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Extended Audio Sample The Last Days of Dogtown: A Novel Audiobook, by Anita Diamant Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 5 3.12 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anita Diamant Narrator: Kate Nelligan Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780743553698
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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 peopled by widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, whores, free Africans, and "witches." Among the inhabitants of Dogtown is 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.

This is a story of hardship and resilience -- and an extraordinary re-creation of an untold chapter of early American life. With a keen ear for language and profound compassion for her characters, Diamant has created her most moving and powerful story.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Last Days of Dogtown transports the reader to a fascinating time and place where even the dogs are compelling characters.”

    Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits

  • “What [Diamant] has created is the overlay of a modern sensibility on an imagined past. Diamant's descriptive passages are as eloquent as a Congregationalist and her theme—that life teems even as it dwindles—has all the more power for its subtle, unsentimental articulation.”

    Washington Post

  • “Anita Diamant brings an obscure piece of American history to life with great clarity in The Last Days of Dogtown. The story is one of delicate hope and turns out to be a quiet tribute to love's power. Diamant captures with imagination and credibility the people of a unique place and time. In casting her own spell over the Dogtowners, Diamant offers her readers the opportunity to appreciate the humanity that transcends both.”

    Miami Herald

  • “[A] superb historical novel. With its cast of thoroughly engaging characters, Diamant's gripping tale is so bittersweet and haunting as to make one weep.”

    Baltimore Sun

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 2/3/2014

    " This book was as good as her best seller, The Red Tent. I recommend it - "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gay | 1/25/2014

    " I'm not sure I really can categorize this book. I like it but I don't know what it is...exactly. Interesting, yes. Well-written, yes. Emotionally engaging, yes. So definitely worth the time. But at the end? I'm left a little dissatisfied. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phyllis Bash | 1/23/2014

    " Good book, although it took a while to connect with the characters. I liked The Red Tent better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 1/23/2014

    " I read it because I really like The Red Tent, but I was kind dissapointed. It moved slow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Zoe Yohn | 1/17/2014

    " THE LAST DAYS OF DOGTOWN was not nearly as good as THE RED TENT, but it was still an interesting story and very well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/16/2014

    " An ok book but it's nothing compared to The Red Tent. Also it has a slow start and wanders all over in the beginning. The description was more intriguing than the book itself and while in the end I came to like most of the characters their stories weren't that exciting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/13/2014

    " A quick read with some interesting moments, but nothing memorable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elissa Gold Lewis | 1/3/2014

    " Reading this now - nowhere near as good as The Red Tent but i like the author's style "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat Mckaig | 12/31/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book once I got into it. Interesting setting and I liked the pace and the way she moved between characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brie | 12/29/2013

    " I cried a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethany | 12/28/2013

    " Depressing as hell! Read "The Red Tent"... this one is a skip. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 carolyn | 12/10/2013

    " It was okay, not as strong a book as The Red Tent but I do like her characters and descriptions of places. I finished this several weeks ago so I apologize for the generic review. meh "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amardip | 10/26/2013

    " This book was a big disapointment after The Red Tent. It would have been better as a series of short stories rather than a novel, but even then I'm not sure it would have been that interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary-Ellen | 10/10/2013

    " Not as good as her Red Tent, but obviously as well written by the same author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 4/15/2013

    " I loved this book. i liked the historical setting and the compassionate characters. And i liked that it was very upfront about her work in imagining people's lives during an earlier period. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bobbie Williams | 4/11/2013

    " I had mixed feelings about this book. I almost stopped reading it several times. I'm glad I didn't. About halfway through it got really interesting. I did enjoy it after all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire | 1/21/2013

    " A bit of an odd book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Siobhan | 1/21/2013

    " I can't belive this was by the same author who wrote The Red Tent-one of my fave books of all time. Hated it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tara Totoro Rugg | 9/27/2012

    " I was a bit disappointed in this one - I think because I loved the Red Tent so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shivanee (Novel Niche) | 8/25/2012

    " Dogtown is populated by characters who endure the difficult test of memory, even if many other aspects of the book do not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 6/19/2012

    " A very readable and compelling look at the last days of a desperate little New England community in the nineteenth century. I liked this better than The Red Tent, the characters were more finely drawn and the plot was not constrained by an already established story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan Larivee | 6/9/2012

    " Fascinating historical novel based on true accounts of life in a dying village on Cape Ann, MA. Anita Diamant's writing style is absolutely captivating and you are brought to care about the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mamatoe | 4/24/2012

    " This is a beautifully written book. Poignant and with beautiful imagery. A quick read, but worth it. Just because you read and loved The Red Tent, don't expect the same of this book. It is completely different. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Belinda | 10/8/2011

    " I was amazed at how much I liked this book. I only picked it up because I had previously read the "Red Tent". I found it very touching and a very enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 6/28/2011

    " I think you need get the audio book. I loved it. The characters were as wonderful as any I have met. Give it time... it starts slow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 6/23/2011

    " I would really give this a 2 1/2, but, 2 stars is just so... damning.

    This was an OK book, with an OK story. I have no major beefs; I'm just not that thrilled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annmarie | 6/21/2011

    " I read this book after I read The Red Tent, which I really liked. I liked this book even more, though it is completely different. I cared very deeply about the characters in this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 6/17/2011

    " Very different from The Red Tent, but Diamant weaves a great story with characters of depth. It was a total tear jerker. Reminded me of Holes in part. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 6/16/2011

    " Excellent book. Very well done. Great character development. I really got attached to the characters and their love for Dogtown so it was sad as the characters would pass and the town would slowly diminish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 6/12/2011

    " The tale of a group of women arriving in Palestine at the end of WW II. Each one has a story to tell. A good book,but not a must-read in mho. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hom | 6/5/2011

    " Lacking insight. Too many characters to keep track of. Nevertheless, it is an OK read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 5/30/2011

    " I'm fascinated by the time period of this book, early 1800's. People lived in such hardship much of the time. The author seems quite talented at creating beautiful stories out of small snippets of information about past times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kschrum | 5/27/2011

    " This is a slow read. The best way to describe it is to call it a "sleeper" novel. While I was reading it, I thought..."ok...and?" But I still think about the characters in this book from time to time, which I think is a nice compliment to any book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tara | 5/26/2011

    " I'm much less pick about audio books, but I could not even get past the first few chapters of this one. "

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About the Author
Author Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant is the author of The Red Tent, a word-of-mouth bestseller and the Booksense Best Fiction selection. She is also the author of the novels Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown and Day After Night, a collection of essays, Pitching My Tent, as well as six books about contemporary Jewish life, including The New Jewish Wedding and Choosing a Jewish Life: A Guidebook for People Converting to Judaism. Diamant grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and Denver, Colorado. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband. 

About the Narrator

Kate Nelligan has had a successful acting career in her native Canada, in Britain and in the United States. Nelligan studied at Toronto’s Glendon College, but left to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She quickly established herself in the UK on stage and on television. As a member of the National Theatre, she gave a much lauded performance in Tales from the Vienna Woods and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for David Hare’s Plenty. She moved to Manhattan in the early ‘80s, dropped the English accent, and won stardom on the Broadway boards, racking up four Tony Award nominations for best actress. On the screen, both big and small, she established herself as a top-notch and in-demand supporting player and character actress. Nelligan was Oscar-nominated as Best Supporting Actress for The Prince of Tides, and her performances in movies and television in her native Canada have brought her five Gemini Award nominations.