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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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    4,097
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  • 3 Stars
    411
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    173
  • 1 Stars
    113

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    3,588
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    583
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    160
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    66
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent bio

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would if they were interested.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration. Frank is excellent with accents.

Have you listened to any of Frank McCourt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I hadn't before.

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

The deaths of Margaret, Oliver and Oliver's twin almost got me crying.<br/>

Any additional comments?

None.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enlightening and enjoyable

I liked it and really enjoyed it...bit it was also upsetting and enlightening. What a horribly difficult time for the characters...and it's true. But the author includes joy and humor and it makes a lovely read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I didn't "get" the humor

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I knew some of the hardships in Ireland, but had not idea to the degree the people suffered. There are people who can see the humor in Frank McCourt's writing and I desperately looked for it, but alas, the book ended and I was totally depressed by his childhood.

Has Angela's Ashes turned you off from other books in this genre?

Absolutely, positively.

What about Frank McCourt’s performance did you like?

I loved the performance. It was his voice, knowing that he lived to a ripe old age, that kept me going and I finished the book.

Did Angela's Ashes inspire you to do anything?

YES. Listen at 1.5 speed so I could hurry through and finish the book! I loved the narration, but could not stand the hardships.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • rick
  • boston,ma
  • 04-01-16

Sad but true

sobering story. well written and narrated. I found myself wondering about frankies pals and how the rest of his family made out.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

No point to it

It was hard to care much for the characters and it seemed to be just a series of bad things happening to this family but with no overall point to any of it. Then it just ends abruptly.

  • Overall
  • Story

barely managed to finish this

I don't know why ppl rated this so high. i think weighting was poor and story was average...

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

one of the best audio books I've listened to.

Would you consider the audio edition of Angela's Ashes to be better than the print version?

yes. I read it many years ago, and all I remembered of it was that it was sad. Hearing it changed the whole thing for me- I was laughing out loud through much of the book.

Any additional comments?

Frank McCourt is a wonderful narrator!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Entertaining

Loved the story and the author's accent and reading quality. I am Irish and enjoyed the historical references.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Compelling, so beautifully compelling

I was afraid that the story of a miserable Irish childhood would also dump me into misery along with it. Instead, I found a compelling story that opens one up to the complexity of humanity. The author's reading brought it to life like no one else could. Afterwards, the story continued to haunt me. I will now listen to Frank McCourt's other memoirs (also read by himself), as I am not yet ready to let go of this author and his story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Heartbreaking Story of Neglect

This is a great story with an even better performance by the author. There is some language and sexuality throughout and some question the veracity of McCourt's story but it's worth your time nonetheless. If you have children, it'll inspire you to be a better father or mother. It'll also inspire you to be a better sibling. And it'll give you insight into the Catholic Church.