The Last Days of Dogtown
This is a book about a dying shore town whose industry had all moved elsewhere. There are some women who live alone -- either never married or widowed -- in this old town. They subsist off of the land and some s ...more
HUSBAND: What book are you doing?
ME: Last Days of Dogtown.
HUSBAND: Cool… I still want to see the movie.
ME: I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been made into a movie (trying to picture how a modern day director might handle such scenes as public urination and “pipe playing”).
HUSBAND: Yeah, you remember… I think Heath Ledger was in it.
ME: Oh, LORDS of Dogtown (relieved to finally be understanding). ...more
I find myself torn between giving this 4 stars, because the author does a good job of portraying their sad lives, or 2 ...more
TLDOG is about the last citizens of a small town in Massachusetts in the 1800s. They all live hardscrabble lives trying to get by in a town where the resources are dwindling. As the old people die off, there are few young people to replace them. Based on a ...more
Anita Diamant's story was inspired by an article she read about the ghost town in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. I went online to see if there was such a place. There was indeed a town named Dogtown and legends about ...more
I spent the first half really wanting it to be about someone in particular, and I guess it sort of did come full circle through all the characters in the end, but what it really was about was Dogtown itself. The title says that, but I guess I kept wanting to identify with someone in particular and it never happened. Just about the time I warmed up to one character the story shifted it's focus to someone else. The book was ABOUT Dogtown, but it's voice was through Dogtown ...more
With a cast of unique and interesting characters, Dogtown has great potential. At the outset, I think Diamant bounces from one character to another too often and arbitrarily, so that just when I thought I ...more
However, the novel doesn't really focus on the place as much as on a cast of wonderfully idiosyncratic characters. The reader becomes privy to the tightly held secrets of all of the denizens from my favorite, Cornelius...referred to as the freed African...who is a source of love and support for the weaker inhabitants to Easter, a jovial innkeeper who knows everything about everyone, but is quite ...more
I hesitate to give it too many stars however because I don't believe that I would recommend this book to many people. It was an interesting weaving together of the lives and trial ...more
The first chapter about the death of Abraham Wharf set me up to believe Anita Diamant's tale of a dying 19th century town would be a dull, dragging bore. The imagery made me a imagine the characters and setting in shades of brown and gray -- 261 pages of gloom and depression. I nearly abandoned the book, but I have a rule of never giving up after Chapter 1. Every novel deserves a few chapters to establish itself.
How grateful I am that I adhered to my rule! Each ...more
rom the Publisher
A magnificent storyteller with vast imaginative range, Anita Diamant gave voice to the silent women of the Old Testament in The Red Tent. Now, in her third novel, she brings to vivid life an early New England world that history has forgotten.
Set on Cape Ann in the early 1800s, The Last Days of Dogtown is ...more
The introduction of most all of the characters comes immediately as you are invited into the living room of Easter Carter on a frigid winter night. The Dogtown locals have come to pay their final respects to Abraham Wharf, the self proclaimed town leader who had apparently committed suicide.
I took me a chapter or two to understand the w ...more
Gloucester was the first settlement (founded 1623) in what became the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Became a shipbuilding center and fishing port. In modern times, the movie 'Perfect Stor ...more
I've been to the site of Dogtown and hoped for more magic, I guess. Some bright spots were the relationships between the ...more
Every now and again, the writing is strangely rather amateur, with different points of view introduced apparently at a whim, which meant I had to go back and reread to see who was talking now - rather irritating really.
However, the ending was very good, even though I took a while to get there - ...more
In The Last Days of Dogtown, Diamant paints a vivid and gripping historical setting as she delves into a lost crevice of human drama in 19th-century Massachusetts and renders it with a modern slickness. There are no novel revelations about love, however. Instead, she takes us alongside the drunkards, whores, and witches (the strongest character is Black Ruth, who rarely speaks), and, in the end, she evokes the tragic silliness of humanity in the grays and pale sunshine of Cape Ann.
This is an exc...more
Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to the wider world of the 1910s and ‘20s: short skirts, celebrity ...more