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The Last Days of Dogtown
The Last Days of Dogtown
Author: Anita Diamant
Set on Cape Ann in the early 1800s, The Last Days of Dogtown is peopled by widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, whores, free Africans, and witches. Nearly a decade ago, Diamant found an account of an abandoned rural backwater near the Massachusetts coastline at the turn of the nineteenth century. That pamphlet inspired a stunning novel about ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780743225748
ISBN-10: 0743225740
Publication Date: 7/11/2006
Pages: 288
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 186 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 471 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Fans of Diamant's The Red Tent who were disappointed by her sophomore effort (Good Harbor) will be happy to find her back on historical turf in her latest, set in early 1800s Massachusetts. Inspired by the settlement of Dogtown, Diamant reimagines the community of castoffswidows, prostitutes, orphans, African-Americans and ne'er-do-wellsall eking out a harsh living in the barren terrain of Cape Ann. Black Ruth, the African woman who dresses like a man and works as a stonemason; Mrs. Stanley, who runs the local brothel, and Judy Rhines, an unmarried white woman whose lover Cornelius is a freed slave, are among Dogtown's inhabitants who are considered suspecteven witchesby outsiders. Shifting perspectives among the various residents (including the settlement's dogs, who provide comfort to the lonely), Diamant brings the period alive with domestic details and movingly evokes the surprising bonds the outcasts form in their dying days. This chronicle of a dwindling community strikes a consistently melancholy tonereaders in search of happy endings won't find any herebut Diamant renders these forgotten lives with imagination and sensitivity.
reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
My husband and I just finished listening to this book on a trip and we both agree it was fabulous. I read The Red Tent also, and I liked this even better. It is written like a series of short stories told in chronological order over 20 or more years and featuring a core cast of characters. At first, it was a little hard to keep all the characters straight..if it had been a book, I would have been turning back to check names, but we soon got to know everyone and really got caught up in their lives. The story takes place in the early 1800's and is interesting both historically and for the personalities and experiences of the characters. Another plus for travelling, it was really long, 9.5 hours, and so we covered a lot of ground while listening. Also, the narrator does an excellent job.
reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Another excellent book from the author of The Red Tent! I love Diamant's writing style and she's wonderful at capturing the feel of different time periods. I loved this book (although Red Tent will always be my favorite).
reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Not as good as The Red Tent but a good book all the same. Diamant is a terrific writer and makes me care about all her characters.
reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Great read. Borders on chick lit.
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reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 168 more book reviews
A simple book that will stir up some powerful emotions. Diamant writes about a little-known place just outside of Gloucester in Massachussetts, providing a fictionalized version of its gradual "death". Dogtown is now nothing more than boulders, woods and trails that provide evidence, here and there, of having been a place where a few weary souls lived hard-scrabble lives. The book delves into the lives of the last remaining occupants, revealing how they came to live in Dogtown, their struggles, losses, precious wins, and, ultimately, how they left. It's a wonderful novel with deeply complex characters that seem as real as your next-door neighbors. At turns frightening, tragic or poignant, "The Last Days of Dogtown" is a perfect choice for a book club read and this edition provides a reading group guide to help with discussions.

Highly recommend!
reviewed The Last Days of Dogtown on + 5 more book reviews
I enjoyed how each chapter was a diffrent person, but how they all intertwined.

Book Wiki

Judy Rhines (Primary Character)
Cornelius Finson (Primary Character)
Easter Carter (Major Character)
Ruth "John Woodman" (Major Character)
Oliver Younger (Major Character)
(Show all 11 People/Characters)