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Publisher's Summary

“John Updike is the great genial sorcerer of American letters [and] The Witches of Eastwick [is one of his] most ambitious works.... [A] comedy of the blackest sort.” (The New York Times Book Review)

Toward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, bewitching divorcées with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious. Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream. 

Their happy little coven takes on new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play. Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick - and through the even darker fantasies of the town’s collective psyche.

“A great deal of fun to read...fresh, constantly entertaining.... John Updike [is] a wizard of language and observation.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Vintage Updike, which is to say among the best fiction we have.” (Newsday)

©1996 John Updike; 2008 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“John Updike is the great genial sorcerer of American letters [and] The Witches of Eastwick [one of his] most ambitious works.... [A] comedy of the blackest sort.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“A great deal of fun to read... fresh, constantly entertaining... John Updike [is] a wizard of language and observation.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Vintage Updike, which is to say among the best fiction we have.” (Newsday)

What listeners say about The Witches of Eastwick

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    31
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    19
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    79
  • 4 Stars
    47
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    28
  • 2 Stars
    4
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    6
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    39
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    16

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Bewitched!

This is a brilliant novel by one of the best contemporary writer. It is full of fun, sadness, wisdom, and deep understanding of life's desires.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Very Unusual And Well Written Novel - Some Parts Out of Sync

This is an unusual novel about some twentieth century women in New England who do have witches capabilities. John Updike is at times very erudite and at other times crude and to me, distasteful.

Sometimes the story is painful. Having said that there is a episode wherein a character preaches in church and it is one of the funniest things that I have ever read.

As far as the audiobook, it is mostly excellent. However, I need to report that as I read and listened simultaneously, there was one point wherein the narration seemed to get pages out of sequence. This is late in the novel and I only noted it one time. I think if I had ONLY listened I would have been temporarily confused.

Thank You....

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Two Thumbs Up!

Wonderful book! Takes a chapter or two to get into it, but stick with it. Completely different than the movie! Kate Reading REALLY makes those characters come alive. Felt like live theater listening to it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Damn can this man write women.

Every sentence is like he's working a spell. I just stared out the window entranced. I only wish there were more than two. I love that he wrote the sequel 30 years later, in his life and in their lives. Remarkable.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

horrible! drags on and on.

pure punishment to finish! I can't decide if I want to listen to the sequel that I purchased at the same time.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Kate Reading is the best part

This basically plotless book of gossipy Witches in a Rhode Island town was pretty disappointing. Nothing really happens, and that’s 12 hours of my life I won’t get back.

But if you’re gonna read this, I recommend this audiobook version because Ms. Reading does a marvelous job with the production - seriously one of the best readers I’ve heard!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dated but still fun

The writing is nice but I can't decide if the author loves or hates women. The racism sprinkled throughout is a sign of the times I guess. I was not terribly enthralled with the read through but overall the narrator did well. Perhaps to have to be of this generation for it to really hold you.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

1/5

While the narrator was excellent, the characters were extremely unlikeable. Genuinely unpleasant to listen to. Couldn’t finish it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

umm...ok

He has no idea how women's bodies work. You ever see that meme about it being hard for women to pee because our bodies are a maze? It comes from this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Has Always Been a Favorite

There’s a little spoiler ahead: This has always been one of my favorite books. I really enjoy Updike’s prose and Kate Reading’s reading is wonderful. I must agree though with another commenter above—some of the segments seem to be out of order. The witches speak of Jenny’s death prior to a segment where Jenny is very much still alive. It had been so long since I read the actual book I thought perhaps at first it was like a flashback. But I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s out of order. That’s the reason I gave the story a four star. Otherwise it would have been all fives.

1 person found this helpful