'unable to read last block of device' is a generic error.
for me i ran into this similar error, but specifically:
Error: -69760: Unable to write to the last block of the device.
If you get this specific error it seems to be due to the block size that the drive was formatted in. Macs do not seem to play well with discs formatted with higher block sizes.
The default file size when i formatted an SSD as exFat32 using my windows surface was 4096kb and this would not play nice with my mac, causing this blocksize error when attempting a format.
This answer suggests 128kb unit allocation size format (i assume they mean cluster size). The minimum block size i could format with using my windows surface device was 1024kb and this worked for me allowing me to then use as exFat32 with the Mac.
However with the particular SSD device i bought, it only allowed me to do a quick (not full) format (on windows), and mac would still not allow me to then reformat as APFS, but at least i had a working storage device that my mac allowed me to read and write to. This was a cheap SSD so its possible it had been preformatted badly causing these limitations. The cable i was using to connect the SSD was new and decent so i dont see that as what was preventing a full erase/format.
The only problem is that i cannot store files larger than 4GB as i couldnt reformat as APFS, but i think this is probably a limitation of the cheaper device.