Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Cocktail Waitress By James M. Cain

I just finished reading this book. It was written many years ago and Cain has been dead for many years but someone found this old manuscript and published it.

It is clearly not as good as his early novels like The Postman Aways Rings Twice and Mildred Pierce and Double Indemnity but being by James M. Cain it is worth reading.

James M. Cain like Patricia Highsmith often tells his stories from the point of view of the bad guy or the bad girl. In this case it is not clear whether the girl is good or bad.
I suppose the novel Crime And Punishment is like that also.

I was interested in this book also because it is set in Hyattsville, Maryland. He mentions a few real places like Prince Georges Plaza and a nightclub called The Wigwam.

Above is a nice picture of The Wigwam when it was a bar and restaurant. Looks like sometime
in the 1950s or 1960s.

 Click on the picture to enlarge it. It was on Route 301 in Waldorf, Maryland. Later it became a bakery and just recently it was demolished.

Cain lived the last  years of his life in Hyattsville Maryland.  He admitted it was a mistake to leave California which was the inspiration for his best work.

This book has a very unusual ending which I will not give away.
But it ends with the reader knowing something the character in the book does not know.
Something that will happen in the future. I have never read another novel with such an unusual twist at the

Read more about the book and James M. Cain here: