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Angela's Ashes Audiobook

Angela's Ashes

Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: People have called this a sad book. I imagine those are people who read it with their eyes instead of hearing Frank McCourt narrate his story. Those who listen hear the ecstasy in McCourt's exclamations over a piece of bread and an egg and the humor with which he dealt with hardships. Listeners are enveloped by McCourt's brogue, occasional songs, and his joyful spirit. —Beth Anderson

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 1997

National Book Critics Circle, Biography/Autobiography, 1997

Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, movingly read in his own voice, bears all the marks of a classic. Born in Depression-era Brooklyn to Irish immigrant parents, Frank was later raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. His mother, Angela, had no money to feed her children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely worked, and when he did, he drank his wages. Angela's Ashes is the story of how Frank endured - wearing shoes repaired with tires, begging for a pig's head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father - a tale he relates with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Listen to Frank McCourt talk about this book on C-SPAN's Booknotes (7/11/97).

©1997 Frank McCourt, All Rights Reserved; (P)1997 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved, Audioworks is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division Simon & Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Frank McCourt is a marvelous writer whose words are made all the better when he reads them aloud..." (Bookpage)
"...one of the best I've heard in years." (The Boston Globe)
"...so good it deserves a sequel" (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (4162 )
5 star
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4.5 (2795 )
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4.7 (2794 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bethany S. Moore Somewhere South 09-10-14
    Bethany S. Moore Somewhere South 09-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Book Freak

    ratings
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    "A tragic, beautiful, funny, wildly colourful tale."

    Frank McCourt gives life to his memoir through this beautiful, tragic, comical and wildly colourful narration. The book itself is wonderful, but the book as read by the author is magnanimous and powerfully real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carl 08-26-14
    carl 08-26-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    10
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    "Appreciate my life much more now!"
    What did you love best about Angela's Ashes?

    The daily struggles of a boy who saw things as they were and with great composure kept on going day by day.


    What does Frank McCourt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The accent of course and the narration put me in Frank's shoes, if he had any at the time.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I saw that as troubled as his father was, he loved his children.


    Any additional comments?

    His family life was in constant turmoil yet he persevered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marshall 08-11-14
    Marshall 08-11-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A remarkable blend of pathos and humor"
    If you could sum up Angela's Ashes in three words, what would they be?

    IRISH TRUE GRIT


    What other book might you compare Angela's Ashes to and why?

    Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Each renders the experiences of a painful Irish coming-of-age heartbreaking vivid (and side-splittingly funny, at times). Several obvious parallels in Joyce's and McCourt's early experiences. Both give us an inside look at growing up in traditional Catholic Ireland.


    Which character – as performed by Frank McCourt – was your favorite?

    Himself, of course - but a superlative performance throughout!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I'll never forget the scenes of Frankie and his little brother being jerked out of bed late at night by a drunken father late, lined up like little soldiers, and made to sing patriotic songs and promise to die for Ireland!


    Any additional comments?

    While I LOVE this book and performance overall, I dislike the last chapter. I guess Frank's "sexual liberation" upon landing in America is supposed to be a declaration of independence from being poor and oppressed in Catholic Ireland, but I found this a disappointing, anti-climactic (no pun intended) conclusion to an otherwise generally great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dylan Chambersburg, PA, United States 07-30-14
    Dylan Chambersburg, PA, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "**5 Well Deserved Stars***"

    What can you say about a book that has already won a Pulitzer Prize Award. Well, for starters, the audio book is even better! It's read by Frank McCourt himself and no other reader could have done a better job. His matter of fact tone and cadence will, in itself, keep you laughing and sobbing. I especially loved the voices of the teachers and English. He just does an excellent job. It's like your in a pub having a pint and he's telling you his stories.

    If you haven't read the book yet, well then it's simply a must read. This book captures the sorrows and joys of the time (30's and 40's) and place (mainly Limerick, Ireland) like no other. It's written and told in the first person as viewed by Mr. McCourt. If he's age seven or eighteen then the views are from a seven or eighteen year old Frank McCourt. And this is why I think the story is such a classic like no other. If you want to listen to a book about human endurance, spirit, and survival (when the world seems against you) and still find the humor in it all then this is the book to listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CB IL 07-21-14
    CB IL 07-21-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    8
    5
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    "NEEDS A SEQUEL -- What happens next?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very interesting story, makes one appreciate what he has.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Frank & Angela, the main characters


    Have you listened to any of Frank McCourt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. N/A.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. Just made me kind of depressed to think that people had to live and die this way.


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to find out what happened next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Chelmsford, MA, United States 05-23-14
    Brian Chelmsford, MA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2014

    New England born want-to-be Irishman. I love stories set in Boston and Ireland.

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    "Must Listen!"
    Would you listen to Angela's Ashes again? Why?

    I have listened to this story twice already and will probably listen again. Frank McCourt's voice and phrasing makes his words sing. This book must be listened to if you want to understand what he is trying to communicate. His Irish brogue is simply beautiful to hear.


    Which character – as performed by Frank McCourt – was your favorite?

    His class room banter as young child and in his later books are magical!


    Any additional comments?

    I could listen to Frank McCourt read a phone book and enjoy it. He is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory D. Chopin GROVER, MO, US 05-06-14
    Gregory D. Chopin GROVER, MO, US 05-06-14

    bbq chop

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    "Reading can't do it justice"
    If you could sum up Angela's Ashes in three words, what would they be?

    Pathetic, Funny, Inspiring


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration by Frank McCourt.


    Which character – as performed by Frank McCourt – was your favorite?

    Frank


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Determination can make it happen.


    Any additional comments?

    There is no way reading could pick up the emotion provided by Frank McCourt as the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Coldie (Minnesota) 05-06-14
    Amazon Customer Coldie (Minnesota) 05-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    189
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    "Completely believeable"

    Listening to the author read this was a true joy. The story is so depressing that I can hardly listen to it. But he soldiers on...this was his life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert L. Buerkel 04-17-14
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    27
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    "From the horses mouth."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Angela's Ashes to be better than the print version?

    I read the paper book but hearing Frank McCourt read it was great!It brought me back to my childhood growing up with Irish grandparents, aunts and uncles.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Angela's Ashes?

    I never realized how much influence the catholic church had in Ireland.


    What about Frank McCourt’s performance did you like?

    I could feel as though I was in Ireland and New York at the time the book took place.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked it so much it's on to Tis for my next read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry 04-15-14
    Sherry 04-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    6
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    "I Miss Young Frankie McCourt"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to a friend because it is a real life story told straight from the person who experienced it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that Frank McCourt lived through all those hard times.


    What does Frank McCourt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It is his story in his own words, that can never be transferred into print as accurately as his own voice can portray it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I had to take a break from it at times as it has so many disturbing parts.


    Any additional comments?

    I sometimes listen to parts of the book again while driving simply because I miss the young boy from the "story".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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