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'Tis: A Memoir

'Tis: A Memoir

Written by Frank McCourt

Narrated by Frank McCourt


'Tis: A Memoir

Written by Frank McCourt

Narrated by Frank McCourt

ratings:
4/5 (43 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Sep 1, 1999
ISBN:
9780743519694
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by listeners everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.
And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice -- his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue -- that renders these experiences spellbinding.
When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blond, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach -- and to write -- that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of listeners in Angela's Ashes comes of age.
Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly-awaited audiobooks of our time, and it is a masterpiece.
Released:
Sep 1, 1999
ISBN:
9780743519694
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Frank McCourt (1930–2009) was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For thirty years he taught in New York City high schools. His first book, Angela’s Ashes, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.


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What people think about 'Tis

3.8
43 ratings / 39 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Here, McCourt relates his adventures teaching in the New York City schools and other tales of his family and his education in NYC. Funny, engaging, conversational, compulsively readable.
  • (4/5)
    Frank McCourt is awesome :)
  • (3/5)
    Not nearly as compelling or lyrical as Angela's Ashes, but still a good read.
  • (2/5)
    Disappointing after Angela's Ashes
  • (5/5)
    I READ ANGELA'S ASHES SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND FOUND IT BOTH DISTURBING AND ENLIGHTENING. MCCOURT HAS A WONDERFUL STORY TELLING WAY. THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF HIS LIFE STORY OF RISING FROM POVERTY IN IRELAND TO SUCCESS AS A TEACHER IN NEW YORK CITY.
  • (2/5)
    McCourt's memoir [pt 2] of his life in returning to america at nineteen; journeying to life, both in a new country and in manhood.

    The book kept a good pace with all the material covered. I did find some confusion in the ordering of the story when references would be made to work scenarios or activities I thought McCourt had already terminated. Tightly spaced pages of small print didn't add to the ease or enjoyment of this read which did seem lengthy after some solid uninterrupted reading time. McCourt's excellent descriptive use of english definitely a plus, but roughness of dialogue, though a norm in the life and relationships he lived, was not easy to read.

    What I did appreciate were the references to the positive attitude and commentary McCourt would report of his mam at home in Limerick with nothing but hard work without a convenience in the world, contrasted with whining and complaining americans who couldn't see their complaints were unfounded and unjustifiable..

  • (5/5)
    I'm not usually a huge fan of memoirs and such, but this one was different somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it. I blew through it, just as I did the first book in the series. Mr. McCourt did not disappoint in the second installation of his memoirs. It did get a little... repetitive, at times, but I still enjoyed it immensely.
  • (4/5)
    I love this book. It is a follow-up to McCourt's first book-Angela's Ashes.
  • (3/5)
    See review of Angela's Ashes: Much of it applies to this second over-laden dirge of McCourt's alleged life. As with the first tome one word for those who were variously enthralled, stunned etc. by the content... GULLIBLE!
  • (3/5)
    This is the autobiography of Frank McCourt, from his arrival in America as a 19 year old, his envying of the life of the well born, educated young Americans that he sees as a cleaner and his eventual achieving an education and job as a teacher and becoming part of the middle class American dream, but not finding things very satisfying. He sounds like he must have been a great teacher.
    I think this might have been more satisfactory as an audible book, read in his own voice. As it was, he was very honest, but I didn't particularly like the style of his writing.
  • (4/5)
    I find Frank McCourt a very inspiring human being.Whilst by this point in his life he has very much lifted himself out of the squalor and into a series of professions, you still get the sense of a man trying battle for recognition in what is to him a strange land.He paints a warts and all picture of himself, but he does gloss over his mistakes, and in my opinion embellish a lot of his stories.I;m not planning to read Teacher Man and will end my journey with Mr McCourt here, but I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Angela's Ashes.
  • (4/5)
    Another great read. I love the simple style of writing, it flows like poetry.
  • (3/5)
    Frank McCourt burst on the literary scene with his memoir Angela’s Ashes, which outlined his childhood lived in abject poverty in Limerick Ireland. This book picks up where that one left off. He begins by recounting some of the overseas voyage, befriended by a priest who encourages him to talk to the “wealthy Protestants from Kentucky,” and who is dismayed when McCourt’s embarrassment over his teeth, his eyes, his clothing, keeps him from asserting himself. But although nothing is as he expected and he feels more ignorant each day, the 19-year-old Frank pursues his dreams of the American life. It’s slow going and the reader begins to wonder if he’ll ever get out of the slums and get his eyes and teeth fixed (though we obviously know he will, because he wrote these books, after all). Despite the obvious roadblocks in his path, Frank’s ingrained desire to better himself is further inspired by watching the office workers on the bus, overhearing them talk about their children or grandchildren going to college. A stint in the Army makes him eligible for the GI bill, and he begins to take courses at NYU. And the love of a classic American blonde beauty makes his dream of a clean job, a clean wife, a clean house and clean children seem finally within his grasp.McCourt has a way with language. His direct, present-tense style has immediacy to it that just keeps me reading. He doesn’t shy away from that which is painful, embarrassing, or downright depressing. I was anxious to see him succeed, but I was frustrated with his apparent inability to get on with it. In relating the story of the young Frank McCourt he comes across as painfully lacking in self-esteem – a born “loser.” His first book ended on such a high note of hope and opportunity; I was expecting more of the same, and this one didn’t quite deliver.
  • (3/5)
    Yeah, not as moving as [book:Angela's Ashes] but seamless transition/continuation to it as if they were written as one long book (I wonder if the publisher separated them for marketing purposes?). Much more teachery towards the end -- setting up for [book:Teacher Man]? Time passes faster in this one; I would've been interested in having the war section extended/drawn out a bit more. I liked listening to the book for the "brogue" (sp?), especially because it is frequently an issue in the story.
  • (3/5)
    not as good as Angela's ashes... but still a great read..
  • (4/5)
    McCourt's straightforward, affecting style is the big attraction in this book. For anyone who read Angela's Ashes, however, it is bound to disappoint a little. McCourt continues his story, taking it up with his arrival in New York, his military service, his early jobs, friendships and education and the early years of his teaching career. His honesty and low-key delivery make the memoir compelling.
  • (2/5)
    I wanted it to be like the first book. I tried to get into it, I even finished it but it wasn't anything like the first one for me.
  • (3/5)
    Quite some time ago I reviewed McCourt's first autobiography, Angela's Ashes. 'Tis is the second book which picks up as Frank is sailing from Ireland to America, where he expects to see everyone has a tan and beautiful white teeth, i.e. the Hollywood version. First lesson, New York City and its people don't much resemble his expectations.He's still poor as a churchmouse of course but he finds a job sweeping the floor and emptying ashtrays in the lobby of the Biltmore, then moves on to a warehouse job on the docks. He rents a place at a rooming house with a strange landlady and her handicapped son. Eventually he talks his way into NYU despite his lack of a high school diploma. Many of my friends will be happy to learn he got in because of his reading habit. He had read classic literature that most American youth would disdain. At length he becomes a teacher, a teacher with a girlfriend no less. You may remember he had three surviving younger brothers; they all came to this country. His mother finally came here as well and made a career of carping about everything American. The book ends as the McCourt sons and their children take Angela's ashes back to Limerick.I raved about the first book. I laughed my head off reading parts of it and other parts tore my heart out. Young Frankie's poverty-stricken childhood was terrible. However, I was disappointed in this book. It's written in the same stream-of-consciousness style and he has the same sense of humor, and parts of it made me laugh out loud. The adult Frank McCourt, though, isn't such a sympathetic character. There were times when I wanted to take him by the shoulders and shake some sense into him. I wanted to say, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and for heaven's sake stay out of Irish bars!" But I must admit McCourt is a good man at heart and he's certainly a better writer than I'll ever be.
  • (4/5)
    I finished this last week. Not as relentlessly depressing as Angela's Ashes but there's still enough "Black Irish" to make you cry every now and then; and enough honesty to make you laugh. McCourt is a brilliant storyteller. I particularly like how he does dialog as a stream of consciousness without quotes or attributions. You can see the back and forth between teacher and reluctant students, wife and drunken husband, army grunts and officers. Although I did get a bit tired of the sore eyes and bad teeth. I assume he had them fixed, but he used them metaphorically throughout the narrative to put himself in a pathetic light. But that is a small quibble. Highly recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    From reading through the reviews, I imagine I'm in a very small minority of readers who picked up "'Tis" wthout ever having read "Angela's Ashes". While this may mean I am not aware of some information regarding character background, etc., I did not feel at all lost while reading the book. In fact, it was only after I finished reading it that I realised this was a continuation of sorts of another book.While many other readers were apparently disappointed in this book compared to "Ashes", I believe that on its own it is a very well-written and enjoyable book. The prose was extremely readable and the situations and characters very interesting. McCourt helped make the immigrant experience approachable by highlighting the awkwardness and disorientation that a young Irish man finds upon his arrival in North America.Very highly reccomended, whether or not have you read "Angela's Ashes".
  • (4/5)
    Angela's Ashes sucked me in. The sequel is a fabulous read (I couldn't put it down), but it's only getting four stars because Angela's Ashes is just a shade better.
  • (3/5)
    For me this was such a disappointment after Angela's Ashes which is one of my favourite books. It felt too much like he was trying to scrape up any vaguely interesting memories for the sake of it and the last half was boring in places. It's still worth a read if you liked Angela's Ashes.
  • (2/5)
    As the second installment in Irish Catholic Frank McCourt's moving memoir series, 'Tis is the portrayal of a young man trying to find his place in a world ready to eat him up. His first book, "Angela's Ashes," details his early childhood in the slums of Limerick, Ireland and 'Tis picks up in the fall of 1949 as he is finally making his way to America. What follows is a wry, hilarious and often heartbreaking deception of his struggles to make his way through a foreign country to find a job, education and even love. McCourt finds his start in America at seemingly dead-end jobs even as he dreams of one day becoming a college student like those he sees on the subway with their books and superior attitudes. After spending time in the army, he is finally admitted to New York University even without a high school diploma but is constantly fearful of being looked down upon due to his lack of education. After finally obtaining a teaching post, McCourt depicts the farce that is the American educational system as he battles with students and administrators until he is able to teach a creative writing class at a respectable high school. Frank McCourt is a masterful writer. I think part of what makes him so dang good is his unusual lack of punctuation. No quotation marks and hardly any commas or periods either. I'd often read half a page before I realized it was all one sentence. This style made everything seem more immediate and more often than not, I'd feel myself right there with him during the war, at a job, or in his classroom. On top of that, his honesty is what really sets his narrative apart. McCourt cuts no corners and doesn't shy away from the truth, even if it is embarrassing or damaging to himself.The Hubby and I listened to "Angela's Ashes" read by the author himself and since then I can't but help hear his unforgettable, almost simplistic voice in my head as I read 'Tis. His story is so poignant, so honest that it and the emotions they raise so fresh - it all stays with you long after you finish, truly making his books absolutely unforgettable.
  • (3/5)
    Although not as good as Angela's Ashes, this is still an engaging work from an author with a friendly, sweet voice. The reader will wish he/she could have met McCourt, shared a few drinks, and listened to some more of his wonderful stories.
  • (4/5)
    This is my second book by Mr McCourt and his writing make brings the reader so close to him that it is almost like I've becoming a cousin through his work. His insights into the bigger themes of teachers, the education system, and the invisibility of immigrant workers to the affluent are relevant themes and they balance nicely with the highly personal nature of the rest of his story. While 'Tis isn't as good as Angela's Ashes, it is still much better than most and definitely worth reading.
  • (4/5)
    Frank McCourt smiles from the book jacket cover photo, but his story (beginning when he comes back to New York from Ireland) is full of dissappointment, challenge, and heartbreak. He struggles as a US citizen with an Irish brogue, red eyes, and bad teeth. He finds his own way. Mr. McCourt's storytelling kept me laughing. The history of it all is also interesting from his being drafted to entering the education profession as an English teacher in a 'Blackboard Jungle' classroom. I think I'll find a copy of Teacher Man and continue on.
  • (4/5)
    'Tis follows Angela's Ashes in the life story of Frank McCourt, now a poor Irish American trying to make his way in New York City. It's not as endearing as Angela's Ashes but worth reading anyway to learn more of McCourt's life.
  • (4/5)
    Tis is the sequel to Angela's Ashes. The book continues to describe the life of Frank McCourt, a very poor Irish immigrant trying his best to make a life in America. The tale is told with much humour and it describes the hardships of immigrants who have a very limited social net.
  • (4/5)
    The wonderful continuation of Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes" please see the review for Angela's Ashes. Everything there is also fitting for this book.
  • (5/5)
    Funny how people who liked [Angela's Ashes] hated ['Tis] and vice versa. I loved Tis, it had me in stiches again and again!