If you have "Read" the book,or if you havn't,the lilting Irish brogue offered here is a must listen.The narration by the author extends, to the listener, more than just words, feelings and emotion captivate the moments of the author's hard life in Limerick, Ireland.
I'm sitting here having just finished listening to the book, trying to organize my thoughts for this quick review. It's tough, though, as McCourt's lyrical prose -- and masterful narration -- are ringing so loudly in my head that everything else is eclipsed.
I can guarantee, absolutely, you won't be disappointed in the time you invest to sit through ANGELA'S ASHES (unless, of course, you're from the north, or some kind of a presbyterian).
I started to listen to the book, but then bought a paper copy half way through. (Sometimes you want re-read a section, tough to do on a MP3 player). I enjoyed the spoken version so much more, than if I had just read the book. The songs and pronunciations were lost on me on the page, but the audio version brought them to life.
I thouroughly enjoyed Mr. McCourt's reading of the remarkable store of his chilhood. His repeated descriptions of his emotions when telling about events he remembers from his childhood make the stories come alive. The reading also brought back memories from my own childhood and the emotions I felt at the time those events were happening. I look forward to hearing more from Mr. McCourt.
Usually happy customer
Excellent book, read by author in a wonderful Irish accent!
I find it hard to give such a negative review to someone who has endured so much injustice.
But my god. This book is the most depressing thing I've ever endured. If you enjoy having all the positivity and optimism sucked out of you like a vacuum, go ahead and read it.
A book that evokes emotion is a good thing.. A book that's just depressingly negative in every possible way is quite another.
Don't waste your time.
Frank McCourt is a fabulous writer and a superb narrator of his own story. Unfortunately, his story is so depressing that I simply can't give it a five star rating. Growing up in Ireland where the Catholic Church seems to influence every aspect of life creates an atmosphere of oppression and lost hope. Having a father who is a drunk and and a mother who keeps having children with no real way to care for them adds to the depression of the story. Yet other reviewers talk of Mr. McCourt's forgiveness, which I do not understand nor see. Great writing. Great narration. Horrible story. Thanks anyway, but I think it's time for another romance novel...
The Good: this should be the standard for an author-read audiobook. McCourt is wonderful to listen to. First half is a wonderfully recounted tale of his early childhood, good and bad.
The Bad: There's a reason our sex lives are meant to be private; the story is definitely impaired by McCourt recounting every experience (solo and not) he ever had.
Then there's "Honor thy Mother": the book probably would have been a little short of Pulitzer class if it hadn't built to a climax around his issues with his mother's infidelity - does that make it worth it to have exposed her so to the world?
The Mixed: if you listen to this book, afterward it's interesting to get the dissenting perspective from the citizens of Limerick (google and you will find), where they say it ain't necessarily so. McCourt is a story-teller, the son of a story-teller, after all. Does make the tale richer and more realistic than just the author's telling of it.
The Perplexing: it fascinates me that McCourt can describe a world bathed in Catholicism and yet largely untouched by it. Not sure how much of that is just his own issues and how much was pervasive among the people he grew up with.
I thought the author narrating would add to the experience but, honestly, his delivery was kind of sing-songy and boring. I think a more dramatic reader would have brought the listener into the story - it lacked the emotional impact I think reading it yourself would garnish.
The book gives a real glimpse into life in Ireland and the problems the Mc Court family faced. I appreciated hearing the songs too.