The Last Days of Dogtown

  • by Anita Diamant
  • Narrated by Kate Nelligan
  • 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 a small group of eccentrics and misfits, struggling in a harsh, isolated landscape only fifty miles north of Boston, yet a world away. Among the inhabitants of Dogtown are Black Ruth, an African woman who dresses as a man and works as a stone mason; Mrs. Stanley, an imperious madam whose grandson, Sammy, comes of age in her rural brothel; Oliver Younger, who survives a miserable childhood at the hands of a very strange aunt; and Cornelius Finson, a freed slave whose race denies him everything. At the center of it all is Judy Rhines, a fiercely independent soul, deeply lonely, who nonetheless builds a life for herself and inspires those around her to become more generous and tolerant themselves.

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What the Critics Say



2005 Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration (Female)
"Poignant, beautifully written. Diamant's fans won't be surprised to see that she continues to excel at creating memorable characters." (Boston Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

October Reading

By chance I listened to this story from late October to November as summer died off, Halloween came and went, and winter moved into place. It all seemed to coordinate perfectly with this lovely book. Read wonderfully. I am sure I would have enjoyed it at another time of year but it was perfect storytelling for the fall and a fine book with wonderful characters.
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- Alison

Pure Pleasure to Listen to

A rich tale of a gloomy time. Between the writer and the reader this was one story I didn't regret a penny spent on it. The story weaves around characters, in and out, back and around, so artfully I was sad when it ended. It's quite different from the Red Tent, but I highly recommend it.
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- Karen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-12-2005
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio