daughter Veda. After a while any sane reader has to start disliking Mildred a bit for this myopia, and wondering how a woman so bright in other matters can be so blind regarding her daughter. Yet Cain paints her portrait so thoroughly, blemishes and all, that we must eventually forgive her this tragic blindness and thus suffer with her as she is mistreated ever more hideously by her demon progeny.

Veda is so ruthless, and ruthlessly portrayed, that it gets a bit much at times, and we begin to lust for her comeuppance. What makes Cain so intensely unforgiving, and accurate, is that she never gets it.
Read more ›
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Mildred Pierce
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Mildred Pierce