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.
©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.
"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)
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 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.
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).
The book gives a real glimpse into life in Ireland and the problems the Mc Court family faced. I appreciated hearing the songs too.
Frank McCourt is one of my favorite story tellers. The account of his life growing up in a poor Irish family is filled with moments of sadness as well as passages that will tickle your funnybone. But the best part of this audiobook is listening to the man tell the stories. His Irish brogue and his way of interpreting the world through the eyes of a young boy combine to make Angela's Ashes one of my favorite audiobooks.
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.
Jumps on his bed while licking the bottom of one foot. He persists in this life affirming act despite interference from the head nurse.
I knew Frank McCourt in New York City, although not well. He kept so much to himself I didn't have many interactions with him. He sat on a stool in the corner of his brother Alphie's restaurant/bar on the Upper West Side of New York City, where I worked, sipping a glass of something, always alone. I have a feeling that, like all good autobiographies, some events and characters in Frank's book were enlarged, some reduced, others adjusted and sculptured to focus and shape the narrative. If George Orwell did that sort of thing in books like Down and Out in Paris and London then Frank McCourt deserves the same latitude. Frank certainly re-spun the dialogue from what he remembered, aided by years being as aspiring writer and playwright. Be that as it may, the text rings true and it is a thoroughly enjoyable book, narrated well by its writer. It's a tribute to endurance and decidedly a book worth reading or listening to.
Be prepared to laugh and cry. Here is the gold standard for the memoir. I don't care what anybody says about the dialogue--that Frank McCourt couldn't possibly have remembered who said what fifty years in the past. So what. The reader (or listener) understands that he has dramatized scenes to make them more vivid, which doesn't make the story ring any less true. He is relating the spirit of what occurred.
As a narrator, McCourt shines. I doubt anyone could've read his memoir with the same energy he brings to it. The Irish flavor comes through beautifully, including in the occasional song, and especially in his characterizations. What they add to the audiobook makes it even better than the print version. I recommend it highly.
I avoided this book when it won all of its awards because I was somewhat aware of the contents and it just seemed depressing to me. I read Teacher Man and 'Tis by the author and then a book club friend told me this was in audio and read by the author, which I consider a real plus. This is an incredible story of a family in Ireland, abandoned by the father, and their story of survival. McCourt's memory of his childhood is riveting. You will love this book
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