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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

4.4 (2492 )
5 star
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4.4 (1282 )
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Story
4.6 (1276 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah Pittsfield, NH, USA 03-08-03
    Sarah Pittsfield, NH, USA 03-08-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
    ratings
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    "Fun Fiction Tale for this Non-Fiction Lover"

    As a regular non-fiction reader, I was delighted by this story and found myself very eager to get back in the car to listen to more. The autobiographical nature and the author reading his own work really gave this selection the "real" story that I prefer in non-fiction. My only criticism is that the story ended rather abruptly, leaving me in a state of severe withdrawal. I do not like to read books and then see the movies, or vice versa, as I feel I blur the author's original intentions, but I find myself really craving to see this movie. I have since figured out that the author continues his tale in the book "Tis." I won't be able to download that fast enough.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold South Freeport, ME, United States 09-04-05
    Arnold South Freeport, ME, United States 09-04-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    Overall
    "excellent book"

    Beautifully written and well-read by the author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Vancouver, WA, USA 08-22-09
    Tracy Vancouver, WA, USA 08-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    20
    5
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    "ach no!"

    Not quite sure how this made a most popular list. Hearing history firsthand was interesting. It was just so painful to listen to the neglect Mr. McCourt endured, and to hear the drunken waste that his father imparted to his life over and over and over again - well I'd rather have a root canal.

    It wasn't all bad, but just slow and repetitive - but it was a memoir so that was his life. Just hard to stay involved at times. Other times - hillarious and completely captivating.

    So if you're in the mood for a schizophrenic listen, then this is your book.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Flagstaff, AZ, USA 04-24-09
    Dawn Flagstaff, AZ, USA 04-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In the minority"

    I had high hopes for this book since it had so much acclaim. I thought that perhaps it had a different twist on life that made the story more remarkable and more noteworthy. It didn't.

    There are a lot of well-written stories about poverty, abuse, and coming-of-age, as this is. But this book doesn't add anything new to the genre. If not for McCourt's accent, I would have been bored to tears.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Johnson 08-05-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    136
    5
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    "What a pity"

    This could have been a beautiful story. Frank endured things which can make one great. I would warn anyone looking for a soul-inspiring story that this book, while generally a wonderful story, is littered with crassness, and disgusting episodes of self indulgence.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Franklin, MA, USA 12-10-04
    Christine Franklin, MA, USA 12-10-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "As told by a five year old"

    As I listened to this audiobook, I couldn't help but think that my seven year old niece could tell a more coherent story, things were repeated several times that were not important, repetitive details

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marnette Chico, CA, USA 05-27-09
    Marnette Chico, CA, USA 05-27-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "slow... unfulfilling ending...not worth listen!"

    Poor Frank McCourt had a rough life... He did a good job of portraying the Irish drinking and filthy language problems. This book was VERY drawn out. I only listened to the first half, and skipped through the rest of it. I kept thinking the plot would thicken, or he would make something of himself. I listened to the ending and was SOOO glad I didn't waste another 7 hours on the second half of the book. Don't waste your time...

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefanie Gleisweiler Germany 06-09-09
    Stefanie Gleisweiler Germany 06-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    113
    25
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    "too much into detail"

    The Author has a nice way with words but for my taste he is much too datail oriented - I have a need for speed ;-)

    1 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANGELIA CHARLOTTE, NC, United States 12-19-02
    ANGELIA CHARLOTTE, NC, United States 12-19-02 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    5
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    Overall
    "Boring"

    I kept waiting on the point...

    5 of 92 people found this review helpful
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