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Mildred Pierce [PDF / Epub] ☁ Mildred Pierce By James M. Cain – L'inferno in fondo è un posto dove si lotta per emergere E per emergere Mildred Pierce usa le cose che ha delle splendide gambe e l'arte di cucinare benissimo da buona donna di casa americana Ora div L'inferno in fondo è un posto dove si lotta per emergere E per emergere Mildred Pierce usa le cose che ha delle splendide gambe e l'arte di cucinare benissimo da buona donna di casa americana Ora divorziata da un marito ex benestante e con due figlie è solo una donna bianca tra le tante negli Stati Uniti del Ma Mildred vuole farcela e non guarda in faccia nessuno Ferocemente attiva da cameriera riesce ad aprire un ristorante poi a costruire un piccolo impero Purtroppo Mildred ha due difetti una passione per gli uomini inconcludenti e spendaccioni e una devozione irragionevole un attaccamento morboso per la figlia piú bella un piccolo demone opportunista su cui Mildred proietta le sue fantasie di riscattoMildred Pierce pubblicato nel è uno dei gioielli della narrativa di James M Cain ui l'autore di celebri noir come Il postino suona sempre due volte si trattiene dal mettere in scena in modo diretto delitto e violenza che però risultano tanto piú interni e necessari uasi una condizione permanente di possibilità in un meccanismo sociale cosí spietatamente descritto e infatti la celebre versione cinematografica del romanzo ha un finale diverso dal libro piú «esplicito» E modernissima diventa la sua paradossale «critica del lavoro» come radice illusoria del sogno di ricchezza individuale da raggiungere combattendo contro gli altri ma soprattutto alla fine contro se stessi.

10 thoughts on “Mildred Pierce

  1. Kemper Kemper says:

    Mildred Pierce would have made a great guest for Dr Phil or OprahDuring the Great Depression Mildred’s husband has been moping about since the collapse of his real estate business and takes up with another woman until Mildred has enough and throws him out That takes care of one problem but leaves her to support their two daughters herself With no work experience Mildred finally takes a job as a waitress that she finds humiliating but eventually her parlays what she learns and her baking skills into a successful restaurant So Mildred could be a great example of feminine independence as a single mother who becomes a small business owner thanks to her hard work and careful planning On the other hand Mildred is often a conflicted mess with an inferiority complex who can never find the balance between living too cheaply or too extravagantly and she’s got horrible taste in menAnd then there’s her daughter VedaVeda is an exceptional instance of a writer creating a character that you just love to hate with this snobby manipulative child who looks down her nose at the mother who supports her and grows into something even worse Damn did I love to hate Veda I hated her so much that I hoped that Mildred would sell her off to work in a Depression era sweatshop in which there was some kind of dangerous machinery that would mangle her I hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d get polio I hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d take an airplane ride with Amelia EarhartI hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d end up traveling with the Joad family so she’d get all the misery she so richly deservedI hated Veda so much that I started hating Mildred for loving herSince Cain created a couple of classic noir femme fatales in The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity it’s interesting that he wrote this book about the complex and unhealthy relationship between a mother and a daughter that also took a long look at what it was like for women of the era

  2. Fabian Fabian says:

    Often a finicky reader like myself will coordinate novel reading with leisurely travel It is the exuisite pairing of books at beaches at hotel balconies at restaurants that forever at least in my own experience binds the two together in a truly surrealDadaistic effort that's worthwhile For instance I remember fondly reading Catcher in the Rye at a desolate Mexican beach The Tesseract on my way to Mazatlan The Exorcist Sphere The Beach all making themselves unforgettable with the incessant pounding of waves Recently reading The Godfather in Vegas made me feel invigorated pairing this with nickel slots proved to be lucky I won like 16 bucks And Where'd You Go Bernadette actually inspired me to put on sunglasses to hide rare and unwelcome tears while strutting down the Strip But the most ironic and utterly correct pairing thus far has been my recent trip to Knott's at California and its neighboring chicken only one of a kind diner Close to Anaheim well Glendale to be exact that's where the fictional Mrs Pierce lived decades ago She begins her entrepreneurial adventure selling pies and then progresses to chicken only restaurants Did I mention that this occurs in the years following the Great Depression? Her struggle is incredible it is her adulation for her diva daughter oh those divas they will undo art as much as they contribute to it that leads to her downfall Yes it is impossible to stop during a Jim M Cain This heroine is so strong so very likable that the reader immediately sides with her with a natural string of dilemmas that are tossed her way I cannot wait to read other classics by this author including Double Indemnity The Postman Always Rings TwiceMy boyfriend insists that this could be a perfect example to examine during a Feminism in the 20th Century class I could not agree place this on a college syllabus

  3. Joe Valdez Joe Valdez says:

    My introduction to the fiction of James M Cain is Mildred Pierce and against expectations of reading another hard boiled tale of two bit losers and deadly dames on the make from the author of Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice I was knocked out by how plot resistant and psychologically compelling this novel is Published in 1941 the degree which I connected to the title character and her circumstances were a surprise and I'm reluctant to discuss the story for danger of spoiling its allure I recommend everyone skip my hooptedoodle and read this novelIn Glendale California a suburb of Los Angeles that in the spring of 1931 is considered provincial by those with money or power Herbert Bert Pierce finishes pruning the trees and mowing the lawn of his Spanish bungalow His wife Mildred is busy designing one of the pies she sells to make ends meet with her real estate investor husband of Pierce Homes gutted and left jobless by the stock market crash in the autumn of 1929 Telling his wife that he's going for a walk Bert is notified by Mildred that if he's going to see Maggie Biederhof again he needn't bother coming back Making sure that their daughters Veda and Moire Ray aren't home Bert packs a suitcase and leaves his wifeMildred levels with her eleven year old Veda musically gifted but full of airs and ashamed of her mother's low social status and the seven year old Ray Mildred confides to her neighbor Mrs Gessler and initially subsists on the illusion that her pie orders will pay the utility bills and put food on the table But when business stalls suddenly single Mildred agrees to a date with Wally Burgan a business associate of her husband's who works for the receivers appointed to take over Pierce Homes Managing to stay friends after their fling Mildred faces the reality of a mortgage payment coming due and meets with an employment agent named Miss Turner who reads Mildred the riot act Miss Turner pulled out a lot of drawers set them in a row on her desk They were filled with cards of different colors Looking intently at Mildred she said I told you you're not ualified OK you can take a look here and see what I mean These three drawers are employers people that call me when they want somebody And they call me too They call me because I'm on the level with them and save them the trouble of talking to nitwits like you You see those pink ones? That means 'No Jews' See the blues? 'No Gentiles' not many of them but a few That's got nothing to do with you but it gives you an idea People are sold over this desk just like cattle in the Chicago yards and for exactly the same reason they've got the points the buyer wants All right now take a look at something that does concern you See those greens? That means 'No Married Women'Why may I ask?Because right in the middle of rush hour you wonderful little homemakers have a habit of getting a call that Willie's got the croup and out you run and maybe you come back next day and maybe you come back next weekSomebody has to look after WillieThese people these employers on the greens they're not much interested in Willie And another habit you wonderful homemakers have got is running up a lot of bills you thought friend husband would pay and then when he wouldn't you had to get a job And then the first paycheck you draw there's eighteen attachments on it and life's too shortDo you call that fair?I call them green I go by the cardsI don't owe a centNot one?Mildred thought guiltily of the interest that would be due July 1 and Miss Turner seeing the flicker in her eye said I thought soNow take a look at these other drawers They're all applicants These are stenographers a dime a dozen but at least they can do something These are ualified secretaries a dime a dozen too but they rate a different file These are stenographers with scientific experience nurses laboratory assistants chemists all able to take charge of a clinic or run an office for three or four doctors or do hospital work Why would I recommend you ahead of any of them? Some of those girls are PhD's and ScD's from UCLA and other places Here's a whole file of stenographers that are expert bookkeepers Any one of them could take charge of all the office work for a small firm and still have time for a little sleeping Here are sales people men and women every one of them with an A 1 reference they can really move goods They're all laid off there's no goods moving but I don't see how I could put you ahead of them And here's the preferred list Look at it a whole drawerful men and women every one of them a real executive or auditor or manager of some business and when I recommend one I know somebody is getting something for his money They're all home sitting by their phones hoping I'll call I won't call I've got nothing to tell them What I'm trying to get through your head is You haven't got a chance Those people it hurts me it makes me lie awake nights that I've got nothing for them They deserve something and there's not a thing I can do But there's not a chance I'd slip you ahead of any one of them You're not ualified There's not a thing on earth you can do and I hate people that can't do anythingHow do I ualify?Mildred's lips were fluttering again the way they had in Miss Boole's office Miss Turner looked uickly away then said Can I make a suggestion?Mildred's tenacity and luck crossing paths with women sympathetic to her plight snare her a job interview for a housekeeper in Beverly Convinced that Veda would disown her if she accepted such a socially inferior position Mildred turns the job down Stopping at a restaurant in Hollywood she witnesses two waitresses fired With nothing left to lose she asks the head waitress Ida for the job Earning twenty five cents an hour plus tips Mildred is handed an apron and given a crash course in serving tables Unable to carry than two plates at a time her job is spared by the cook who recognizes that Mildred knows how to prepare foodIn addition to easing her financial woes Mildred uickly becomes the best waitress in the restaurant Noting how bad the pies she's forced to serve are she gains the confidence of Ida who's locked in a battle with the owner Mr Chris over the pie situation When Ida discovers how masterful Mildred's pies are she conspires to get Mildred the contract at thirty five cents a pie Mildred uses the income to hire a housekeeper Though Veda discovers that her mother has taken lowly work as a waitress Mildred no longer regards her employer as a dead end and through observation begins to learn how to run a successful restaurantIn an effort to retain the respect of her daughter Mildred announces her intention to open her own restaurant a chicken and waffles place Wally Burgan offers Mildred a model home for the price of four thousand dollars that the receivers are taking a loss on that he feels would be perfect He advises Mildred that she'll need Bert to agree to a divorce before she goes into business and employing still political finesse Mildred gets Bert to agree to this accepting his gift of the house so her ex husband can feel he's providing for his children Drawing on her skills with food hospitality and people Mildred Pierce seems to be on her way to becoming someone Veda is proud of It was a hot morning in October her last at the restaurant The previous two weeks had been a mad scramble in which it had seemed she would never find time for all she had to do There had been visits to Los Angeles Street to order the euipment her precious credit entitled her to; calls on restaurant proprietors to get her pie orders to the point where they would really help on expenses; endless scurrying to the model home where painters were transforming it; hard secret figuring about money; work and worry that sent her to bed at night almost too exhausted to sleep But now that was over The euipment was in particularly a gigantic range that made her heart thump when she looked at it; the painters were done almost; three new pie contracts were safely past the sample stage The load of debt she would have to carry the interest taxes and installments involved frightened her and at the same time excited her If she could ever struggle through the first year or two she told herself then she would have somethingAs much as I enjoy hard boiled noir with its murder plots and double crosses Mildred Pierce resists every opportunity to be pigeonholed into that genre As a vibrant and searing story of the Great Depression and the prewar years in Los Angeles the novel would be great simply for the world it opens its readers to a world of economic collapse and women surviving without the social safety nets legal protections or technology I'm using to write this review The reason this is one of my favorite novels ever is James M Cain's savvy when it comes to politics the mechanisms that people use to exert their will and get what they want maneuvers which often remain covert So far as Monty was concerned Mildred knew this was the end but she didn't do anything about it at once She received him as usual when he dropped in at the restaurant that night and the next two or three nights She even submitted to his embraces deriving a curious satisfaction from the knowledge that his access to the very best legs was rapidly drawing to a close Stoppage of the spending money brought Veda to her milk as no beating had ever done and when it did Mildred forgave her uite honestly in a teary little scene two or three days after Christmas It was almost automatic with her by now to acuit Veda of wrongdoing no matter how flagrant the offense In her mind the blame was all Monty's and presently she knew exactly how she would deal with him and whenLike Mildred Pierce I live on the outskirts of Los Angeles and am currently looking for a job hoping to start my own business but have no spouse or family who can even offer a strong drink to help me along I identified with this character who has integrity creativity strength and one immeasurable weakness that threatens to destroy everything she's built The psychological warfare in Cain's novel is far thrilling that if guns or knives were involved and kept me invested throughout with prose and dialogue that are jeweled Filmmakers may have agreed with two film adaptations one in 1945 for Warner Bros starring Joan Crawford and one in 2011 for HBO starring Kate WinsletLength 89164 words

  4. Carol Carol says:

    35 Stars What A Surprise Wish I hadn't seen the movie first; might have given MILDRED PIERCE a higher rating This classic novel starts out great but often gets bogged down with minute detailsand how different from the movie Not the main storyline of course but certainly with regard to one major portion of the plotand a somewhat hard boiled ? MildredIt's early 1930's when we first meet Bert and Mildred after the Great Depression has made its mark on a struggling society The couple have two young children; Ray a little sweetie pie and Veda an insolent little monsterwho turns into a malicious big mouth monsterEveryone seems to know that Bert has a voluptuous mistress with uite the unbound dairythe reason for his home departure so a desperate Mildred turns to what she knows best baking pieslots of pies as she simultaneously dotes on her older daughter Veda and offers up herself and her movie star perfect legs to than one man of uestionable characterAs the story evolves Mildred knows she must find work to support her two girlsand her dreams for Veda but tragedy shows its ugly face and Mildred at this point in the story loses my respect when she makes a comment I still cannot believeAnyway as Mildred finds success in providing for her family she makes some big mistakes and the reader gets to experience a wide variety of snobbish scheming condescending characters many with an air for the overdramaticand there's violence too but Veda Oh My Gosh Veda with her selfish outright hostility toward her darling mother truly takes the cakeOverall still enjoyed it but thought the Joan Crawford movie version was much better than the written wordthis time around Update May 25 2020 Okayhave now watched the HBO mini series thanks to Goodread's friend CHAR and REALLY enjoyed itthe music dress furniture vintage cars and of course seeing the nasty foul mouthed Veda in action Characters were so well cast as was the whole shebang BUT so wished they had used the ENTIRE 1945 storyline

  5. Barry Pierce Barry Pierce says:

    I'd include this book in the genre I like to call Middle Class White Women Have A Really Bad Time Other works in this genre include A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Awakening by Kate Chopin I seem to really enjoy this genre for some reason I came to Mildred Pierce for two reasons one the Joan Crawford film and two look that's my name Overall I did enjoy this book You actually care about the characters especially Mildred which I find uite rare The relationship between her and Veda is a legendary in the book as it is on film I'd definitely recommend this for fans of the film and for new readers of the story It's a hard boiled classic

  6. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    Mildred Pierce divorces her out of work philandering husband and struggles to find a way to support herself and her two daughters Too bad she attracts lazy scoundrels like a magnet and one of her daughters is a hellionMildred Pierce is the tale of the titular character's obsessive devotion to her wicked nigh sociopathic daughter and her wrong choices in men Cain guides Mildred and her fabulous gams from one setback to the next either from Veda or one of her douchebag suitorsThe writing is good though I didn't think it was as powerful as that of Double Indemnity or Postman Still it had its moments My favorite uote was “The hand that holds the money cracks the whip” It wasn't the easiest book to read however I couldn't get behind any of the characters and I really wanted someone to start plotting to bump someone off Mildred pretty much deserved all the crap that came her way especially since she was glad Veda wasn't the child of hers that died A lot of double crosses would have been great view spoilerespecially with Veda and Monty engaging in adult situations and strong sexual content unbeknownst to Mildred hide spoiler

  7. Gabrielle Gabrielle says:

    Even if I hadn't read any James M Cain before I had expected a particular kind of story murder dangerous men even dangerous women dark seductions that led to terrible things And what I got with Mildred Pierce was actually a very literate and sophisticated story about an unhealthy mother daughter relationship Like any good noir novel it builds a thick and paranoid atmosphere there's a lot of greed and backstabbing as well as plenty of sex though given the time it was written at it's hinted at than anything else and while there is undoubtedly a female character made of pure evil no blood is spilled This book is about broken illusions the price of what one perceives as successFor those who like me had been oblivious about this book it's the story of a beautiful young woman named Mildred with a very strong character and a gift for cooking but truly awful taste in men and inexplicable love for her horrid daughter The story opens on Mildred kicking out her unemployed cheating husband Bert and finding herself in a precarious position single mother looking to keep a roof over her head in the middle of Depression era California Through strong will and resourcefulness she manages to get a waitress job which eventually leads her to owning her very own restaurant and soon booming dining business But none of that is good enough for her haughty insufferably snob daughter Veda who despite her middle class upbringing seems to think she ought to have all the privileges and perks of royalty And Mildred will go to great lengths to satisfy Veda's expectationsWhile I couldn't understand Mildred's attachment to that devil spawn of hers I otherwise admired her a lot as a character no nonsense proud independent spirit hard working clever and determined she pulls off what few women manage to do today claw their way out of a truly bad situation and live life on their own terms Cain certainly surprised me with this proto feminist story I also liked how he captured that middle class yearning for what is often perceived as the easy life of the rich and famous Veda is obsessed with it sure but Mildred is also attracted to the grand houses fancy clothes cars with drivers and opera seats Of course the difference between her and the entitled and boorish Monty is that she worked as hard as one could to earn access to such things as where he suandered his privilege until he had to scheme to get it backNow everyone loves to hate Veda and trust me I did too In fact I was surprised she didn't end up dead she is so manipulative cruel and almost psychopathic that pretty much every other character in the book had a good reason to off her But none so than Mildred whom she seems determined to hurt at every turn She belittles her hard work and station while profiting from every advantage it offers her she lies she schemes and yet Mildred still passionately loves that monstrous child The strange power that terrible girl yields is to me the true mystery of Mildred Pierce I would have kicked her to the curb a lot sooner than her mother does As for Monty I hated him almost than Veda because while he is an absolute weasel he doesn't have the brains to realize he's being used just as much as anybody else DumbassCain's prose was exactly what I expected though simple clean direct Not a word is wasted and not a superfluous adjective is added It works well for the genre and the story but he was no prose stylist While I found the pacing a bit too rushed in the second half especially the ending which while perfect could have been fleshed out a bit I still really enjoyed Mildred Pierce it's a pretty fucked up story but the characters are unforgettable and if you like dark and dramatic you will definitely enjoy this book

  8. Glenn Sumi Glenn Sumi says:

    This hardboiled 1941 novel about an entrepreneurial single mom trying to secure a better life for her and her two daughters during the Depression surpassed my expectations Everyone probably knows the 1945 film noir classic which won Joan Crawford the best actress Oscar The novel was also adapted into an acclaimed five part miniseries in 2011 starring Kate Winslet What I didn't realize was how different the book is and not just because of the overt depictions of pre martial sex and the suggestion of abortion which wouldn't have got by the film censors back in the 1940s Even though the general characters remain the same many plot points including a major one which I won't spoil were altered to fit into a two hour movie The Depression era setting resonates strongly today At the beginning housewife Mildred much younger than Crawford was earns some pocket money by selling cakes and pies to neighbours But when her unemployed husband Bert leaves her she has no way to make the mortgage payments on their Glendale an unfashionable LA suburb home and has to pound the pavement looking for a jobThe detail James M Cain puts into these early passages is illuminating Mildred's refusal to work as a waitress or cleaning lady tells you a lot about her character She has no work experience and doesn't type but she vaguely thinks she'd like to be a receptionist which the employee agency women basically laugh atThe book really comes alive when Mildred while at a restaurant witnesses the firing of a waitress Suddenly she has to decide whether she's going to step in to support her two daughters or starve In a way this book provides as valuable a snapshot of urban social hierarchies as literary novels like Sister CarrieDissertations could be written on the role of women and work in this book Mildred's rise from waitress to restaurant owner and the women she chooses to bring up with her chatty neighbour Lucy fellow waitress Ida is fascinating So is Mildred's daughter Veda's desire for the easy life Veda is ashamed of Mildred's work even though it helps pay for her bills There's also some shrewd commentary about the fashionable high society set Mildred's run in with the dashing Monte a playboy affects her life – for good and bad And I wasn't prepared for so much writing about classical music; in the book Veda is an aspiring pianist and then singer Cain a great lover of classical music which features in three of his novels has great fun with a couple of music teachers California at the time was a haven for many gifted émigré artists who had left the old country for the new He knew what he was writing aboutMildred is a strong if not very deep or introspective character Like Scarlett O'Hara you admire her because of her hard work And yet you also can't help but pity her because of how she's being used by those around her And there are some intriguing passages where Cain describes her listening to music; she's not an aesthete but so what? She's still worthy of respectWithout the big plot device added to the film Cain twists the story in some unlikely ways near the end There are also a few over the top words and phrases that may have seemed tough and hardboiled in the 1940s but today seem laughable When one woman says she's been on the town I had to read the passage a couple of times to understand the sexual innuendo Elsewhere Cain repeatedly likens a woman's large breasts to the dairy which was unfortunate I was also a little shocked to see the word fag used as a put down of an effeminate manBut details like that make reading a period novel so interesting I'm definitely going to look up some Cain like The Postman Always Rings Twice and the novel that inspired one of the noir est of noir movies Double Indemnity

  9. David Schaafsma David Schaafsma says:

    “The hand that holds the money cracks the whip”—Mildred PierceImagine my disappointment in reading page after page of this novel written by the author of such salacious noir thrillers as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity and discovering no murders have been committed Not a drop of blood And Cain has a reputation for writing about women that some see as disrespectful or even misogynous Babes floozies tramps prostitutes con artists In this novel that might be described as literary fiction it’s almost as if he wanted to prove to the world that he could create a sympathetic portrait of a woman “If you have to do it you can do it” And he does and she does though Mildred also makes bad decisions with respect to her choices in men and her support for her daughterMildred Pierce the novel is set in the forties so it’s kind of a portrait of working class women that for a good portion of the book reminds me of Rosie the Riveter Mildred divorces her philandering unemployed husband and has to figure out how to raise her two girls alone And she does She becomes a waitress uses this experience to develop her own restaurant and so on She’s “hardboiled” tough like a lot of noir women but she’s also a good though too indulgent mother She is flawed though in that she falls for bad men and she can’t control her very wild spoiled arrogant daughter Veda I had an idea for awhile that there might be a murder of this girl and I find at a glance at Goodreads reviews that many are disappointed she isn’t murdered they hate her so much Veda at an early age is beautiful a talented singer and her mother spoils her buys her everything and Ida is consistently ungrateful and manipulative This is an inversion of the Mommie Dearest story of the hateful mother; Ida is the daughter we love to hate But it’s complicated too “There was something unnatural a little unhealthy about the way she inhaled Veda's smell as she dedicated the rest of her life to this child who had been spared” There’s also love triangle in this story involving Veda and Mildred which calls attention to the mid twentieth century noir fascination with “deviant” psychology Mildred is unreasonably supportive of Veda but she is also seethingly jealous of her and a little obsessed with her And in a few moments Oedipally? Mildred “tiptoed into the room she had hoped Veda would occupy knelt beside the bed as she had knelt so many times in Glendale took the lovely creature in her arms and kissed her hard on the mouth” O kay there are a couple moments like this in the book It’s a complicated mother daughter bookBut this book is also from its most basic perspective about women and money in a time in which women are largely disrespected by men Is it still happening the world over? Of course Eual pay? The glass ceiling? Point made But in this good and entertaining and a little melodramatic novel Mildred’s a survivor we laregely admire her for her strengths and sympathize with her for her faults which emerge from love She generally figures out how to manage the system Now to re see the film version with Joan Crawford And maybe the Kate Winslet mini series

  10. Trudi Trudi says:

    Wow freaking wow I had no idea I would be sucked into this novel the way I was I couldn't put it down I know that phrase is overused but seriously I couldn't put it down And when I did have to abandon it for life and work I couldn't wait to get back to it This is so different than Cain's other noir novels where sex and violence scheming backstabbing and a dead body feature so prominently Unlike Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice Mildred Pierce is a full length novel that takes its time delving deep into character and focusing on the minutiae of one woman's epic financial rise during the Great Depression and her extremely damaging and twisted relationship with her eldest daughter Veda Veda what a vile and loathsome and brilliant literary creation Don't get me wrong; I had my problems with Mildred too but Veda just takes the cake I've never wanted to scream and slap someone across the face so badly as I wanted to with her view spoilerWhen Mildred FINALLY loses her cool and starts to choke her I'm actually cheering her on Yes Choke on that you witch hide spoiler

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