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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir Paperback – May 25 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint Edition edition (May 25 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068484267X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684842677
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Frank McCourt's haunting memoir takes on new life when the author reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Recounting scenes from his childhood in New York City and Limerick, Ireland, McCourt paints a brutal yet poignant picture of his early days when there was rarely enough food on the table, and boots and coats were a luxury. In a melodic Irish voice that often lends a gentle humor to the unimaginable, the author remembers his wayward yet adoring father who was forever drinking what little money the family had. He recounts the painful loss of his siblings to avoidable sickness and hunger, a proud mother reduced to begging for charity, and the stench of the sewage-strewn streets that ran outside the front door. As McCourt approaches adolescence, he discovers the shame of poverty and the beauty of Shakespeare, the mystery of sex and the unforgiving power of the Irish Catholic Church. This powerful and heart-rending testament to the resiliency and determination of youth is populated with memorable characters and moments, and McCourt's interpretation of the narrative and the voices it contains will leave listeners laughing through their tears. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Yes....it's about an Irish childhood, according to Mr. McCourt the worst childhood you could ever have in those years.
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.
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Format: Audio Cassette
This book tells the story of the childhood of Frank McCourt. McCourt was just an ordinary boy, born in New York City of Irish immigrant parents. After a family tragedy, his parents returned to Ireland with the children. And that's how this little kid from New York City ended up growing up in a lane in an Irish slum, learning essential survival skills like how to keep his belly full and his feet dry. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did- -Frank's father was a drunk who couldn't bring home a paycheck for more than a few weeks running, the house where they lived was flooded each spring from the lane's common privy, and educational opportunities were quite limited for boys without funds. In such circumstances, the only way to survive is not to fret about tomorrow or what the neighbors might think, but to go ever forward with determined independence.
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.
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By ELI (Italy) TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 1 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago and it left a mark. It's one of the best autobiographies I've ever read, mesmerizing to say the least. Mr. McCourt recounts his childhood in Ireland, surrounded by poverty and hunger, up until the time when his dream comes true: going to the USA in search of a better life.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Angela's Ashes is a tale of an American born boy who moves to Ireland as a small child. The book reveals his entire life. Francis McCourt, son of Angela and Malachy of Limerick Ireland. WIth a family if constantly changing numbers Francies battles through the worst challenges that the Irish slums can throw at him. Malachy is a depressed alcaholic who never holds a job for more than 2 weeks. Even when he does work he drinks away his pay check and leaves his family to suffer through life without his assistance. Angela is severly depressed and doesn't know herself well enough to know her own children or anyone else either. Francis is her first child, one of 8 he soon learned the value of being independent and remaining primarily self sufficient. Around age 7 he takes on the role of taking care of his younger siblings. With no heat, shoes, shabby clothes, little to no food and a life of eviction and confusion Francis rose above all the odds to concor his dreams of moving to America and making a better life for himself and his family if he couuld. By working hard and getting any job he could he tried to save everyone, espeacially himself.
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.
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