A Year of Last Things: Poems

Books on Tape. Mar. 2024. 2:11 hrs. ISBN 9780593869437. $28.50. POETRY
Booker Prize–winning poet, novelist, and essayist Ondaatje’s latest, much-anticipated poetry collection (following his novel Warlight and his 2006 poetry collection The Story) allows listeners to glimpse the influences, inspirations, and experiences that shaped his life. With gemlike imagery, Ondaatje explores the shifting nature of memory and history with language that is at turns wry, questioning, and poignant. Ondaatje details the pleasures and sorrows of his life, whether they are ephemeral flashes or lasting experiences, drawing from past moments while referencing present happenings and telling stories of his travels and encounters across the globe. Narrating his own work, Ondaatje offers a fluid and gentle reading, tenderly guiding listeners through his journey of romance and self-discovery. The result is an intimate listen that feels like whispers shared in the dark. It is occasionally difficult to discern chapter breaks, but as the verses flow, understanding the movement of the writing becomes effortless.
VERDICT A mesmerizing audio, enhanced by the author’s heartfelt narration. Recommended for listeners hoping to immerse themselves in a poetic escape that is beautifully written and raw.
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