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Angela's Ashes
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Angela's Ashes

by

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

Title:Angela's Ashes
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0007205236
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:432 pages
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    Angela's Ashes Reviews

  • Eric Althoff
    Aug 27, 2007

    Before I get too deep into my review, let me just say this: "Angela's Ashes" is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. That said, it is also fascinating, heartbreaking, searingly honest na...

  • Gail
    Nov 09, 2007

    What, did NO one find this book funny except me??? I must be really perverse.Although the account of Frank's bad eyes was almost physically painful to read, the rest of the story didn't seem too odd o...

  • Mitch Albom
    Jan 08, 2014

    I read his book, then I got to know him, and rarely will you find as similar a voice between the man and the writer as in this memoir. A tragic gem of a childhood story....

  • David
    Jul 15, 2007

    But the worst offender of the last twenty years has to be the uniquely meretricious drivel that constitutes "Angela's Ashes". Dishonest at every level, slimeball McCourt managed to parlay his mawkish ...

  • George Bradford
    Mar 16, 2008

    “If you had the luck of the IrishYou’d be sorry and wish you was deadIf you had the luck of the IrishThen you’d wish you was English instead”How can ONE book be so WONDERFUL and so HORRIBLE at...

  • Steve
    Jan 23, 2017

    There once was a lad reared in Limerick,Quite literally without a bone to pick.His da used scant earningsTo slake liquid yearnings;In American parlance – a dick.To get past a father who drankIn a pl...

  • Maxwell
    Jan 11, 2016

    Quite different from other memoirs I read--especially the brand of memoir that's been coming out in the last few years--Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes tells of the author's poverty-stricken childhood ...

  • Lyn
    May 19, 2015

    Angela’s Ashes is a beautifully written, painfully honest account of Frank McCourt’s childhood in Limerick, Ireland.Frank’s parents, both Irish, met in New York and began their family there. McC...

  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    Oct 07, 2014

    I have to admit that I didn't love the first third of this book but I realize the information gained there made me enjoy the rest even more. At times, this book was a beautiful dark comedy, "There is ...

  • Brina
    Feb 22, 2016

    Read pre goodreads. I've seen it pop up on a lot of people's feeds. One of the most inspiring books I ever read. ...