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Extended Audio Sample Endpoint and Other Poems: Unabridged Selections Audiobook, by John Updike Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.89 out of 53.89 out of 53.89 out of 53.89 out of 53.89 out of 5 3.89 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Updike Narrator: Charles McGrath Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9780307702210
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A stunning collection of poems that John Updike wrote during the last seven years of his life and put together only weeks before he died for this, his final book.

The opening sequence, “Endpoint,” is made up of a series of connected poems written on the occasions of his recent birthdays and culminates in his confrontation with his final illness. He looks back on the boy that he was, on the family, the small town, the people, and the circumstances that fed his love of writing, and he finds endless delight and solace in “turning the oddities of life into words.”

The other poems range from the fanciful (what would it be like to be a stolen Rembrandt painting? he muses) to the celebratory, capturing the flux of life. A section of sonnets follows, some inspired by travels to distant lands, others celebrating the idiosyncrasies of nature in his own backyard.

For John Updike, the writing of poetry was always a special joy, and this final collection is an eloquent and moving testament to the life of this extraordinary writer.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clifford | 1/3/2014

    " I especially enjoyed the Endpoint poems, which are memoir-in-verse. The rest of the book is good, too, but not quite as compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vmillerstumpf | 9/16/2013

    " I always love Updike's poetry. This last collection before he died is no exception. His lifelong crush on Doris Day in his poem to her is adorable and eloquent... as are his painfully insightful verses on aging and death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 5/5/2013

    " Updike's poetry is as incisive as his prose, and in this book, he handles topics ranging from Doris Day to his own impending death with unbelievable grace. His form is excellent, his subjects common and lovely, and this work is absolutely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 4/1/2013

    " Some wonderful poems about aging and it's perils and humor... like the one, Colonoscopy, or the Death of a Computer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 2/26/2013

    " Some interesting language, not too memorable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 2/7/2013

    " I've read and enjoyed many of Updike's novels, and I knew he wrote short stories, but I didn't realize his literary versatility extended to poetry as well. There's a lot of variety in this collection, the last that he put together before he died. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Katz | 3/18/2012

    " This collection includes some very powerful poems written in the last months of Updike's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 RK Byers | 3/6/2012

    " it was poetry, of course, so not all of it made sense, but it was good enough to make me like the writer and want to read more of him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam Baber | 6/10/2011

    " Updike's final poems are suffused w/a haunting nostalgia, sharp wit and beautiful imagery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 2/5/2011

    " Updike is my favorite author and this book did not disappoint. Easy to read compilation of stories and poems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Я. | 12/4/2010

    " A great many of the birthday poems are tremendously sad, but I enjoyed the collection quite a bit. He still has the ability to make me breathlessly reread a poem thinking, "holy shit, holy shit." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rion | 9/7/2010

    " A great many of the birthday poems are tremendously sad, but I enjoyed the collection quite a bit. He still has the ability to make me breathlessly reread a poem thinking, "holy shit, holy shit." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 3/3/2010

    " I've read and enjoyed many of Updike's novels, and I knew he wrote short stories, but I didn't realize his literary versatility extended to poetry as well. There's a lot of variety in this collection, the last that he put together before he died. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clifford | 12/1/2009

    " I especially enjoyed the Endpoint poems, which are memoir-in-verse. The rest of the book is good, too, but not quite as compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 8/15/2009

    " Some interesting language, not too memorable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/19/2009

    " This collection includes some very powerful poems written in the last months of Updike's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 6/17/2009

    " Updike's poetry is as incisive as his prose, and in this book, he handles topics ranging from Doris Day to his own impending death with unbelievable grace. His form is excellent, his subjects common and lovely, and this work is absolutely worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 5/2/2009

    " Updike's final poems are suffused w/a haunting nostalgia, sharp wit and beautiful imagery. "

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About the Author
Author John Updike

John Updike (1932–2009) was the author of more than sixty books, including collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have been honored with two Pulitzer Prize Awards, the National Book Award, and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hugging the Shore, a collection of essays and reviews, received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.