Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town

Dogtown Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town In rich first person narrative Dogtown tells the strange dark story of a wilderness ghost town that has enthralled artists writers and eccentrics and of a brutal murder committed there Documenting

  • Title: Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town
  • Author: Elyssa East
  • ISBN: 9781416587040
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In rich first person narrative, Dogtown tells the strange, dark story of a wilderness ghost town that has enthralled artists, writers, and eccentrics and of a brutal murder committed there Documenting its history and lore, East explores the possibility that certain landscapes wield their own unique power The area known as Dogtown an isolated colonial ruin and the su In rich first person narrative, Dogtown tells the strange, dark story of a wilderness ghost town that has enthralled artists, writers, and eccentrics and of a brutal murder committed there Documenting its history and lore, East explores the possibility that certain landscapes wield their own unique power The area known as Dogtown an isolated colonial ruin and the surrounding 3,600 acre woodland in historic seaside Gloucester, Massachusetts has always exerted a powerful influence over artists, writers, eccentrics, and nature lovers But its history is woven through with tales of hallucinations, pirates, ghost sightings, witches, drifters, and violence A 1984 murder there continues to loom large in Gloucester s collective psyche a mentally disturbed local man crushed the skull of a schoolteacher as she walked the woods In alternating chapters, East interlaces the story of this murder with Dogtown s bizarre history The colonial settlement was a haven for former slaves, prostitutes, and witches until it was abandoned 180 years ago Since then, Dogtown has inspired various people, including a millionaire who carved Protestant precepts into its boulders the Modernist painter Marsden Hartley, whom Dogtown saved from a crippling depression the drug addled poet Charles Olson a coven of witches that still holds ceremonies there today and the murderer, who spent much of his life in Dogtown s woods The murder tapped a vein of thinking that has quietly endured in Gloucester for centuries some people rallied around Dogtown protectively, but others blamed it for the tragedy In luminous, insightful prose, Dogtown tells an evocative tale of a community both haunted and bound together by its love of this strange, forgotten place and its denizens.

    • Best Read [Elyssa East] ✓ Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town || [Travel Book] PDF ↠
      225 Elyssa East
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Elyssa East] ✓ Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town || [Travel Book] PDF ↠
      Posted by:Elyssa East
      Published :2019-08-22T06:18:12+00:00

    About "Elyssa East"

    1. Elyssa East

      Elyssa East received her B.A in art history from Reed College and her M.F.A in creative writing from Columbia Universitys School of the Arts Her writing has appeared in numerous New England regional magazines She grew up in Georgia and now lives in New York City.


    1. Meandering and surprisingly boring, focusing too much on minutia. In 1984 a woman was murdered in Dogtown, the abandoned interior of an island. Elyssa is entranced by the area because of a minor painter, and goes there to research the area and the murder case.There's a lot of problems with this. First of all Dogtown isn't really a ghost town as she writes it. It's the ruins of a town in the middle of an island, and she stretches the ruins a bit. There's a lot of TALK about how mystical and super [...]

    2. There was such a wealth of material here, but sadly it was not well-handled by the author. In the hands of a better writer (someone like Richard Preston, for example), this had the potential to be a great book, but as it was, it felt naive and clumsy and overly self-referential. Disappointing. One last note on this book: I do think that some places are magnets for badness, although I don't know why. Is it supernatural? Is it that once a place gets a reputation, it attracts the wrong kind of peop [...]

    3. Dogtown is a decayed colonial ruin nestled in the wilderness outside Gloucester, Massachusetts. Although it was officially abandoned in 1839, after its last resident was carted away to the poorhouse, this rural slum continues to attract people sensitive to its powerful charm. It inspired several of Beat poet Charles Olson’s famous Maximus poems, and Modernist painter Marsden Hartley felt a crippling depression recede after he committed Dogtown’s unique scenery to canvas. Dogtown: Death and E [...]

    4. I bought this in my local independent book store on a Monday. I already knew I was going to Gloucester that evening. We had dinner at the Causeway which is the most amazing townie, BYOB place where you get more food/fish than you can possibly eat at one sitting for a good price. We dined with a couple and their near two year old who are good friends, after which, we went to Tony's recording studio so my guy and he could rehearse a couple of songs. After that, we went to the Monday night jam at t [...]

    5. ISBN 1416587047 - I chose to read this one for several reasons. Love ghost towns! My grandmother was infatuated with Gloucester. Dogtown? Sounds like my kind of place! Enchantment? Cool! Dogtown has many stories. In recent history, there was the murder of a local woman. Long ago, there were tales of witches. Both of those stories, along with others, are woven into this book as author Elyssa East ventures into this abandoned area, now largely reclaimed by nature, in her search for the Dogtown of [...]

    6. East gives the history of a now-abandoned wilderness on the coast of New England called Dogtown. In alternating chapters, she describes a murder trial from the 1980s and the evolution of this wilderness from the 1600s through the present. Dogtown has inspired painters and writers and madmen, and has seen its fair share of infamy, from pirates to witches to murderers. It's an interesting area, but the author doesn't quite do it justice. The true crime sections are, sadly, kind of boring, as these [...]

    7. A strange history of a strange place. Dogtown is an isolated spot of land, completely surrounded by Gloucester and Rockport. East does an excellent job of describing the eeriness that is present when you walk through the woods of Dogtown. She also does an excellent job chronicling the history of the place and Gloucester itself. The book is basically divided into three areas - the history of Gloucester and Dogtown; the murder and subsequent trial for Anne Natti; and East's search for herself in D [...]

    8. I totally enjoyed this book. This book is creepy. I have to admit, there was a point I put this book down, and I didn't return to it for a solid week it creeped me out so bad. This was an extremely graphic description of a murder - the writing was so clear and vivid I felt I'd watched it.I'd never heard of Dogtown before, and I think I'll skip if I ever get a chance to visit. This is a very talented writer, the language is beautifully crafted, the insight is solid, and the combined effect, for m [...]

    9. Ok so I don't usually like non-fiction and this was no exception. I thought I'd take a chance and see what happened. Maybe I would like it? Um, no. It's not that the book wasn't interesting at times. It was. Especially the part about the murder of Anne Nati. I did like learning about Dogtown-Gloucester. However, some of the details were just too much and my mind easily wandered during my reading. If you like historical fiction about small towns and you are ready for the details, then this may be [...]

    10. Very sensationalist book about Dogtown in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. There aren't all THAT many books about Dogtown, but this focused too much on a murder that happened out there in the 1980s. Honestly, I could careless about what happened in Dogtown in the 1980s. I want to know what was going on out there in the 1780s. Yes, the place is pretty eerie, especially when nobody else is around, but increasingly if you walk around in Dogtown you will stumble on some people having sex in the woods, not t [...]

    11. I wanted to like this book. I've been to Dogtown in Gloucester - its' great for a dog outing and the book did win the New England Award in Nonfiction. But I just couldn't get into it. I had to force my self to finish it. It was long, rambling and kept jumping around between the present day of the author researching the book to the settlers in the 1700's to some poet and some other painter. It was just a disjointed mess.

    12. I grew up on the fringes of DOGTOWN, and my friends and I played in the woods all the time This book captures both sides of the area its beauty and its terror in it depiction of the absolute horrible murder of Anne Natti Read it! It is, hands down, the best book I've read this year!

    13. True crime is not really my genre of choice, so I was less enthralled by the murder chapters, but I did enjoy the history and fascination of the place itself. Probably could've used more Lovecraft references, though.

    14. To much going back and forth between far past, current time and murder. It didn't flow for me and it was hard to finish it.

    15. On the North Shore of Massachusetts, some 30 miles northeast of Boston, an oblong of land called Cape Ann projects into the Atlantic Ocean. The Agawam tribe, belonging to the Eastern Algonquian language group, occupied the area when Europeans began arriving. By 1617 three quarters of the Native Americans in Massachusetts had perished from a pestilence, probably European-delivered, against which they had no immunity. In 1623 when ships from the Dorchester Company, precursor to the Massachusetts B [...]

    16. I wanted to like this book more than I did . . . I thought it would be more about the history of Dogtown, but instead the focus was on a murder that happened in the Dogtown woods back in 1984. I am not one who enjoys reading murder mysteries, fictional or non-fictional. I feel like this book tainted my view about Dogtown in an irredeemable way. However, I now have all 24 inscriptions by Babson and we plan on going there this summer to find them all, including the Dream of Love rock that the auth [...]

    17. I will be curious to see what this author writes next. This is generally the kind of subject I like to read about: an interesting location, a bit of a history, a few interesting side digressions. This book aspires to be something like a John McPhee book or maybe a New England version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. However, the murder that's described isn't much of a mystery - there's no real suspense to move the plot along. And although I also enjoy nonfiction books that meander alo [...]

    18. Really interesting read, overall. East successfully interweaves the local history and geology of the Cape Ann peninsula with a detailed analysis of the impact of a crime that devastated the local community back in the '80s.Along the way she shares anecdotes about her personal connection to the area, but never too the extent of overshadowing the greater purpose of the book.I am reasonably familiar with the area and love New England historical lore, so am admittedly biased, but would recommend "Do [...]

    19. This work of narrative nonfiction took me a while to read. The barrage of factual information was a bit daunting at times (the footnotes alone take up almost a quarter of the book!), though East tempers the effect by alternating chapters of historical background with the account of a recent murder and its impact on the tight-knot Gloucester community. The book has inspired me to visit Dogtown, an enormous and wild nature preserve that has resisted being tamed for centuries, and to learn more abo [...]

    20. This is an extremely informative piece of non-fiction. I began reading the book after coming across Dogtown and exploring it with my husband. I'm not sure I would have had I read the accounts in this book first. But now, having finished, I'm even more enthralled by its draw and history, good and bad. I only gave 4 stars because I found the back and forth chapters in the book a little tedious to start but it finished well. I especially appreciated the Epilogue and Author's note. I do wish she had [...]

    21. interesting read. I had heard stories about Dogtown in the past and was curious.This book focuses primarily on a murder that occurred in Dogtown of a much belovedmember of town. Some history given regarding area known as Dogtown.learned new stories and will follow up by reading Anita Diamont's Last Days of Dogtown as well.

    22. Very interesting and yes, enchanting history of a New England ghost town. I would like to read the squeal.

    23. East does a masterful job of weaving together--her fascination with artst Marsden Hartley's eerie landscapes and writings about an isolated New England locale,--the bump-in-the-night history of that ghost town from its puritan, piratical, and political roots, and--the true-life crime horror of the brutal 1984 murder in Dogtown, this isolated New England ghost town just behind the touristic and gentrifying coast town of Gloucester and minutes from Boston by train or Route 128.East keeps the inter [...]

    24. This book had been on my want-to-read list for several years, I wish I could say the wait was worth it. As someone with an American Studies degree who loves the kind of fascinating facts found here it had sounded like my kind of book. Unfortunately, the author's writing style made it impossible to enjoy. It is the interesting facts that get the two stars here not the book itself. Elyssa East did a lot of research for this book and it shows sadly she was a better researcher than connector of all [...]

    25. Dogtown, a remote portion of the island peninsula on Cape Ann, in both Gloucester and Rockport (formerly Sandy Bay) has a rich historical past. Elyssa East, the author, became enamored of the work of Marsden Hartley, an American Modernist painter whose best (translate most haunting) work was done in Dogtown. East, becoming obsessed with him, comes to Gloucester to commune with the magic of Dogtown, to discover the magic of the place that imbued Hartley's paintings with a mystical sense of place. [...]

    26. Knowing just a little about Dogtown and feeling drawn to it, I was excited to find this book last weekend on a clearance table in a Sherman's (locals all know they are great!). I cracked it open a day or 2 later and was immediately anxious about the focus. The author spent a great deal of time on a real and horrible crime that happened in Dogtown in 1984, going deeply into the families of both murderer and victim as well as the murderer's psyche and many details of the crime and trial. She also [...]

    27. this book was about 75 pages too long. It was the author's love note to a place that, in the end, she never made the case for me to want to visit. Dogtown is a mysterious, rocky abandoned settlement that sits between Gloucester and Rockport on Cape Ann. It has fallen into disrepair for many years and has become overgrown. Many think that the land has a certain mysticism about it, an otherworldliness. Author East tells many stories of denizens in the area from the 1700s to the present, and she su [...]

    28. Really well-written, in a very pondering, smooth way. It does not read like other non-fiction books. It has a workshop-like feel about it when you read it, a book version of a grainy documentary. It goes back and forth between the colonial history of the place (it's a remote part of Gloucester, MA, so there's lots of history) and the murder of a young woman by a local whistling kettle in the 80s. But mostly it's about the feel one has in the place itself. East shows that the entire acreage of Do [...]

    29. East is obsessed with Marsden Hartley's paintings which use Dogtown (on Cape Ann in MA) as their inspiration.East obsessively researches the area and the many eccentrics inhabiting it.She concludes that the place is stubbornly mysterious, but that this mysteriousness is partly a product of perception.East does too much research and seems to try to fit too much of it into the book. The seams start to bulge.East lambasts people for fixating on the murder of Anne Natti, but does the same by framing [...]

    30. East's book is what could be called a landscape narrative, in which she attempts to explore the history of Gloucester, Mass via her own discovery of the area (in search of the inspiration of painter Mardsen Hartley's works). She intersperses a historical narrative of the area, biographies of artists (such as Hartley and poet Charles Olson) who have been inspired by the landscape, in addition to a 1984 murder that took place in the area. Specifically, she focuses on the wooded interior, an area k [...]

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