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Extended Audio Sample The Widows of Eastwick: A Novel Audiobook, by John Updike Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,070 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Updike Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9780739370803
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More than three decades have passed since the events described in John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick. The three divorcées–Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie–have left town, remarried, and become widows. They cope with their grief and solitude as widows do: they travel the world, to such foreign lands as Canada, Egypt, and China, and renew old acquaintance. Why not, Sukie and Jane ask Alexandra, go back to Eastwick for the summer? The old Rhode Island seaside town, where they indulged in wicked mischief under the influence of the diabolical Darryl Van Horne, is still magical for them. Now Darryl is gone, and their lovers of the time have aged or died, but enchantment remains in the familiar streets and scenery of the village, where they enjoyed their lusty primes as free and empowered women. And, among the local citizenry, there are still those who remember them, and wish them ill. How they cope with the lingering traces of their evil deeds, the shocks of a mysterious counterspell, and the advancing inroads of old age, form the burden of Updike’s delightful, ominous sequel. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ingenious . . . This isn’t writing. It is magic. New York Times Book Review
  • “With its fiery energy and wicked humor, The Widows of Eastwick is a truly enjoyable book to read [and] might just be [John Updike’s] best novel since 1990’s Pulitzer Prize—winning Rabbit at Rest. Kansas City Star
  • Dazzling Updikean prose . . . Here’s a bet his work will keep fresh for generations, inciting laughter, wonder and sensuous shivers. Los Angeles Times
  • “An amusing romp . . . made unexpectedly moving by the author’s profundity and his renowned dexterity with language . . . [Updike is a] master of making us want to guffaw and weep in the same sentence. Houston Chronicle
  • Elegant prose and unfailing wit . . . There is moral courage in these pages. And kindness too. Washington Times
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Mann | 2/15/2014

    " Wow. Amazing. I liked it much better than Witches and it can be read as a stand alone (though if you read them in order it would be a richer experience). Friends encourage me to write and then I read John Updike and don't what I could say that he hasn't already said, better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzanne Horrocks | 2/15/2014

    " This book is well written and enjoyable, but probably better read out loud. It is too slow moving for my taste. I also had trouble with the timeline jumping ahead with no warning, no explanation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joni | 2/11/2014

    " Very different from what I expected. There was so much more sex and sexual talk (very detailed) than I had thought would be there. There were some interesting sections, but I basically listened to it because I had begun it (hate to give up on a book). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Ferguson | 2/8/2014

    " just as wonderful as Witches of Eastwick. I had often wondered what happened next. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith Jones | 2/6/2014

    " I'm very much enjoying this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 2/3/2014

    " I liked this book better than The Witches of Eastwick. For some reason it was easier to swallow and the "witches" were better characters in this one. Either way it was not the best; just good enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/28/2014

    " The witches are now in their late sixties and recently widowed. I read the original years ago, maybe in the late eighties? I may have to revisit it. Nothing profound in this book. Read it, or not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Odetta | 1/24/2014

    " I read the Witches of Eastwick after seeing the movie. I loved the book. But I guess those days really are are dead and gone. This sequel is about loss and the meathook realities of aging. The witches are in their seventies at the start of the book, all widowed and mostly estranged from their respective adult children and grandchildren. I cannot recommend it as a good read. It is, however, still Updike and if you are a fan you may find it worth reading on that alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 1/22/2014

    " Well written but contrived. Seemed to be Updike's death book - lots of opinions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Florence | 1/14/2014

    " Despite repulsive characters, major and minor, and lots of electronic mumbo jumbo, it was great fun to read. Maybe I'll reread The Witches of Eastwick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 1/3/2014

    " Interesting how the 3 returned to their power and the motives that drove them. The travel logs were a little much at times. I'm not sure I'm really into Updike but I read this to finish the witches off. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Diane C. | 12/25/2013

    " Pointless and poorly edited. Don't waste your time. I gave up after the 2nd chapter and skimming the last chapter. Jeez. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suevw | 12/17/2013

    " I feel a need to go back and refresh my memory on his first! Just heard he died!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 12/15/2013

    " Followup to Witches of Eastwick "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 11/21/2013

    " Good John Updike humor - and comments on getting older...if you liked Witches of Eastwick, you will enjoy this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eleanor | 11/11/2013

    " I've had a really tough time getting through this. The characters are not very likable, and the story is at times very very slow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda | 10/29/2013

    " not up to John Updike's standards "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon Mountjoy | 10/6/2013

    " I didn't get much out of this book. There was some nice prose here and there after getting used to the profligate use of commas in the first few pages, but that's about it. Not a particularly riveting story, nor the most compelling writing I've read about dotage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayne | 9/24/2013

    " Well - John Updike seems to have lost his pisazz (spelling?). The book is disappointing in its mellow pace and content - yes I get it - the women are older now - but - maybe he doesn't get older women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenna | 5/31/2013

    " Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Mean! Fun! Only don't read it if you're feeling bummed out about, like, getting spider veins and requiring the occasional laxative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Mennis | 5/4/2013

    " The Witches of Eastwick return to the scene of the crime as old ladies, whip up a little magic and return to their lives. An interesting take on old age. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Scarsbrook | 4/21/2013

    " Not as good as the first installment "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catia.borboleta Da Silva | 9/16/2012

    " Acabei de ler este livro no dia 14/03/2010 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ako31 | 3/15/2012

    " not as exciting as the witches but updike is so writerly, so what! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peri Kinder | 7/21/2011

    " I really like the way Updike writes but his characters seemed very emotionless and tiring. It was an okay story but a little depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathyrn | 4/20/2011

    " Another fun book...listened to it in my car on CD. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeanie | 4/6/2011

    " No Jack Nicholson! Not worth the time! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/10/2011

    " Blech. I made a valiant effort, but gave up about 2/3 of the way through-- I feel like John Updike is now that guy that's old enough that he feels he can get away with being homophobic, mildly racist, misogynistic, and crass. Loved Witches Of Eastwick, loathed Widows Of Eastwick. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 9/22/2010

    " Liked it even better than witches. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon | 8/17/2010

    " I didn't get much out of this book. There was some nice prose here and there after getting used to the profligate use of commas in the first few pages, but that's about it. Not a particularly riveting story, nor the most compelling writing I've read about dotage. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherri | 7/12/2010

    " As the book went on, I got more and more interested, but for me a lot of it just seemed to drag on. While many enjoy extremely detailed descriptions and explanations, which this book is full of, I just don't have the patience for it. :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 6/6/2010

    " Updike's gifts are still evident but I got bored with this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marius | 5/24/2010

    " This week has not been a good one for my book choices, This is the second of three false starts. I simply could not get into this book. Just too twee. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 4/29/2010

    " I liked Witches because the women had actual power. Here, they only seem bogged down by the aging process. Don't we gain wisdom as we age, or do we only descend into despair? Still, it was a pleasure to revisit this trio, and see how their lives have turned out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sj | 4/5/2010

    " I loved this, not quite as much as The Witches of Eastwick (which was the first Updike I ever read and came as something of a revelation). There is something extremely comforting in Updike's prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 3/28/2010

    " A good sequel to the first one - the book is more about growing older, feminism, and close friendships than about witches. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.