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)
Sometimes the audio version of a good book can be ruined by a bad reader (too much Broadway or something). And sometimes a good reader can cause a book that's boring on paper to come alive in the audio version. But it's a rare and wonderful combination when a top-notch book is brought to life in a top-notch way by its own author in the audio version, especially if it's a memoir. This is an example of that blessed phenomenon. Some people find Angela's Ashes to be depressing, but I find it to be just the opposite. McCourt's attitude is inspiring. He got through his terrible childhood, and triumphed. The pathos is generously tempered with humor. I love this book, and I love to listen to McCourt himself read it to me.
I hesitated on getting this book. All I had envisioned about this story, including the picture on the book cover, told me it would be a sad, dark, and depressing tale. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Ethnic tales have always captivated me, but they were usually stories from MY ehtnic background. I am not irish and this tale still cpativated me. The child's perspective was so true ...like not understanding what it meant to die for one's country. And the author was able to bring this out in his own voice so well.
Many literary masterpieces leave me cold. But not this one. I truly understand why the Pulitzer was awarded. Nothing was sugar coated. There were awful things that happened, yet the hope came out. Whether his parents were stupid, or loosers, or just plain ignorant ...they were his parents and he loved them. And they loved him. We should all be so lucky.
I absolutely loved this book. Be patient at the beginning, as the book is read by an old man from a child's perspective. Once you get used to this, it is a joy. I cried and laughed. Frank's accent makes this book absolutely priceless in audio format. Though I wasn't raised in poverty or with an alcoholic father, I was struck by how much I related to Frank's childhood experiences. His treatment of sex, religion, and the general anxieties that accompany adolescence really hit home with me. This has been one of my favorite books on Audible. Don't forget to get the sequel, 'Tis, as it is also excellent.
I was immediately captivated by Mr. McCort's wonderful speaking voice, which completely drew me into the narrative of his childhood. The subtle humor of this man sprinkled over the adventures and tragedies of his childhood brought laughter and tears, and a vivid comprehension a life beginning in such abject poverty. I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a historic reality lesson, or has ever or never known love or despair or poverty. Frank McCort is living proof that there is hope for us all!!
Mr. McCort is a marvelous writer and story-teller, and I intend to read every word he has ever written.
I don't think this story could have been told better by anyone than this fabulous, funny, sensitive, tell it like it is, writer - the second I finished it I wanted more, and got it with 'Tis..I'm in the middle of 'Tis and can't put it down either!! Is Angela's Ashes one of the most engrossing books ever??? 'Tis....
I have been listening to the book for 10 hours now and still I've got a smile on my face and the tears in my eyes. I gained so much respect for Frank Mccourt. How can a man "walk" back through his "miserable Irish Catholic childhood", (The happy childhood is hardly worthwhile) and be there as if it was yesterday and take YOU there and meet the characters around him as if you could shake their hands - with his Irish accent, simple illustrative words (buckety pram, wee children) respectful impersonations and his sweet warm voice - and make you see that every second of life IS worthwhile.
And for the ones who think the book is depressing: Go and stand beside Francis look through his eyes, he'll make you see. Who said it's easy?
When I described this book to a friend of mine, she said "Eeeew, sounds depressing." But it wasn't depressing, because of the hope the children and their parents had of a better day, and the love they had for each other despite their many flaws. McCourt is straightforward and honest about his family, showing his father to be loving and attentive, but with an alcohol addiction that is devastating to his family. The author paints accurate portraits of the characters, including himself, and the result is a book rich with humanity, frustration, hope, and humor. To hear it in his own voice is a treat. It's one of those books I almost wish I hadn't read, since I'll never again be able to experience it for the first time. But I'll listen to it again several times, and I suspect I'll find new and interesting things I missed in my original listening. I've recommended it to nearly everyone I know, and I'm surprised I haven't yet been asked to find something else to talk about.
The draw of this book has everything to do with the writer's incredible talent for colorful and moving story telling, and a writing style that comes alive with McCourt's uncomplicated and free flowing Irish accented narration. Frank McCourt's amazing life story is a not just a must-read, but a Classic.
Usually happy customer
Excellent book, read by author in a wonderful Irish accent!
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.
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