Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)
Imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion. This 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 Pulitzer Prize winning 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. 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.

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1) Details

TitleAngela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2005
PublisherHarper Perennial
ISBN-139780007205233
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1) Review

  • Eric Althoff
    January 1, 1970
    Before I get too deep into my review, let me just say this: "Angela's Ashes" is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. That said, it is also fascinating, heartbreaking, searingly honest narration told in the face of extreme poverty and alcoholism. This absolutely entrancing memoir follows an Irish-American-Irish-American (more on this later) boy who comes of age during the Depression and the War years in a country gripped in the stranglehold of the Catholic Church, tradition, rampant Before I get too deep into my review, let me just say this: "Angela's Ashes" is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. That said, it is also fascinating, heartbreaking, searingly honest narration told in the face of extreme poverty and alcoholism. This absolutely entrancing memoir follows an Irish-American-Irish-American (more on this later) boy who comes of age during the Depression and the War years in a country gripped in the stranglehold of the Catholic Church, tradition, rampant poverty and unemployment, and the seemingly ubiquitous curse of the Irish: alcohol.Young Frank McCourt is born in American barely five months after his parents were wed. (Naturally, he will ask later about the math.) His father squanders the family's wages at the pubs and soon the family (with new children seeming to drop on a regular basis) moves back to Ireland. Frank and his family move from slum to slum as his father drifts aimlessly from one job to the next and from one pub to the next, coming home at midnight to rouse his boys from bed, making them promise to die for Ireland. Everywhere for Frank is misery: at school, at home, in the weather, in the dreary conditions of Limerick, and in a fiercly pious populace. Forced to be a man long before most kids even have a paper route, Frank is soon working to supplement whatever his mother can get handed from the government or begging while his father is off working and drinking in England's wartime industries. Frank dreams only of returning to America, where "everyone is a movie star." This novel is so incredibly heartbreaking not only because it is true, but because it highlights the devastating conditions faced by millions (and which sadly continue). The work is a stinging indictment of alcoholism without being a polemic, merely a recollection of what was everday life of the narrator's family, courtesy of his father's drinking. McCourt's supreme strength is in narrating the book through the eyes of his younger self rather than as an adult commentating or proselytizing about what he saw and did as a young man. The young Frank makes choices out of survival instincts and simply because they seemed right at the time (i.e. stealing to eat while promising himself to pay it all back later). On top of the normal perils of adolescence--sexual awakening and social awkardness--Frank, and countless young people like him, needed to grow up far too early to stave of homelessness for himself and his family in the absence of his drifter, drinking father. And ultimately, it is also the quintessential immigrant story of saving up enough to leave the Old Country behind in pursuit of a better life in America. Approach "Angela's Ashes" with both caution and an open mind. Bring tissues and try not to condemn. Be like young Frank: Observe without damning.
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  • Gail
    January 1, 1970
    What, did NO one find this book funny except me??? I must be really perverse.Although the account of Frank's bad eyes was almost physically painful to read, the rest of the story didn't seem too odd or sad or overdone to me. My dad's family were immigrants; his father died young of cirrhosis of the liver, leaving my grandmother to raise her six living children (of a total of 13) on a cleaning woman's pay. So? Life was hard. They weren't Irish and they lived in New York, but when you hear that yo What, did NO one find this book funny except me??? I must be really perverse.Although the account of Frank's bad eyes was almost physically painful to read, the rest of the story didn't seem too odd or sad or overdone to me. My dad's family were immigrants; his father died young of cirrhosis of the liver, leaving my grandmother to raise her six living children (of a total of 13) on a cleaning woman's pay. So? Life was hard. They weren't Irish and they lived in New York, but when you hear that your dad occasionally trapped pigeons and roasted them to eat, you develop a certain, er, resistance to tales of woe. They worked hard and did the best they could. And in between, life could be really, really funny. That's how I saw this book. After reading some of the reviews here, I'm beginning to think I read a different book. Or that I'm completely odd, which is much more likely.
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  • Mitch Albom
    January 1, 1970
    I read his book, then I got to know him, and rarely will you find as similar a voice between the man and the writer as in this memoir. A tragic gem of a childhood story.
  • David
    January 1, 1970
    But the worst offender of the last twenty years has to be the uniquely meretricious drivel that constitutes "Angela's Ashes". Dishonest at every level, slimeball McCourt managed to parlay his mawkish maunderings to commercial success, presumably because the particular assortment of rainsodden cliches hawked in the book not only dovetails beautifully with the stereotypes lodged in the brain of every American of Irish descent, but also panders to the lummoxes collective need to feel superior becau But the worst offender of the last twenty years has to be the uniquely meretricious drivel that constitutes "Angela's Ashes". Dishonest at every level, slimeball McCourt managed to parlay his mawkish maunderings to commercial success, presumably because the particular assortment of rainsodden cliches hawked in the book not only dovetails beautifully with the stereotypes lodged in the brain of every American of Irish descent, but also panders to the lummoxes collective need to feel superior because they have managed to transcend their primitive, bog-soaked origins, escaping the grinding poverty imagined in the book, to achieve - what? Spiritual fulfilment in the split-level comfort of a Long Island ranch home? And Frankie the pimp misses not a beat, tailoring his mendacity to warp the portrayal of reality in just the way his audience likes. No native Irish reader, myself included, has anything but the deepest contempt for this particular exercise in literary prostitution and the cynical weasel responsible for it. {my apologies to the fine people of Long Island, for the unnecessary vehemence of the implied slur in the above review: clearly it is not meant to be all-encompassing}
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    There once was a lad reared in Limerick,Quite literally without a bone to pick.His da used scant earningsTo slake liquid yearnings;In American parlance – a dick.To get past a father who drankIn a place that was dismal and dank,He wrote not in rhymes,But of those shite times A memoir that filled up his bank.
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  • George Bradford
    January 1, 1970
    “If you had the luck of the IrishYou’d be sorry and wish you was deadIf you had the luck of the IrishThen you’d wish you was English instead”How can ONE book be so WONDERFUL and so HORRIBLE at the same time? I have no idea. But this book is both. Big time. It’s difficult to imagine anything worse than a childhood crushed under the oppressive conditions of abject poverty, relentless filth and unmitigated suffering. The childhood described in this book is the worst I’ve ever encountered. The “luck “If you had the luck of the IrishYou’d be sorry and wish you was deadIf you had the luck of the IrishThen you’d wish you was English instead”How can ONE book be so WONDERFUL and so HORRIBLE at the same time? I have no idea. But this book is both. Big time. It’s difficult to imagine anything worse than a childhood crushed under the oppressive conditions of abject poverty, relentless filth and unmitigated suffering. The childhood described in this book is the worst I’ve ever encountered. The “lucky” children suffer injuries or illnesses that (due to poverty) go untreated and result in death. The rest suffer miserable existences. Actually, “suffer” and “miserable” are not adequate to describe the experience. The children in “Angela’s Ashes” would have traded their lives for a life of merely suffering a miserable childhood in a heartbeat.And yet, somehow, Frank McCourt achieves a brilliant feat in this book. He tells a horrific story that caused me to cringe, grind my teeth, cry and loose sleep worrying. This book affected me physically. It was beyond upsetting. But McCourt wrote it in a way that kept me reading. As depressing as it was I could not put it down. McCourt’s writing is mesmerizing.
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  • Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    Quite different from other memoirs I read--especially the brand of memoir that's been coming out in the last few years--Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes tells of the author's poverty-stricken childhood in Ireland in the early 20th century. It's told from the first person present perspective, which doesn't allow for as much mature reflection, but it does create a very immediate & immersive atmosphere. And speaking of atmosphere, McCourt writes so descriptively and which such skill that you can Quite different from other memoirs I read--especially the brand of memoir that's been coming out in the last few years--Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes tells of the author's poverty-stricken childhood in Ireland in the early 20th century. It's told from the first person present perspective, which doesn't allow for as much mature reflection, but it does create a very immediate & immersive atmosphere. And speaking of atmosphere, McCourt writes so descriptively and which such skill that you can really picture everything he's talking about. It's incredibly well written, with a Joycean stream of consciousness that again contributes to the immersive quality of the story. I'd recommend taking your time with this one, not only because it's depressive nature is a bit too much to bear in large quantities, but also because there's so much to savor and appreciate about McCourt's story and writing. I see why this is a modern classic.
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  • Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    Angela’s Ashes is a beautifully written, painfully honest account of Frank McCourt’s childhood in Limerick, Ireland.Frank’s parents, both Irish, met in New York and began their family there. McCourt himself was born in New York, but this was in the 1930s and the depression hurt everyone and everywhere, especially immigrant Irish with no resources.So back to Ireland they go to live near his maternal grandmother. 1930s Limerick was not much better than New York, especially for Frank’s father who s Angela’s Ashes is a beautifully written, painfully honest account of Frank McCourt’s childhood in Limerick, Ireland.Frank’s parents, both Irish, met in New York and began their family there. McCourt himself was born in New York, but this was in the 1930s and the depression hurt everyone and everywhere, especially immigrant Irish with no resources.So back to Ireland they go to live near his maternal grandmother. 1930s Limerick was not much better than New York, especially for Frank’s father who spoke with a “north of Ireland accent”.Succinctly stated, the novel begins with this statement: “Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood”. Told with equal parts humor and sobriety, this swings rapidly from hilarious to heartbreaking. A good book.
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  • Andrei Bădică
    January 1, 1970
    " Când tata vine acasă cu leafa din prima săptămână, mama e încântată că poate plăti datoria italianului drăguț de la băcănie și că poate ține iar capul sus, fiindcă nimic nu e mai rău pe lume decât să fii dator și obligat față de cineva. Face curat în bucătărie, spală cănile și farfuriile, curăță masa de firimituri și de resturi de mâncare, golește răcitorul și comandă o nouă bucată de gheață de la alt italian."" Trebuie să studiați și să învățați, spuse el, ca să vă faceți o părere proprie des " Când tata vine acasă cu leafa din prima săptămână, mama e încântată că poate plăti datoria italianului drăguț de la băcănie și că poate ține iar capul sus, fiindcă nimic nu e mai rău pe lume decât să fii dator și obligat față de cineva. Face curat în bucătărie, spală cănile și farfuriile, curăță masa de firimituri și de resturi de mâncare, golește răcitorul și comandă o nouă bucată de gheață de la alt italian."" Trebuie să studiați și să învățați, spuse el, ca să vă faceți o părere proprie despre istorie și toate celelalte, dar ce părere să vă faceți dacă vă fluieră vântul prin minte. Mobilați-vă mintea, mobilați-vă mintea. E casa voastră prețioasă și nimeni pe lumea asta nu se poate atinge de ea. Dacă ați câștiga la Loteria Irlandei și v-ați cumpăra o casă care are nevoie de mobilă, ați umple-o cu resturi și gunoaie?"
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  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit that I didn't love the first third of this book but I realize the information gained there made me enjoy the rest even more. At times, this book was a beautiful dark comedy, "There is nothing like a wake for having a good time," and I think that some day I might make my kids promise to die for Ireland. Near the end, the young boy is trying to figure out what adultery is by looking it up in the dictionary; he is forced to look up new words with each explanation he finds and the re I have to admit that I didn't love the first third of this book but I realize the information gained there made me enjoy the rest even more. At times, this book was a beautiful dark comedy, "There is nothing like a wake for having a good time," and I think that some day I might make my kids promise to die for Ireland. Near the end, the young boy is trying to figure out what adultery is by looking it up in the dictionary; he is forced to look up new words with each explanation he finds and the result it priceless. There is also a part where an old man has the young boy read A Modest Proposal. I love that essay and just read a parody of it within another parody, The Sorrows of Young Mike. I love books which reference the piece and would appreciate people to let me know any other works that mention the satire in the comments below.
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    This autobiographical book about Frank McCourt's childhood is so lyrical and well-written. But, seriously, it ripped my heart into little pieces and then stomped on the remains.When I read Angela's Ashes my children were small, about the ages of Frank and his siblings at the start of the book. I found the story of their neglect-filled childhood in New York and Ireland--with a helpless mother and an alcoholic father who spends his odd paychecks, as well as their welfare payments, in the pubs and This autobiographical book about Frank McCourt's childhood is so lyrical and well-written. But, seriously, it ripped my heart into little pieces and then stomped on the remains.When I read Angela's Ashes my children were small, about the ages of Frank and his siblings at the start of the book. I found the story of their neglect-filled childhood in New York and Ireland--with a helpless mother and an alcoholic father who spends his odd paychecks, as well as their welfare payments, in the pubs and lets his family starve and children die--so harrowing that I shoved the book under my bed after I'd read about a hundred pages. It was at least a couple of months before I could bring myself to pull it back out again and finish it. Life got better for Frank's family as he got older, and I managed to finish the book without more tears, but it's that heart-wrenching first part of the book that really sticks in my memory years later.
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  • Brina
    January 1, 1970
    Read pre goodreads. I've seen it pop up on a lot of people's feeds. One of the most inspiring books I ever read.
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    Angela's Ashes: a memoir of a childhood, Frank McCourt عنوانها: خاکسترهای آنجلا؛ خاکستر آنجلا؛ اجاق سرد آنجلا؛ اشک آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2001 میلادیعنوان: خاکسترهای آنجلا ؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: پریسا محمدی نژنده؛ تهران، درفام، 1377؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه امریکاییهای ایرلندی تبار - آداب و رسوم مردمان ایرلند - قرن 20 معنوان: اجاق سرد آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: گلی امامی؛ تهران، فرزان روز، 1379؛ در 600 ص؛ شابک: 9643210529؛ چاپ سوم Angela's Ashes: a memoir of a childhood, Frank McCourt عنوانها: خاکسترهای آنجلا؛ خاکستر آنجلا؛ اجاق سرد آنجلا؛ اشک آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2001 میلادیعنوان: خاکسترهای آنجلا ؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: پریسا محمدی نژنده؛ تهران، درفام، 1377؛ موضوع: سرگذشتنامه امریکاییهای ایرلندی تبار - آداب و رسوم مردمان ایرلند - قرن 20 معنوان: اجاق سرد آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: گلی امامی؛ تهران، فرزان روز، 1379؛ در 600 ص؛ شابک: 9643210529؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ شابک: 9789643210526؛ چاپ پنجم 13933؛ عنوان: اشک آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: زهرا تابشیان؛ تهران، نشر دشتستان، 1378؛ در 518 ص؛ شابک: 9649174877؛ عنوان: خاکستر آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: نینا پزشکیان؛ تهران، بدرقه جاویدان، 1380؛ در 618 ص؛ شابک: 9649345469؛ عنوان: خاکسترهای آنجلا؛ نویسنده: فرانک مک کورت؛ مترجم: منیژه شیخ جوادی (بهزاد)؛ تهران، پیکان، 1384؛ در 470 ص؛زندگینامه فرانک مک کورت است. ا. شربیانی
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    In Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt paints a picture of a childhood mired in poverty. He manages to be humorous and heartbreaking, and hopeless and triumphant all at once. I laughed, I cried, I felt dearly for the disadvantaged McCourt family that struggled against all odds.The memoir borrows heavily from the art of realism -- as tales of impoverished childhoods usually are. McCourt was born in depression era Brooklyn to an alcoholic father who spent all his wages at the bar, and a mother disgraced In Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt paints a picture of a childhood mired in poverty. He manages to be humorous and heartbreaking, and hopeless and triumphant all at once. I laughed, I cried, I felt dearly for the disadvantaged McCourt family that struggled against all odds.The memoir borrows heavily from the art of realism -- as tales of impoverished childhoods usually are. McCourt was born in depression era Brooklyn to an alcoholic father who spent all his wages at the bar, and a mother disgraced and desperate to feed her starving children. Here, we have a glimpse at the life of an Irish family living in a ratty (but ethnically diverse) tenement building. The children were often left their own devices, while the adults struggled with adult problems -- keeping a home, putting food on the table, etc. Loss is a prevalent and recurring theme in the book. Frankie's siblings, as young as several months, were victims of death many times.Things don't improve when they move back to Ireland to start over. Their North-Irish and alcoholic of a father couldn't find work, drank all the charity money they managed to get, and eventually abandoned his family for good. Meanwhile, the rest of the family must overcompensate by stealing, begging, and applying for public assistance -- the shame of which deeply affect each member of the family. Additionally, Frankie, a devout Catholic, must reconcile his church values and practices with stealing to feed his family, his sexual awakening, and the continuing deaths of his family and acquaintances. All in all, fantastic depression-era slice-of-life of a poor Irish family. McCourt is soulful and has a way with weaving tales and building characters. He makes you laugh and cry with the family, and keeps you rooting for their survival. I was very engaged and was sorry it had to end (a bit too abruptly too, I must say.) Five stars.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    Picked this memoire to experience some more foreign countries through literature. Good choice. What could have easily been another misery porn (immense poverty, hunger, never-ending unwanted pregnancies, drunkenness, strict religion, deaths of TB and pneumonia on every other page) became something more because of the author's remarkable voice, filled with innocence, humor and almost unwavering optimism of childhood. Amazing that McCourt managed to preserve this voice well into his 60s.
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  • Adam Floridia
    January 1, 1970
    I had not planned on writing a proper review, so I began to read others'. Quite a few unleashed verbal vitriol at McCourt's memoir, claiming that it is not entirely accurate and that it is too mawkish/maudlin/bathetic. Others claim that the author romanticizes the penury and destitution of the lives in his lane. First, no memoir can ever be 100% truthful; our memories are incomplete and sporadic (at best). In fact, as I read I liked that there were NO quotation marks used to indicate speech. I a I had not planned on writing a proper review, so I began to read others'. Quite a few unleashed verbal vitriol at McCourt's memoir, claiming that it is not entirely accurate and that it is too mawkish/maudlin/bathetic. Others claim that the author romanticizes the penury and destitution of the lives in his lane. First, no memoir can ever be 100% truthful; our memories are incomplete and sporadic (at best). In fact, as I read I liked that there were NO quotation marks used to indicate speech. I actually thought that was a subtle way to indicate the author wholeheartedly admitting that it is impossible to accurately recall conversations from one's childhood. The book does not have to represent a meticulously accurate picture of what Limerick was like at the time; all it has to do, and all any memoir purports to do, is reveal what life in a particular place was like AS EXPERIENCED BY THE AUTHOR. Plus, who cares about inaccuracies--a good story is a good story.To say it is maudlin is extreme. There are many unfortunate events that take place; however, not once did I get the sense that McCourt was trying to manipulate his readers' sympathies. Events were described as a child would experience them...kind of like a Scout Finch as narrator. It is this fact that led some reviewers to claim that McCourt romanticized the rampant squalor and death. That would be like saying To Kill a Mockingbird romanticizes racial prejudice.Anyway, it was an absorbing read filled with personal tragedies and laced with humor. Definitely worth a read.If I were not such a jackass in high school, perhaps I would have appreciated Frank McCourt speaking at my graduation and even read this ten years ago. I wish I had.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Life is suffering.And the root of all suffering is want.And we want. Oh, we want.We want the husband to keep the job and come home sober. We want the kids to live. We want shoes and clothes that fit and don't have holes. We want to eat. We want a roof that doesn't leak and indoor plumbing, for Christ's sake.We want the priest with the servant not to kick us from his door and tell us our suffering is caused by sin. We want something kinder than guilt or shame. We want friendship. We want love. We Life is suffering.And the root of all suffering is want.And we want. Oh, we want.We want the husband to keep the job and come home sober. We want the kids to live. We want shoes and clothes that fit and don't have holes. We want to eat. We want a roof that doesn't leak and indoor plumbing, for Christ's sake.We want the priest with the servant not to kick us from his door and tell us our suffering is caused by sin. We want something kinder than guilt or shame. We want friendship. We want love. We want more.Oh, we want. But why would YOU want to read this almost twenty year old memoir set in a far earlier time? What, after all, do you have in common with a brutally honest and witty boy growing up during the Depression and World War II in Limerick, Ireland? Well, have you ever wanted anything?
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  • Angela Paquin
    January 1, 1970
    It's been ten years since I've read this book. Like everyone else I was floored by it when it first came out. But time and age have made me wiser.I don't think it's stood the test of time and the more I think of it... my grandmother is right. It's a one-sided, depressing view of life in Ireland. "Woah is me..." is the book in a nutshell. This book simply has you marinate in negativity. Maybe I've read too much Phillip Roth in the meantime and compared to his characters this book seems too whiny It's been ten years since I've read this book. Like everyone else I was floored by it when it first came out. But time and age have made me wiser.I don't think it's stood the test of time and the more I think of it... my grandmother is right. It's a one-sided, depressing view of life in Ireland. "Woah is me..." is the book in a nutshell. This book simply has you marinate in negativity. Maybe I've read too much Phillip Roth in the meantime and compared to his characters this book seems too whiny and annoying.I read masterieces like the Grapes of Wrath or As I Lay Dying and they still ring true. This? Not so much.You want to know about Ireland:read the series of books starting with The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan. "In 1798, Irish patriots, committed to freeing their country from England, landed with a company of French troops in County Mayo, in westernmost Ireland. They were supposed to be an advance guard, followed by other French ships with the leader of the rebellion, Wolfe Tone. Briefly they triumphed, raising hopes among the impoverished local peasantry (our ancestors) and gathering a group of supporters (wouldn't be suprised if one of them fought...) But before long the insurgency collapsed in the face of a brutal English counterattack. Very few books succeed in registering the sudden terrible impact of historical events; Thomas Flanagan's is one. Subtly conceived, masterfully paced, with a wide and memorable cast of characters, The Year of the French brings to life peasants and landlords, Protestants and Catholics, along with old and abiding questions of secular and religious commitments, empire, occupation, and rebellion. It is quite simply a great historical novel."or James Joyce's The Dubliners or Ulysses...or Sean O'Casey The Plough & the Starsor William Inge's Playboy of the Western World
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  • Carmo
    January 1, 1970
    Frank McCourt, não precisou puxar pela cabeça para escrever um livro repleto de ingredientes que lhe garantissem sucesso imediato, bastou-lhe desfiar as memórias da infância passada nos bairros pobres de Limerick, na Irlanda. Quis a sorte (ou o azar) que tivesse nascido numa família regada a cerveja, reinante na ignorância e na miséria, abençoados e condenados por um catolicismo fervoroso. A educação - em casa e na escola - era feita na base da chapada pedagógica, desde cedo que os miúdos aprend Frank McCourt, não precisou puxar pela cabeça para escrever um livro repleto de ingredientes que lhe garantissem sucesso imediato, bastou-lhe desfiar as memórias da infância passada nos bairros pobres de Limerick, na Irlanda. Quis a sorte (ou o azar) que tivesse nascido numa família regada a cerveja, reinante na ignorância e na miséria, abençoados e condenados por um catolicismo fervoroso. A educação - em casa e na escola - era feita na base da chapada pedagógica, desde cedo que os miúdos aprendiam a defender-se e a desenrascar-se por sua conta.O brilhantismo do autor está na façanha de fazer deste ror de misérias uma história emocionante que ultrapassa qualquer ficção, de a ter contado com graça e ternura quando tinha todas as razões para se deixar levar pelo rancor. Com um sentido de humor extraordinário conta-nos a sua vida dos quatro aos dezanove anos. Anos de fome e desamor, mas também de momentos mágicos que só na inocência da infância se conseguem desfrutar. Um livro maravilhoso que se lê sempre com sorriso. Fez-me rir, fez-me chorar, às vezes as duas coisas ao mesmo tempo.Recebeu vários prémios literários de relevo: o Pulitzer de 1997, O National Book Award, e o Los Angeles Times Award.Mereceu-os todos!
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    There are not words to describe how horrible I felt this book was. First, I was somehow under the impression that it was a WWII novel, so that was a disappointment to begin with. I really felt like the theme of this novel was how to survive life's trials and difficulties by masturbating. Someone please tell me if I am way off here.
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  • M is for Mallory
    January 1, 1970
    I can't put this down! I'm getting such a dark kick out of Frank McCourt's childhood. Favorite line that had me laughing out loud: "Oy, you Irish. You'll live forever but you'll never say challah like a Chew." I'm devastated this book is ending; it's been the most pleasurable part of my days over the past week. It's of course depressing, I mean, like he says in opening "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhoood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic ch I can't put this down! I'm getting such a dark kick out of Frank McCourt's childhood. Favorite line that had me laughing out loud: "Oy, you Irish. You'll live forever but you'll never say challah like a Chew." I'm devastated this book is ending; it's been the most pleasurable part of my days over the past week. It's of course depressing, I mean, like he says in opening "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhoood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." I find myself adjusted to the constant string of tragedy after tragedy, the constant cruelty of the adults around him, and the constant poverty of his neighborhood simply because it's constant. He adjusts and so does the reader. Also, he obviously lives to tell the tale, so I think I may take subconscious comfort in this.
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  • Melvina
    January 1, 1970
    One of my most favorite books and authors of all time. I can't get enough of Frank's stories. I also listened to him tell it on an audio recording, and it's even more awesome listening to his Irish accent. The most compelling characteristic of his writing is the ability to write about a subject as dire and despairing as poverty and neglect, and make it so blisteringly funny, I'm in tears. Then in another chapter, I'm crying with grief over the loss of his siblings and the humiliations of his mot One of my most favorite books and authors of all time. I can't get enough of Frank's stories. I also listened to him tell it on an audio recording, and it's even more awesome listening to his Irish accent. The most compelling characteristic of his writing is the ability to write about a subject as dire and despairing as poverty and neglect, and make it so blisteringly funny, I'm in tears. Then in another chapter, I'm crying with grief over the loss of his siblings and the humiliations of his mother. But as awful as his childhood was, he tells it in such a way - GOD, it's funny. I will re-read this many times. It's that good.
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  • ||Swaroop||
    January 1, 1970
    The title of this book can also be "How to find humor and "excitement" in pain and poverty?"#sad #funny #warm #honest #hope #survival #must-readFrank McCourt`s Angela's Ashes is a very interesting and a different kind of memoir... this will remain in your memory for a long time. Frank has written this book so well that most of the times, it feels like we are on this journey along with him. This memoir will teach us to find humor and laughter, even during the toughest times of life. "The master The title of this book can also be "How to find humor and "excitement" in pain and poverty?"#sad #funny #warm #honest #hope #survival #must-readFrank McCourt`s Angela's Ashes is a very interesting and a different kind of memoir... this will remain in your memory for a long time. Frank has written this book so well that most of the times, it feels like we are on this journey along with him. This memoir will teach us to find humor and laughter, even during the toughest times of life. "The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland, and I wonder if there's anyone in the world who would like us to live."
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most depressing and heartbreaking true-life novels I've ever read so be forewarned, this Pulitzer Prize winner is pretty tough to take.In the beginning, Francis (Frank) McCourt's family story starts out so desperate, you think it can't get any worse, BUT....IT....DOES!Frankie had a very short and dreadful childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Even at age four with only the clothes (rags) on his back, he had adult responsibilities caring for his twin baby brothers, changing and washi This is one of the most depressing and heartbreaking true-life novels I've ever read so be forewarned, this Pulitzer Prize winner is pretty tough to take.In the beginning, Francis (Frank) McCourt's family story starts out so desperate, you think it can't get any worse, BUT....IT....DOES!Frankie had a very short and dreadful childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Even at age four with only the clothes (rags) on his back, he had adult responsibilities caring for his twin baby brothers, changing and washing dirty diapers by hand (with no coal to heat the water), taking them to the park (ordered to keep them away until dark) and trying desperately to entertain them so they will stop crying.......of starvation! With no sheets or blankets on the lice and flea-ridden mattress plus the sewage that often overflowed into the kitchen, it is a wonder that any of Angela's six? (I lost count) children survived. (view spoiler)[(some sadly did not) (hide spoiler)] I think if I would have had to read one more episode about daddy picking up his dole money at the Labor Exchange on Friday and proceeding to drink it ALL away AGAIN I truly would have thrown this book across the room!!! (and I dearly love my books), but thankfully this non-fiction nightmare came to an end...at least for me.Frank McCourt lived until the age of 78 and does have a sequel to this novel, "TIS", that continues his life story in America for those interested. (The significance of the title "Angela's Ashes" was not what I thought it would be)
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    Let me cut to the chase and say that this is heartbreaking. My first McCourt book I was thrilled that the author himself narrated the audio and in all his Irish glory it made it so much more! I am pleased that I chose this as my introduction to this writer, as I feel I will now have a better understanding of his ambition and how his childhood made him view the world and people around him.Heartbreakingly sad due to the horrible poverty and surroundings, I was amazed at how humorous this memoir ac Let me cut to the chase and say that this is heartbreaking. My first McCourt book I was thrilled that the author himself narrated the audio and in all his Irish glory it made it so much more! I am pleased that I chose this as my introduction to this writer, as I feel I will now have a better understanding of his ambition and how his childhood made him view the world and people around him.Heartbreakingly sad due to the horrible poverty and surroundings, I was amazed at how humorous this memoir actually was. The Irish are a hearty people and McCort is a true example of that! His style is lyrical...even with the run on thoughts and conversations that a young McCort spews. We follow his story from a young boy, with adult responsibilities to a young man setting out on his own.This is a story of his desire for something better, which the reader knows he achieved if you are aware of this writer. This story however is only the first chapter of what I imagine was a life and outlook formed by these early years. I look forward to continuing his journey.
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  • FeReSHte
    January 1, 1970
    اجاق سرد آنجلا اتوبیوگرافی نویسنده تا سن بیست سالگی و ابتدای مهاجرتش از ایرلند به امریکا رو شامل میشه که همزمان با رکود بزرگ و جنگ جهانی دوم بوده . پدر الکلی و بیعار فرانک هرگز تلاشی برای نجات دادن خانواده ش از اون همه فلاکت ناشی از بی پولی نمی کنه .. روایت فرانک صادقانه به نظر میاد و چیزی که جلب توجه می کنه لحن طنز و بی خیال نویسنده برای بازگویی اون همه بدبختیه . برام جالب بود که انگار راوی هم با گذر زمان بزرگ می شد. زبان راوی زندگی ده سالگی فرانک به اندازه ی همین سن متفاوت از زبان راوی هجده سا اجاق سرد آنجلا اتوبیوگرافی نویسنده تا سن بیست سالگی و ابتدای مهاجرتش از ایرلند به امریکا رو شامل میشه که همزمان با رکود بزرگ و جنگ جهانی دوم بوده . پدر الکلی و بیعار فرانک هرگز تلاشی برای نجات دادن خانواده ش از اون همه فلاکت ناشی از بی پولی نمی کنه .. روایت فرانک صادقانه به نظر میاد و چیزی که جلب توجه می کنه لحن طنز و بی خیال نویسنده برای بازگویی اون همه بدبختیه . برام جالب بود که انگار راوی هم با گذر زمان بزرگ می شد. زبان راوی زندگی ده سالگی فرانک به اندازه ی همین سن متفاوت از زبان راوی هجده سالگی فرانک بود چیزی که باعث می شد من با عمق بیشتری بتونم اوضاع رو از دید فرانک متصور شم. تا پایان کتاب اون طور که انتظار داشتم نویسنده هرگز پدرش رو به عنوان مقصر اصلی اوضاع معرفی نکرد . حتی اون طور که شایسته بود بد مادربزرگ و خاله و داییش رو هم نگفت . فکر می کنم از سیاستش بود که فقط همه چیز رو صادقانه روایت کرد و با سپردن قضاوت به خواننده ، حس همدردی بیشتری رو از طرف خواننده با خودش همراه کرد. پدری که ممکن بود روزها گرسنگی بچه ها رو ببینه ولی باز هم ناچیزترین درآمدش رو تا قرون آخر صرف الکل کنه و فامیل های نزدیکی که می تونن اون همه فلاکت و گرسنگی رو ببینن و باز هم از خودشون دفعت کنن و نه تنها کمکی نمی کنن بلکه با زخم زبون داغ مصیبت رو بیشتر کنند.ایرلندی که مک کورت تصویر می کنه پس از مدت ها مبارزه با انگلستان آزاد شده ولی این طور القا می کنه که انگار مبارزات ارزش نداشتن و از ایرلند فقط سرزمینی برجا گذاشته که ملتش دارن تو فقر دست و پا می زنند . تفکرات مک کورت اصلا میهن پرستانه به نظر نمیاد. مذهب هم خیر چندانی براش نداشت و غیر از اضطراب بعد از ارتکاب کوچیک ترین کارهای زشت و استرس این که " وای من الان به این گناهم اعتراف نکردم و با کله میرم جهنم "فایده دیگه ای براش نداشت. دو جای داستان هم که کلیسا با صراحت فرانک رو از خودش می رونه یه بار برای خدمت و یه بار هم برای پذیرش دبیرستان و ادامه تحصیل !!! اگه برای ترس از پیوستن کاتولیک ها به پروتستان ها نبود کلیسای کاتولیک همون چندرغاز کمک خرجی بیکاری رو هم بهشون نمی داد هر گز . متاسفانه تو داستان متوجه می شیم که جنگ که برای خیلی ها بدبختی و مرگ و مصیبت اورده بود برای خیلی از ایرلندی های فقیر به واسطه ی ایجاد کار تو کارخونه های اسلحه سازی و ارتش و .... خوشبختی به همراه داشته که خب تناقض جالبیه . ادم نمی دونه ارزوی تموم شدن جنگ رو داشته باشه یا ادامه دار شدنش رو...دیگه این که از اونجایی که رویای همه زندگی فرانک مهاجرت به امریکا میشه و به هر کاری برای رسیدن به این آرزو دست می زنه تا هدفش رو محقق کنه خیلی خوشم اومد . کتاب ظاهرا جلد دومی داره که امیدوارم پیداش کنم و همچنین آرزو دارم که تو امریکا از فلاکت هاش کم بشه که بعید می دونماحتمالا این بدترین و نامنظم ترین ریویویی هست که تا به حال نوشتم ولی با خودم گفتم بهتر از ننوشتنه :دیوالسلام
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Couldn't bear it. Whiney, self-obsessed and smacked of disingenuity. Using misery, either yours (imagined) or others (purloined) to make money seems to be the height/depth of cheap shots. Someone once told me of a review of the book that they had read somewhere'Baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died; it rained'.Admittedy there was more to it than that, however I read it a long time ago and the gloom of the misery and rain hangs still over the whole Couldn't bear it. Whiney, self-obsessed and smacked of disingenuity. Using misery, either yours (imagined) or others (purloined) to make money seems to be the height/depth of cheap shots. Someone once told me of a review of the book that they had read somewhere'Baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died; it rained'.Admittedy there was more to it than that, however I read it a long time ago and the gloom of the misery and rain hangs still over the whole thing in a ridiculously hyperbolic manner. The father, an irresponsible drunken wastrel I just wanted to hit about the head quite dramatically with anything I could lay my hands on and the mother, an horrendous slatterny doormat, I found massively unsympathetic . I can only think of one character who i warmed to and as i remember she was dying of something or other.Did not enjoy this and that was not because it brought me into contact with the suffering and misery of my fellow human beings which I couldn't bear to see but because it didn't. It did not ring true and was a sounding gong or clanging cymbal, making lots of noise but very little sense.
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  • Emer
    January 1, 1970
    This is probably the most unpopular of all my unpopular bookish opinions considering how this is supposed to be some sort of literary masterpiece or whatever... but ughhhhh, this book... Maudlin, over-sentimentalised, disingenuous, miserable, clichéd hack. It sent me into a five year book slump, or more accurately a phase of book avoidance, such was my abject experience reading it. If anyone ever asks me the question what among all the hundreds and hundreds of books you have read is the one that This is probably the most unpopular of all my unpopular bookish opinions considering how this is supposed to be some sort of literary masterpiece or whatever... but ughhhhh, this book... Maudlin, over-sentimentalised, disingenuous, miserable, clichéd hack. It sent me into a five year book slump, or more accurately a phase of book avoidance, such was my abject experience reading it. If anyone ever asks me the question what among all the hundreds and hundreds of books you have read is the one that you wish you hadn't because you disliked it so much... It's this one.
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  • ally
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars[for my final english exam]
  • Jaline
    January 1, 1970
    If you are afraid of your emotions, whether the depth or variety of them, don't read this book. If you can allow yourself to explore them fully by being led through an incredible life's early journey and experiencing the range of feeling available to humanity, you will love this book.
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