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Angela's Ashes | [Frank McCourt]

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

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Performance
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  •  
    Brian BaselSwitzerland 01-30-07
    Brian BaselSwitzerland 01-30-07
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    "Nyerra, tis grand"

    This is an entertaining listen, made better by Frank himself who is a decent narrator. Many of the stories will resonate with his countrymen (but not if you are a Limerickman it seems), eg the sarcasm of teachers, officials, and adults, not to mention the usual clip round the ear from all of the above. My only complaint, Frank, would be that you repeat a bit too much on the drunken fathers songs & the spent pay cheque, which become pretty predictable. Still my first audiobook, and no absolutely no regrets, very enjoyable. Nice one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis 01-15-07
    Travis 01-15-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Wonderfully narrated by the Irish author."

    I can't concur with the few reviews claiming this book was boring or pointless. I found it to be poignant and more than anything it brings out solidarity between the charecters and the reader. If you've ever been hungry or cold in your life, if you've ever lost someone you loved you will immediately strike a chord with the young boy through which this story was told. Catholics especially will find humor in the parts of the book in which the story collides with the Church. It is told through his young 7-11 year old self, and some of the observations he makes are simply hilarious. It is a sad tale, but it is humorous throughout. Maybe you have to have a certain love of the Irish, know the "Catholic guilt", or have an understanding of what it's like to be poor and unlucky through no fault of your own. I loved it and I don't think a long time will pass before I'll take a trip back to Ireland and visit Frank McCourt again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Susan Hopkins, MN, USA 12-16-06
    Susan Hopkins, MN, USA 12-16-06 Member Since 2014
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    "Moving and Entertaining"

    The author is one of the best readers I have heard on an audiobook. I have heard that this book can be depressing, but I really felt like it showed over and over the kindness of strangers during difficult times. The sense of humor of the author comes through clearly in the audiobook. I burst into laughter several times.

    Toward the end of the book, the story becomes rather obsessed with sex, which makes the book inappropriate for children. But it is a reflection of life during adolescence, and really shows the conflicts that arise when one's feelings interfere with religious upbringing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada 11-22-06
    Linda Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada 11-22-06 Member Since 2014
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    "matter of fact"

    I found myself laughing out loud, gasping, muttering etc. while I listened to this book. It was truly the story of a courageous young boy. To endure the sadness, the poverty and the weight of religious guilt like none I've ever known is a feat in itself. I loved this story very much and looked forward to every moment spent listening to the author tell his tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil New River, AZ, USA 08-12-06
    Phil New River, AZ, USA 08-12-06
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    "Ok"

    The author reads the book really well, his accent really adds to the story, but boy is this a depressing book. Some of it I could relate to however - customs from my childhood, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misty Portland, OR, USA 06-30-06
    Misty Portland, OR, USA 06-30-06
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    "What I Hoped For and More"

    Being part Irish, my family and friends constantly recommended that I read the tear-jerker, Angela's Ashes. I always found an excuse not to sit down and read it. Maybe it was because I knew that I had to listen to him tell me. Frank McCourt sings the Irish pub songs his dad would sing walking drunk down the street; that did it for me. Because he read the words himself, I knew that all of it was right on and I felt like I was witness. Get ready for some sad writing written extremely well. What a guy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne L. Alix 05-15-06 Listener Since 2005
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    "Angela's Ashes"

    This was the most depressing book I have ever read. The writing was magnificent, but the depressing story of death, starvation, abuse by every adult Framk McCourt met was too much to handle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Brian Praha 3Czech Republic 05-04-06
    Brian Praha 3Czech Republic 05-04-06
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    "Amazing!!!"

    This book is amazing and the fact that it is read by the author makes it even better!!!! Download this now! I am already downloading the continuation book "Tis"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 04-19-06
    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 04-19-06 Member Since 2007
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    "Great Story"

    Better than fiction!!! Wonderful book and a very true representation of the Catholic Church and it's schools. Wonderful narration. Didn't want it to end. Enjoy!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Donna Garden Grove, CA, USA 03-10-06
    Donna Garden Grove, CA, USA 03-10-06
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    "Angela's Ashes"

    Excellent book. I was inspired to read all of Frank McCourts books. He's a wonderful story teller. Often funny often sad but it really tugged at my heart strings. I couldn't stop talking about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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