Angela's Ashes Hardcover – Sep 5 1996
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"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood," writes Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes. "Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Welcome, then, to the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. It turns out that prospects weren't so great back in the old country either--not with Malachy for a father. A chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic, he appears to be the model on which many of our more insulting cliches about drunken Irish manhood are based. Mix in abject poverty and frequent death and illness and you have all the makings of a truly difficult early life. Fortunately, in McCourt's able hands it also has all the makings for a compelling memoir.
From School Library Journal
YA. Despite impoverishing his family because of his alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. He told him about the great Irish heroes, the old days in Ireland, the people in their Limerick neighborhood, and the world beyond their shores. McCourt writes in the voice of the child?with no self-pity or review of events?and just retells the tales. He recounts his desperately poor early years, living on public assistance and losing three siblings, but manages to make the book funny and uplifting. Stories of trying on his parents' false teeth and his adventures as a post-office delivery boy will have readers laughing out loud. Young people will recognize the truth in these compelling tales; the emotions expressed; the descriptions of teachers, relatives, neighbors; and the casual cruelty adults show toward children. Readers will enjoy the humor and the music in the language. A vivid, wonderfully readable memoir.?Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am just one of the millions that have read this book, making me one of McCourt's fan.
Why I like this book?. Firt of all, I am no Irish (I'm an asian) ; I had no idea how bad growing up in Europe would be like in those days. I've seen movies and all ...but with this book, I can actually not only picture his life, but feeling the hardship he and his family went through. He showed me very clearly life in Ireland was at the time...and at the same time, showed me how beautiful Ireland is too !.
It made me realize, no matter what you are, where you come from, who you are, what your belief is,..the concept of life is the same everywhere. He made me looked back on my own childhood and really value it.
I have also read the sequel "'Tis"...and I can't wait for the next one "The Teacher Man"..will be released in November this year!.
To me, he is a very one of a kind writer. I definitely agree when one of his professors told him he's got a 'rich past(childhood)'. I also like his way of writing...it's almost like he's speaking his mind right out to me when I'm reading it.
Frank McCourt is definitely one of my favourites.
As I listened to this story as read by the author, I kept hearing my own grandfather's voice. Yes, I'd heard all the stories about childhood deprivation and inner strength, about drunken fathers and run-down houses, but I'd never really listened when my grandfather told them. "He's exaggerating," I thought, "Nobody ever lived like that." But after hearing the details of Frank's childhood, I realize that my grandfather wasn't complaining about his childhood or looking for sympathy. He was just trying to paint a picture of the experiences that he lived through, which were so very different from my own. There was something about my grandfather's style of speaking that made him sound different from everyone else I knew. He was born in the US so he didn't have an Irish accent at all, but there was something peculiar about the rhythm of his speech and the style of relating to others that I never noticed in other people's voices.Read more ›
The prose is powerful and conveys a very clear picture of his life. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, some graphic descriptions might even make you look away, but what I truly liked about this book is the absence of sorrowfullness, expecially when depicting some incredibly miserable events.
I went on to read " 'Tis ", the sequel, and found it to be as good as "Angela's Ashes", perhaps a bit less powerful but great nevertheless. Get both books if you havent's yet read them.
I highly applaud this book and think that everyone should read it at least once in their life. The story reveals remarkable clarity and unique perspectives of a world seldom explored by choice and all too often overlooked. The new view of an old clishe flows with interesting details and remarkable feats. Life is constantly changing and this book reveals the details of survival in a harsh world where life is often taken for granted and things are worse than they appear. The inncent clarity on the bitter reality proves the true intention of the book.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent book couldn't put it down, was shocked at the way they had to live. Loved the Irish sayings, was so well written. Read morePublished 10 months ago by charmaine lomond
If you appreciate your life now, wait until you digest this epic memoir of sorrow, survival and emmense poverty. Read morePublished 17 months ago by marci
I visited Frank McCourt's school while I was in Ireland. Good book and very sad.Published 20 months ago by Janet King
Not quite as compelling as 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls, but very interesting as a follow up. I'd recommend it.Published on Oct. 4 2013 by Amazon Customer
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