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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt



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Published by Simon and Schuster
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

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Publish date: May 25, 1999
Added to Scribd: Apr 16, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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“Te reader of this stunning memoir can only hope thatMr. McCourt will set down the story of his subsequentadventures in America in another book.
 Angela’s Ashes
isso good it deserves a sequel.”
Michiko kakutani,
The New York Times 
“It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile hisreaders that he leaves them wanting more when he’sdone. With
 Angela’s Ashes
, McCourt proves himself oneof the very best.”
MalcolM jones, jr.,
Praise for
 Angela’s Ashes
Angela’s Ashes
A Memoir
Frank McCourt
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to sur-vive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy child-hood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miser-able Irish Catholic childhood.” 
So begins the luminous memoir o Frank McCourt, born inDepression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raisedin the slums o Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has nomoney to eed the children since Frank’s ather, Malachy, rarely  works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—ex-asperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite or the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank livesor his ather’s tales o Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and o theAngel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.Perhaps it is story that accounts or Frank’s survival. Wearingrags or diapers, begging a pig’s head or Christmas dinner andgathering coal rom the roadside to light a fre, Frank endurespoverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty o relatives andneighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance,and remarkable orgiveness.
 Angela’s Ashes,
imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’sastounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bearsall the marks o a classic.

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teenielee reviewed this
Rated 2/5
Angela is a selfish s-bag of a mother... I was a less angry person before I read this book.
sly_wit reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I'm not a big fan of memoirs in general, but this one blew me away. Both poetic and real.
tauruseducation reviewed this
Angela's Ashes is a 1996 memoir by the Irish-American author Frank McCourt. The memoir consists of various anecdotes and stories of Frank McCourt's impoverished childhood and early adulthood in Brooklyn, New York and in Limerick, Ireland. It also includes McCourt's struggles with poverty, his father's drinking issues, and his mother's attempts to keep the family alive. 
psychedelicmicrobus reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Good lord this is a sad story. I felt like I personally knew the McCourt family and was watching their struggles from an arm's length, yet powerless to actually do anything about it. Frank McCourt is an incredible writer.
chautauquan reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Ah and what a lovely book Angela's Ashes 'tis. Frank McCourt recalls his horrible youth with such humor and charm that it kept me smiling most of the time. McCourt was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1930 to Irish immigrants. The family lived in poverty in New York but became truly destitute after they moved back to Ireland in the mid-1930's. The father is a good-natured but irresponsible alcoholic who can't get or keep a job and spends any money he gets at the pub leaving the family starving and living in unspeakable circumstances. The mother somehow manages to struggle on through the death of three children, living in a house which floods all winter, where there are no blankets, only old coats on the beds, where the children have one set of ragged clothes and shoes full of holes and where the biggest dream imaginable is to someday have enough money to afford an entire egg for each member of the family. Frank, an intelligent boy, has as his goal leaving school at 13 and getting a job as a messenger boy so he can support his family. And yet, he grows up to write an account of these years that is full of warmth. It's a treasure.
charlie64_1 reviewed this
Frank McCourt speaks of his childhood years. Emmigrating to Ireland at a time when everyone was coming to America. After the death of his baby sister, his alcoholic father, and subdued mother move the family to Ireland. He describes the hardships entailed by being poverty stricken, and Catholic in Ireland. A favorite
phillund reviewed this
Rated 5/5
This is an absolute classic. I am amazed that McCourt did not kill his father. McCourt came out of this terrible experience a positive and thoughtful man. I love him.
janesteen_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Where I got the book: my bookshelf (it was assigned for one of my kids' English classes)I finally got round to reading the book after listening--twice--to the excellent audiobook, read by Frank McCourt himself. So I had the music of his voice with me as I read. But the music is also in the writing.I've often seen literary agents write that to be published, a memoir has to have a strong voice and a really unique story. McCourt wins on both accounts. Reading this book is exactly like having someone sitting opposite you, telling his story; the writing rambles on, without punctuated dialogue, and yet it's as clear as a bell.And what a story. Brutal, poignant, touching and funny. There are two points in the story which always, on audio or on the page, reduce me to tears, and both involve a priest. The memoir is steeped in Irish Catholic faith and superstition, seen from the distance of years with fond, mocking eyes. McCourt doesn't spare himself or his parents; I find myself wondering if he's left anything out at all. But the story's suffused with wisdom and understanding, even for his drink-addicted father.This is a book you should read if you want to understand what people mean when they say a writer should have a strong voice. The rhythms of McCourt's writing stayed with me for hours after I put the book down.
grannyhendo reviewed this
Rated 4/5
A difficult read for those of us who have never been poor, who have had loving and helpful families, who have not had drug or alcohol addictions in the family.The style was different ... stream of consciousness. Quite realistic. Not enjoyable but important.
sunshinetonya reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I will start by stating that, I am not a big reader of non-fiction. I saw the cover and wondered why the boy looked so sad and lonely. This is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. Frank McCourt tells the story of his family with such heartbreaking reality but with a humorous side as well. It made me hug my children and be thankful for all we have. I couldn't put the book down until I found out what happened to the little boy on the cover. And bought the sequel, Tis before I even finished Angela's Ashes.

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