Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes

A Memoir

Book - 1996
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Angela's Ashes , imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

"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."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.
ISBN: 9780684874357
Characteristics: 364 pages ;,25 cm.


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Nov 20, 2020

Hated it.
Racism and classism at its absolute worst.

This guy needed to process his childhood poverty and father’s drinking and criminal neglect from both parents - but no way should it have been published as nonfiction.
This is crap.
It is a travesty, a parody of the worst of Irish stereotypes, and Catholic stereotypes. To live with each other in complicated social structures, we should be expunging stereotypes, not idolizing them thinking they are funny and cute, and rooted in reality.
It has nothing redeeming about it.
At 40% of the way through it, I started searching for information, and learned that McCourt has admitted outright lying about real people, named with their real names in this piece of trash. I ditched the d___ thing.
Pulitzer Prize selection team should hang their heads in abject shame.
PS. I'm not Irish, and I'm a former Catholic. I am trying best to battle ignorance and being mean.

Nov 17, 2020

We really enjoyed this reading project book. The stream of consciousness internal dialog during stressful times was excellent. My maternal grandfather broke his leg in a workplace accident during the Depression and his job was not held open awaiting his return. My mother waited until her children were grown before she told us some of the things they had done to eat and stay warm. She was not proud of her family's actions and didn't want to color our thinking about them and certainly did not want us to do any of the things they needed to do. Still, she and her family suffered nowhere near the privations of Frank's family. The author's ability to make the narration sound like an appropriately-aged boy throughout the book is wonderful.

Oct 02, 2020

ANGELA'S ASHES (Scribner), is 363 pages of pure Irish yarn. McCourt won a Pulitzer for this muck strewn tale about his experience growing up poor, Catholic and Irish. Poverty has never been written about with such aplomb.

Sep 24, 2020

Only one of the series which is a hilarious but painful account of Ireland and Irish lives in the time.

Feb 04, 2020

I quite liked Angela's Ashes in book, audiobook (read by the author) and film form. The sequel 'Tis (1999) was not quite as entertaining, but Teacher Man (2005) was the disappointing rambling of someone I could no longer empathize with.

LPL_SarahM Jan 26, 2020

Better 25 years late than never!

Can't believe I only just read this masterpiece by Frank McCourt. What's left to say that hasn't already been said?

Time to read the sequel.

esmom1 Jul 16, 2019

This is one of my all time favorite reads. The humor he puts into the text really brings through a silver lining on the desperate times he grew up in. The two books that follow are also well written and makes you feel like you know Frank.

Jan 29, 2019

the book talks about Frank growing up but doesn't explain the ashes unless it's from the fires in the stove

Sep 14, 2018

Published in 1996, this memoir is the first of the trilogy, with the following books being “‘Tis” and “Teacher Man,” being published in 1999 and 2005. With “Angela’s Ashes,” the narrator, Frank McCourt talks about the challenges he has faced while growing up, such as the death of three of his siblings as infants and an abusive and alcoholic father, all up to the point where he moves to America at the end of the book, at the age of 19. Upon reading this book for English class, I would rate it a 4 out of 5. I have never read a memoir before this one as I find it quite boring to read about someone’s life, but the misery Frank went through growing up mixed with Frank’s humour allowed for an emotional rollercoaster throughout the whole book, creating a heartbreaking, yet funny book to read.
@Aylos of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Jul 01, 2018

Frank McCourt's rambling memoir about growing up a poor Catholic on the streets of Limerick won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997. I was surprised to find that the amount of humour in this book by far outweighed the amount of sorrow. I suspect that a few of the more outlandish tales in this book arise from a somewhat exaggerated sense of Irish humor, but I don't care because it makes for a hugely entertaining read even if Frank's own mother, Angela, declared that the book is a "pack of lies."

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Oct 02, 2020

All you need to know about ANGELA'S ASHES (Scribner) is that it's spun by an Irish writer, reflecting on a difficult life growing up in Ireland. Oh, and it won a Pulitzer. That too. Let the suffering begin.

Jul 14, 2016

Frank McCourt recounts his tale of growing up an impoverished little Irish boy. Regaling stories of what it's like to be in the midst of a good, Catholic community to the heart break brought on by the struggles his family faced (and created), Angela's Ashes is a worthy remembrance to the life he has led as a child and how he fought hard to survive.


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Oct 02, 2020

Poverty has never been written about with such aplomb.

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