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Cazul Joan M.

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,883 ratings  ·  357 reviews
Joan M. nu păruse deloc îndurerată la înmormântarea soțului, care de altfel nu fusese un soț ideal și nici un tată perfect, ba dimpotrivă. Singură și fără niciun ban, ea are nevoie disperată de un loc de muncă pentru a-și putea recupera copilul aflat în grija cumnatei. Așa devine chelneriță într-un bar… unde încep adevăratele necazuri.
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published July 2018 by Editura Paladin (first published September 18th 2012)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,883 ratings  ·  357 reviews

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May 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 48%.

I have never read James M. Cain before despite noir being my favorite genre and the guy being one of the three classics of it. After finishing (DNFing) this book I postponed my further acquaintance with his works indefinitely.

Joan Medford's drunkard husband died in a car accident (kids, don't drink and drive: you might spill your drink).
Don't drink
She now has one child to support and no money. So - oh horror of horrors - she had to find a job. I admit that at the time of the book was written a
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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)

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
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, favorites, 2020
Is this the very first book written from the point of view of an unreliable narrator? If not it's one of the first, and is definitely one of the best written from the pov of a woman who may or may not be a sociopath....

My original review is woefully inadequate at expressing how great this book actually is. Oh well.

Original review:

I finished this book and thought, "Well, that was nice." I couldn't figure out why Stephen King said the book will "...shock you with an ending you will never forget."
4.5 Stars!


Well Joan, another of Cain's voluptuous red-haired beauties with the signature long gorgeous legs who seems fated to a job of waitressing.

But Joan really is different from the hard-working MILDRED PIERCE. Both do struggle after loss, both do like to give a good slap when in tantrum mode, and my goodness, both do make some asinine mistakes.

But Joan gives off an added vibe of suspicion, greed and sexuality....with

Joe Valdez
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
The Cocktail Waitress is the final novel of James M. Cain. Begun in 1975 when the 83-year-old crime fiction godfather had relocated from Los Angeles to Hyattsville, MD, Cain passed away two years later and his manuscript remained lost. Efforts by editor Charles Ardai to recover it resulted in the discovery of not only a complete manuscript but several, though undated. Unlike a lot of posthumously published fiction, there was a finished product here. How finished remains open to debate in what do ...more
James Thane
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 di ...more
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:

Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why, oh why, don't I read these kinds of books more 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.
Dave Schaafsma
“And then at last I began to realize how terrible a thing it was, the dream that you make come true.”

James M. Cain is generally considered one of the trinity of classic American noir crime novelists, including Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. His best known and most celebrated novels are The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce, all of which were terrific, and were made into successful films, as well. I wouldn’t ordinarily go out of my way to read a book that the
Nancy Oakes
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
Paul Nelson
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,
There is something about Cain's writing
which makes you not want to put it down until you finish it. It is, of course, another tale of greed,love, betrayal, despair. It continues many of the same themes as Postman and Double Indemnity. It is interestingly narrated through a woman's point of view and Cain pulls that off very successfully. She is a femme fatale or is she? As Editor Ardai notes in an afterword, there is a tension in the book because you have to decide if the narrator is reporting t
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'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, ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun noir novel, with all the ingredients: leggy, none-too-good dame, a 'wallet' (monied older man), a handsome stud. Could have been a formula until the very end. Only those familiar with the effects of the medication mentioned will get it, and I wonder if younger readers will understand. No more, spoilers. ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
So far the story reminds me of an old song, 'Come On-A My House':

Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give you candy
Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give a you
Apple a plum and apricot-a too eh

Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house I'm gonna give a you
Figs and dates and grapes and cakes eh

Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house, I'm gonna give you candy
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
robin friedman
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Cain's Last Novel

James M. Cain (1892 -- 1977) is best-known for his early novels including "The Postman Always Rings Twice", "Double Indemnity" and "Mildred Pierce" and for the many movies based on his writing. After these successes, written while working as a Hollywood screenwriter, Cain had mixed success and for a time was largely forgotten. He returned to his home in Hyattsville, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, D.C.) in 1948 and continued to write. Written just before his death, Cain'
Mark Drew
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 h ...more
Samantha Glasser
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
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, arc
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 more out of the plan of things, manipulation of love and deceit their modus operandi.
He writes with a dynamic plot and narrative drive th
Carla Remy
Cain is apparently known for being lurid. And this is pretty ridiculous. At first I thought I loved it. It has a lot in common with his Mildred Pierce, which I enjoyed. But then I saw it was a sex soap opera on a Jacqueline Susann level. With dull characters. Lurid.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Gorman
A newly discovered "lost" novel by classic mystery writer James Cain, this book is dated but still has some sparkle. A great lead character, money and sex and a few subplots as well keep us moving at a good pace. A fairly frantic last 50 pages make up for some other weaknesses in the story. If you are a fan or Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett or some of Cain's other peers you will really enjoy this book. Joan Medford is great. ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“A snoop is a snoop is a snoop.”

Having recently read a book that reminded me of Mr. Cain, I thought why not get back to the master himself? And what better than his “lost final novel”? This is the fourth book I've read of his, and definitely my least favorite. The writing is good, and the plot is decent, but the main character, who tells us the tale, is not likable at all. So much so, that it distracted me quite often. She, Joan is her name, seems completely overwhelmed by everything, but at the
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, mystery, crime
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, an
Deborah Sheldon
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!) ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is sort of ironic that my first experience with James M Cain is the book he wrote last-The Cocktail Waitress is a "lost" novel that was published posthumously decades after completion. However that does not mean it was a bad book-often there is a reason a novel remains hidden away in a desk drawer until a creator is no longer with us, but that is not true here. Cain wrote Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice-all famous works I have not read so I have no point o ...more
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James Mallahan Cain (July 1, 1892–October 27, 1977) was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labeling, he is usually associated with the hard-boiled 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 inh

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