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Download Seek My Face: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Seek My Face: A Novel Audiobook, by John Updike Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (431 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Updike Narrator: Kathryn Walker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2002 ISBN: 9780553756586
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John Updike’s twentieth novel, like his first, The Poorhouse Fair (1959), takes place in one day, a day that contains much conversation and some rain. The seventy-eight-year-old painter Hope Chafetz, who in the course of her eventful life has been Hope Ouderkirk, Hope McCoy, and Hope Holloway, answers questions put to her by a New York interviewer named Kathryn, and recapitulates, through the story of her own career, the triumphant, poignant saga of postwar American art. In the evolving relation between the two women, the interviewer and interviewee move in and out of the roles of daughter and mother, therapist and patient, predator and prey, supplicant and idol. The scene is central Vermont; the time is the early spring of 2001. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A brief novel of deep feeling . . . What you recall is that reading Updike has always provided the pleasures you hoped were in store when you went through the trouble of learning to read. Time
  • The premise of Seek My Face is clean and powerful, like a canvas by Barnett Newman. . . . Swirled over [it] is John Updike’s superabundant prose, dazzling strings of looping sentences that wrap these two women in glittering constellations of words. The New York Observer
     
  • A rewarding new novel from our reigning master of surprise, the last sequence of which is surpassing in its beauty. San Francisco Chronicle
  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne Van | 2/20/2014

    " An interesting novel......a very lightly fictionalized Lee Krasner, wife of Jackson Pollack, spends the day with a magazine writer/interviewer reflecting about her life and the times of post WWII American art. The second husband is a funny amalgam of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and who know who else. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marguerite | 2/18/2014

    " Dear Mr. Updike: I'd rather watch a baseball game, and with the Yankees up 15-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning, there's little or no suspense there. I thought a woman artist as protagonist might be engaging. I was wrong. It's back to the library for you. Go, Yankees! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casie | 1/31/2014

    " An older woman being interviewed about her life as an artist recounts her liaisons with thinly veiled fictional men who are in fact recognizably famous artists. A history lesson and an intimate portrait of personal inhibitions and revelations over the latter half of a turbulent century. Most pointedly, I have to say that there exist many good stories, but it's refreshing to delve into genuinely good literature again...voluntarily. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 1/27/2014

    " The book takes the form of an interview with a painter who was married to a Jackson Pollack type character. Talks about the main characters experiences with other artists, her love life, and her take on the significance of the art and artists/lovers in her life. The book seems to draw upon too many New England/Artist stereotypes to give it a higher rating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Luke | 1/20/2014

    " A fantastic exploration in the depths of age, the realms of memory, and the time/space/social gap between two women who meet for an extended interview. Learn a thing or two about art, appreciate Updike's intuitive writing style, and fall in love with a few imperfect (but very realistic!) love tales. A bit repetitive at times, but on the grand scale, quite a solid read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 1/18/2014

    " An interview format between a New ork cyberjournalist and an 80 year old artist is hardly the stuff of memorable literature, but in Updike's hands the novel becomes a fascinating study of the modern art community and its subsequent development with emphasis on the struggle of the female artist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 1/10/2014

    " some tedium, but on balance more good than otherwise "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dragana | 1/7/2014

    " Unfocused like the cover photo. Hesitated between 2 and 3*, but definitely better written than Couples. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 12/17/2013

    " I'm a huge John Updike fan, and I know a bit about (and appreciate greatly) modern art. I'm afraid a lot was lost on me with this story, however; I think you need to know your art history to appreciate the work Updike put into this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lincwright | 12/6/2013

    " Interesting character study - essentially a prolonged interview. I learned some good stuff about the New York art scene in the 50's and 60's, but otherwise kind of tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 10/28/2013

    " I have always enjoyed Updike and his writing style. He also was an art critic and the blending of both is brilliant in this book. If you have any interest in modern art and its history and a critique of it (at least from a US perspective) this book would be invaluable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 7/3/2013

    " This was very interesting. I enjoyed the references to art and artists. I listened to this on cd nights. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Roberta | 12/12/2012

    " In the middle of this book and having a hard time finishing it. All about one interview with an artist about her life. I suppose if you like abstract painting, and the art scene in the 20's you'd like it. I find it boring and pretentious. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dawn | 7/22/2012

    " Just couldn't get past chapter one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drwhome | 6/12/2012

    " A fictional view of Jackson Pollock and the New York School told through the eyes of a Lee Krasner Surrogate. Wild Ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauretta | 12/11/2011

    " I listened to the audiobook "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim lakin | 10/6/2011

    " First Updike i have read. He is an amazing writer.I like this because its about a woman artist in the 50s- getting old- marriage-etc. His insight into aging is so right on- I guess he was old when he wrote it- 2002. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Will | 9/11/2011

    " Gave it a few days, eventually tired of the subject matter. I loved the sensitivity with which he treats his protag. (elderly artist who had unfortunately been married to a superstar, pollock-esque, artist) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marguerite | 3/18/2011

    " Dear Mr. Updike: I'd rather watch a baseball game, and with the Yankees up 15-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning, there's little or no suspense there. I thought a woman artist as protagonist might be engaging. I was wrong. It's back to the library for you. Go, Yankees! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lincwright | 12/20/2010

    " Interesting character study - essentially a prolonged interview. I learned some good stuff about the New York art scene in the 50's and 60's, but otherwise kind of tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 6/16/2010

    " I have always enjoyed Updike and his writing style. He also was an art critic and the blending of both is brilliant in this book. If you have any interest in modern art and its history and a critique of it (at least from a US perspective) this book would be invaluable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 10/14/2009

    " This was very interesting. I enjoyed the references to art and artists. I listened to this on cd nights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 8/10/2009

    " First Updike i have read. He is an amazing writer.I like this because its about a woman artist in the 50s- getting old- marriage-etc. His insight into aging is so right on- I guess he was old when he wrote it- 2002. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 3/29/2009

    " I'm a huge John Updike fan, and I know a bit about (and appreciate greatly) modern art. I'm afraid a lot was lost on me with this story, however; I think you <really> need to know your art history to appreciate the work Updike put into this novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dawn | 7/1/2008

    " Just couldn't get past chapter one. "

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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.