I am done with Frank McCourt! Yes, I know this is book 2 of 3 but I listened to Teacher Man first. And I'm glad I did because while I did enjoy this book, I don't know that I would have gone on to a third book after this one.
So Frank has made it to New York. Thanks to a creepy priest he met on board the ship, he gets a job at a hotel, cleaning. He wants more but with his bad eyes and his lack of a high school diploma he isn't likely to get anywhere. So while his friends are trying to avoid getting drafted to Korea, he signs up. The army fixes his teeth and does what it can for his eyes, and send him off to Germany and he trains to be a clerk where he learned typing and organization. Back in America he talks NYU into letting him attend conditionally, given his lack of a high school education. Unbeknownst to him he's in the education school, but that's okay. He meets cute girls and is baffled by the young, privileged teens he's in school with who discuss Camus and drink coffee while he works on the docks in warehouses.
Naturally life goes on and he does eventually get a teaching job and marry and has a daughter. But after he's done with school, I didn't like the style of the book as much. It lost its narrative thread and instead the chapters towards the end felt more like essays, like they should be titled things like "Our buddy Frank" and "My new job at Stuyvesant High School." After all the nuanced detail we've gotten of his entire life up to here, it's disappointing to not know much about why his marriage broke up, or even be able to figure out exactly what year it is and how old he is. The essays jump around a bit and so in one his daughter will be 10 and in the next, he's talking about changing her diaper. It was good to get closure with his parents' lives. But I was a little disappointed at the end with the structure.
That said, it was still wonderful. As always, I really loved that Frank McCourt narrated it himself. Many parts were hilariously funny that I don't think would translate as quite as humorous in print. It ended abruptly without even a second separating McCourt's last word from Audible's tagline but that's a minor detail and Audible's issue, not McCourt's. 'Tis is an appropriate follow-up that finishes up the stories begun in Angela's Ashes.
Angela's Ashes left me wanting to know what happened to Frank and family and 'Tis answers.
It was interesting to see how Frank transitioned from young adult into adulthood. McCourt is a great reader and fun to listen to.
Each chapter is almost like a short story.There were many different tales and settings.
I enjoyed the scenes from his classrooms. I'm anxious to read "Teacher Man."
The change in attitude about Angela throughout the story in relation to "Angela's Ashes" stirs up emotion.
In reading other comments about disappointment in this story over "Angela's Ashes," I would have to disagree. "'Tis" is not "Angela's Ashes," but there is no way it could be. Frank is grown up in "'Tis." The wonder and innocence of childhood is no longer present, so that is something that cannot be found in this book. Certainly, Frank's humor and naivety are present in this book, but they are no longer childlike. They have, however, grown with his personality and have shaped him into an adult. I still laughed and cried. This book is worth the read.
I really like Frank McCourt in spite of everything. I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who has been through the kinds of things he has endured, and then comes out on top. I didn't love everything about this book, but I am very glad I read it. Being a school teacher myself, I really identified with the struggles he had as a new teacher at a high school. I found myself laughing and crying. If you are inclined to read it, be sure to read Angela's Ashes first.
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
Fantastic, wonderful, simply the best. Great sequel to Angela's Ashes. Read this book if you know what's good for you. But first read Angela's Ashes.
This book is the continuing story of Frank McCourt's life as told by the author. I found his narrative excellent and his delivery of an already humorous look at his life very entertaining. This book is not as hopeless as Angela's Ashes but it does show us how unfortunate others are.
I was a little dissapointed in this book. I picked it because I am a fan of true stories, but I don't think I would get it again if I could go back. I was constantly let down by Frank's bad choices, and by the end of the tale, I no longer cared how things would work out. The best thing about this book was the narration.
I loved Angela's Ashes. But Tis comes up short. McCourt's narrative wanders and goes around in circles. The author comes off as a bit whiny, envious, and slightly maladjusted. He desribes his courting of his wife and subsequent divorce, but there isn't very much information provided as to why the marriage disintegrated. One gets the feeling that the author was to blame.
Being a bookseller living outside of Chicago why would I buy audible books? Because I love to listen to them when I really want to relax!
Frank McCourt narrates 'Tis himself, having that beautiful Irish lilt in his voice that made his childhood more real, more touchable as I listened. I could almost smell the filth in the streets above the cooking of fish and whatever is available. I could hear Frank and his siblings playfully fighting in bed, freezing and hungry but having such fun. His mother had many hardships since her husband generally didn't bring home a paycheck and eventually took off. Frank, being the oldest, worked like crazy doing anything at all for money, and became smarter about it. Mostly flat broke, it's less of a moral decision when there's a coin to be made, and he learns the best ways to make more from some. His family needs the money, but Frank is saving to go to America. Often teased about his "dream," the most unlikely people help him to realize his dream, and his family to literally stay alive. I didn't want it to end!
Funny, intelligent and human.
This sort of reminded me of "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal" by Jeanette Winterson. I am sure it has something to do with their northern accents but both of their stories are up-by-the-boot-straps rag-to-riches stories that are funny and inspiring. And I feel like I can understand the role that story telling played in both authors' salvation.
This is a very listenable story and I enjoyed it thoroughly.