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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

"Here we have the stereotypical Irish characters - the drunken poet father; the all-suffering mother; the miserable, hungry kids being turned away by a haughty Church - all made three-dimensional and brought fully to life by both McCourt's language and his loving, intimate narration.... Grim it is - but the tale and its teller transcend the poverty - and so does the listener, who glories in the story and voice from beginning to end." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Angela's Ashes (unabridged)

The book gives a real glimpse into life in Ireland and the problems the Mc Court family faced. I appreciated hearing the songs too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

6 Stars, if I were able to

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Listening adds so much!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I'm Torn on This Rating

Great writing. Tedious story. Not much happens chapter after chapter. Alcoholic, deadbeat father doing same irresponsible things again and again. Family poverty that never changes. Humorous at times. Poignant at others. If you enjoy stories about daily struggles, you will enjoy this. If you like more plot, skip it.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephanie
  • St. Paul, MN, United States
  • 11-20-10

Tedious

The story overall is an inspiring one and there is no denying the resiliancy of the McCourt family. But soooooo many tedious details.

It was hard for me to stick with this one to the end.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stanley
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 12-13-07

Double your pleasure

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).

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Mississauga, ON, Canada
  • 01-25-03

Angela's Ashes

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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Frank McCourt, what a guy!!!

What made the experience of listening to Angela's Ashes the most enjoyable?

My paternal grandfather was from Ireland (Cork) and so I liked hearing about Frank's experience growing up there. Also.....his narration was great...just great!

What did you like best about this story?

How Frank tried to keep his head above water in a world where poverty was pulling on his legs trying to drown him and his mother, just barely able to cope, was little help to him.

What about Frank McCourt’s performance did you like?

Everything....his accent brings it to life and as he is retelling his own experiences, he often reads like he is telling us a story rather than reading from a book.

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

When his aunt bought him new clothes for his job. Also Paddy Clohessy and the fact that he is even more poverty stricken than Frankie is moving.

Any additional comments?

This is one of those books I have listened to more than once. When Frank McCourt passed away, I heard the news on TV and thought "that voice has been silenced forever, how sad". I loved this book so much and felt like I was drawn into his world with it than when he really died, I was sad and felt like I lost someone I knew.

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Joy
  • Laurel, MD, United States
  • 03-02-12

Didn't think I would enjoy a memoir

I am an African American woman living in the U.S. who clearly knew nothing about the Irish. I'm fasinated by this story! It was sad and funny while providing insight into the Catholic church, the oppression of the Irish people told with the innonece of a boy. I doubt that anyone could have read the story better than Frank McCourt. My new favorite book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • Holland, TX, United States
  • 03-13-11

I Should Have Talked to Frank More

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful