Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

by Frank McCourt

Scribner | May 25, 1999 | Trade Paperback

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir is rated 4.7471 out of 5 by 87.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela's Ashes is Frank McCourt's masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 0.8 in

Published: May 25, 1999

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 068484267X

ISBN - 13: 9780684842677

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Reads like fiction In the five pages I managed to get through there were more cliches about the Irish than I could count. Honestly people, get a grip, this is phony baloney. I just wasted $18.99 on bad fiction.
Date published: 2014-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definately a must read for everyone The book transports you back to 1930's and 40's Ireland. Before reading it, I was not aware of the hard life people had over there. I read a lot of book about suffering, and people's life in wars, but I found Frank McCourt's memoir particulary informative, emotional and unique in the way he describes you everything in detail, like a child would do. When reading the book, I felt sometimes as if I would have been there with the characters. It has been for a while that I read such a great book. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2012-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Inspirational Memoir Excellent writing but very disturbing circumstances make this memoir a must read. This memoir will give anyone inspiration as we watch Frank McCourt fight and survive the many obstacles ( and there are many) of his extremely dysfunctional, poverty stricken, Irish Catholic life. Told through the voice of a young Frank McCourt, at times you will cringe with disgust, but on the flipside you will laugh at the thinking of young Frankie, especially if you were brought up in the RC church. I am looking forward to reading the followup to this memoir"Tis"
Date published: 2011-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow Heartbreakingly beautiful. It is such a sad story, but told masterfully. Wonderful writing!
Date published: 2010-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow Read It started off amazing, very sad story, and it was interesting to see the effects of the depression. Worth reading, definately, but not my favorite book.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Survival Instincts 4.0 out of 5 stars Survival Instincts, Sep 4 2009 By Ethel Clark - See all my reviews This is my first read of Frank McCourt's boyhood memories,prompted by his recent passing. It made me wonder why this award-winning gem never entered my hands before now. Frank's story begins in New York and moves to Limerick, Ireland in a short time-span and ends on a positive note when Frank, now grown, moves back in search of a better life. The narrator makes everyday language appear as though the reader shares the pain, poverty, sadness, survival and death. The joyful moments are far and few between as the family suffers the consequences of their father's selfish ways in his alcoholic haze, drinking his pay check, week after week, causing their mother to seek and beg for a mere pittance of food for her hungry children. The power of love prevails all of life's heartbreaks as this family joins together in one crisis after another. It's unique because this one man's story in a fight for survival couldn't possibly be duplicated with as much humour as Frank McCourt weaved into it. He turned a life of heartbreak into a joy for the reader and I recommend it for centuries to come. It has inspired me to search for the sequel called 'Tis.
Date published: 2009-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from SAD This is really a sad book, but very good. There are some time's I couldn't help but laugh, however most time's it was really sad. We don't know how lucky we are and this book definitely make's you feel privileged.
Date published: 2009-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartwarming This is a childhood memoir of Frank McCourt, an American-born Irish Catholic whose family, after the death of their infant daughter, decides to move back to Limerick, Ireland, thinking life would be better. They could not have been more wrong. Frank's father, Malachy, is a severe alcoholic who drinks his wages and cannot hold down a job for more than three weeks. As a result, Frank's mother, Angela, often resorts to borrowing money and begging for food to feed her four hungry children. Their dilapidated apartment is constantly flooding and reeks of human waste from the next-door lavatory. Their daily diet consists solely of bread and tea. They wear shabby clothes and shoes, have little or no heat, and lives each and everyday in sickness and poverty. I absolutely loved this book. It portrays human condition in such a way that it is both harrowing and full of warmth, sad and funny, and sickening and inspiring all at the same time. And although written from a child's perspective (and there were times when I couldn't help but laugh at the sheer silliness), the story was conveyed more beautifully than any other books I have read. (So beautifully written in fact that I could not stop reading eventhough tales of poverty and diseases were endless). Overall, a great read. It's very inspiring how McCourt survived all the tragedies of his upbringing and be able to share to the world this wonderful story. It's truly amazing. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quite possibly my favourite memoir Raw insight into a disparaging flight for survival, through the eyes of a survivour whose spirit is felt on every page. All should be made to read this enlightening memoir, for the "haves" will learn appreciation and compassion, and the "have nots", faith and inspiration. A powerful reminder of the division caused by religion and a class system, in a world where everyone has to wipe their a*se. (Pa Keating is a gem). www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Frank Mccourt Franck McCourt wrote a autobiography about his childhood and his life as an adult. It was even ade into a movie. Suffering from mal-nutrition, Franck and his brothers and mother had to fight for everything as they were poor. Later on, he is the only boy who survives the adventures of life. It was a very hard life, their father refused to get a job then left them. he never came back since...
Date published: 2008-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written. Reading this is more like listening to a storyteller perform than simply like reading words. You get so involved in little Frank's family and community, that you'll be bound to pick up some Irish experessions and habits by the end of it!
Date published: 2008-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You'll never feel poor again If you need to re-direct your focus to how great your life and family is, read Angela's Ashes. This will move you to tears, but make you laugh at the same time. Anyone who is Irish/English of British descent or has ever been the the British Isles to know will laugh at McCourt's dialogue. He is very true to life and it is refreshing. A good one, no doubt.
Date published: 2008-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fabulous read! This is the story of a boy and his family in Ireland told through his "child's eyes" .A very tragic and harsh upbringing told in a very humorous way .Will not leave you feeling depressed or sad ,but will make you appreciate everything you have in life .I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Book This is an amazing book. The writing is wonderful, the characters seem so real you feel you know them and you get a real feel for the place and time. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2007-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heart breaking Frank McCourt re-tells his life as an Irish Catholic child. His parents, Malachy and Angela McCourt, raised their children in Limerick. Frank, his brothers, Malachy and Angela have a hard life. Malachy is an alcoholic father and is unemployed. The family lives in a small apartment. And most of the children die. This book is full of poverty, death, and illness. This is a good book, and very heart-breaking. As you watch the life of the McCourt family unfold.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Incredible Memoir Frank vividly depicts his childhood in the eloquent memoir. The language is superb and his style is unique. With a life spent in much misery in Limerick one doubts whether anything good could happen. Frank has no one to explain life to him and he struggles for explanations...he talks to the "Angel on the Seventh Step", who believes, brings babies to his Mother. This book is well worth reading, along with "Tis", its sequel.
Date published: 2006-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Masterpiece of a memoir. I had to read Angelas for my English class this year. I was a bit apprehensive about it because Im usually not into memoirs or biographys. The reason why I had picked this book is because I had seen the movie and it was alright, therefore I took a chance on the book. Pretty much right from the get go this book had a hlod on me. It was written very well for one thing. And it was also the kind of book that makes you check yourself in the mirror and realize how good you have it. The things that Frank McCourts family went through are things that alot of us dont think of much in todays society of consumer madness and it just shows how one family can make it through troubled times with not much hope.This book will make you laugh, cringe, cry and question life all in the span of three hundered or so pages. The thing that makes this book the most appealing to me as a reader is that I could identify alot with the main character and alot of things that happened in the story. One thing you should take in mind when reading this book is that it has some parts that are meant for a mature audience. If you are older and are looking for a good book to get lost in, I recommend Angelas Ashes by Frank McCourt.
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing When picking up this book I didn't know what I was in for. I thought it may be boring, but I just couldn't put it down! Frank McCourt does a wonderful job at writing about his childhood and how he somehow manages to survive it all. The bond he has with his brother, Malachy, is something I wish everyone could have. There were obviously some sad parts, I almost cried, but then there were the really happy parts too. Angela's Ashes is a must read. By reading this book, I feel compelled to go buy any other books he has written. Frank McCourt really knows how to hold a readers attention and unlike a fairytale, it's some pretty believable stuff. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2005-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so good all i do is read and this is my favourite book.
Date published: 2005-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astounding This is one of the most compelling autobiographies I've ever read. My eyes were completely affixed on this book from the start to finish. Frank McCourt has honoured his mother and family by discussing how he became successful from his family's misfortunes. He was obliged to return to the place where his life started so he can finish what took place. This is also one of the strongest brotherhood bonds I've ever seen. He and Malachy have been though so much that I don't know how he would've gotten through all these traumas without him. They're the survivors because they lived through the deaths of their brothers and sisters. Their strong bond has enabled them to endeavor many tumultuous circumstances and joyous events. When I think back, the bond of brotherhood and/or sisterhood is the best gift one could have. No matter how much you're willing to pay, it's priceless and irreplaceable.
Date published: 2004-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes I loved this book! It was so amazing! Very funny yet very sad and hurtful moment... a book that can't be put down once reading the first chapter... You think you're reading a book from a young child but in the end it's an adult...very crazy! READ IT!! *****
Date published: 2002-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Astonishing*** This book was amazingly written. I enjoyed the book to it's fullest. The author Frank Mcourt, has a talent for capturing the reader. I couldn't put the book down. I recommend you see the movie, and read the contiuation, Tis. A true mind gripper.
Date published: 2002-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Escape from Poverty I just love Frank McCourt's writing and wit. His book is the most honest, heart-rending book I've ever read. Yet, you can find promise in Frank's young life. I felt the most sorry for Frank's mother having to beg at the St. Vincent de Paul Society to try to get boots for here children and they gave her such a hard time. Poor Angela didn't have much of a life with the shiftless, alcoholic husband, and she suffered so much with her 3 children dying. But for Frank, he was able to drag himself out of the poverty and get to America and become a teacher. Seems impossible that he was able to get enough motivation and confidence to do this with his background which would have defeated many if not most people. It's a tragic story, but also uplifting and leaves you with a feeling of hope. It will leave you glued to the pages from beginning to the very end, just to see what will happen next. I loved the ending of the book. When I finished the book, I felt I would like to meet Frank McCourt. He se
Date published: 2001-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Memoir to Remember What can I say?? An excellent story about a young boy growing up through poverty in Ireland, that ends up finding life in America. I really have to give Frank credit for what he has been through and what he has accomplished.
Date published: 2001-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes I LOVED this book! I found it to be painfully honest and very inspiring! I could not put it down and read all night. I highly recommend it and Frank McCourt has become my favorite author!!
Date published: 2001-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Face of poverty in real world Frank McCourt, has written a book (Angela's ashes) that will be remembered for a long long time. It's amazing how he could remember every detail of his life. It's a must read book, It pays of every cent I spent. I have also seen a movie on it but book describes authors inner feelings better than a movie could. I give this book two thumbs up!!!
Date published: 2001-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes: A Memoir Excellent, excellent, excellent! I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2000-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from angela's ashes will break your heart but you'll lt This book changed my life it was extremly depressing but for some reason you just have to keep reading your happy your sad it's an emotional roller coaster flinging you all over the map and it's just so real that you know that your there right along with the carachter's aa definite must read
Date published: 2000-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant and Moving When you read this book it is as if Frank McCourt is sitting along side of you and relating his story to you personally. The language is wonderful. The spelling of words to relate the Irish accent is used most effectively and it brings you right into his world. Terribly sad with brilliant situations that make you laugh and make you cry in a heart felt few words. I have never reviewed a book before but this book was a moving experience for me.
Date published: 2000-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Possitively riveting This book was the absolutely best book I have ever read. A must for any dedicated reader. Mr. McCourt had me crying one minute then laughing the next. It was superb. The book made me thankful for what I have in my life and sad for what he went through. While reading his book it made me want to be able to help him out. To him, an egg was a big deal. It was amazing he had the courage to write about it because I would think, it would bring back a lot of sad memories. I can't recommend this book enough.
Date published: 2000-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gut Wrenching...Uplifting A gut wrenching glimpse of the dark side of Ireland through the eyes of one born into poverty and humility. Frank McCourt tells his story as a true survivor rising above Angela's Ashes. His inherent maturity,undaunting spirit and persistent character charts his way through childhood as his young life weaves through the streets of impovrished Limerick. Painful to conceive such an ill fated childhood but uplifting to share the strength and determination of one who survives.
Date published: 2000-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes Ansela's ashes is Brilliant. It really give great detail on how life was like in Irland in the 1940's. It makes you value what we have becaues not everyone has the opportunities that we have eg. Going to college, uni and getting a higher education. Not everyone has the money to have three meals a day or to buy things that some of us take for granted. It makes you think of how lucky we are that we can go to school and get jobs and make a good live for ourselves because not everyone has that chance.
Date published: 2000-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from ASTONISHING My name is Jessica and I am only 14 years of age often found falling asleep through History classes at my school. This book was recommended to me by my Grandmother and Grandfather. Both of them were avid readers and praised it as one of the best books they have ever read. Me just into the beginning of my adult book reading was open to suggestions. I was unaware that this was a book based on history or else I ptobably would have made like a banana and split. Unlike most historical articles books etc. that I had read in class this was actually completely not boring and even humorous. It gave me an insight to life throgh anothers eyes which really was apealing to me. I learned of hardships I will prtobably never have to face and it made me grateful for the luxury I have. I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of this interesting, humorous insight.
Date published: 2000-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bittersweet A lot of people told me that this book was depressing but I thought it was sweet and funny. McCourt tells a sad story with such a funny turn of phrase - you feel almost ashamed to be laughing, which I was through the whole book! I'm going to see the movie but I know it can't be as good as the book. I want to know more about Frank and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of 'Tis'.
Date published: 2000-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from burning the walls for heat I finished reading McCourt's novel a week ago and I cannot get it out of my mind. His writting is very captivating. It is such that even when I was not reading the novel I was thinking about it. I look forward to Tis and some closure on what happens to the mom, three brothers, and Uncle Pa.
Date published: 2000-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from angel'a ashes amazing book it touches the soul and makes you realize how rich our lives are.
Date published: 2000-07-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended 10 times over Only Frank McCourt could turn such a depressing story into one of drama with intensity. It's the way he reveals life and hardships through a boy's eyes. I'd recommend it to anyone who is reads for intense drama; it'll make you cry.
Date published: 2000-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes This is the most incredible book I have ever read. I finished it and wanted to start it all over again. Am anxious to read "Tis".
Date published: 2000-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent! Straight forwardedness of how an Irish child overcoming the hardship of taking part of his role in the family.. since the father was not able to fulfill the finanical need of the family.
Date published: 2000-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent One of the best books I've read in a long time, in fact I have read it 3 times. It is truly unforgettable. Thank you Frank McCourt for sharing your childhood.
Date published: 2000-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I really enjoyed this book. It was my first memior and i really liked it. Sometimes i cried about his living conditions and most of the times i laughed. This book made me realize how good my life is and how bad his was. Two thumbs up Frank!! :)
Date published: 2000-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Enjoyable Read!!! What an incredible journey this book took me on! I enjoyed every page of it. I have never read a book like this. Very well written with lots of humour, I loved the innocence of Frankie and the perspective he gives. It's very heartwarming, realistic, sad and sometimes I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry. I was disappointed only because it had to end! I will never forget little Frankie McCourt. You have to read it! I cannot wait to see the movie!
Date published: 2000-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A True Page Turner This is definitely one of the most interesting and touching books i've read. I lost so many hours sleep while reading it because i just refused to put it down. Everyone will enjoy this page turning trip through history, even if you aren't Irish!!
Date published: 2000-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! This is one of the best novels I have ever read. It made me see that no matter what, as long as you stick to what you are doing, you can do and achieve anything and everything!
Date published: 2000-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing What a book. I can't stop talking about it. About how wonderfully written it is. How it brought tears of joy and sadness to my eyes at the same time. It has to be the best book i have ever read.
Date published: 2000-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes I was captivated by this book from the very first paragraph, I could not put it down. Frank McCourt's brilliant account of growing up in Ireland made me cry, made me laugh and left me astonished at the fact that people went through what he went through. It is, by far, the best book I have ever read. I can't wait to read Tis'.
Date published: 2000-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling and Disturbing I felt like a voyeur as I read this beautifully written yet disturbing memoir of Frank McCourt's impoverished childhood in Ireland during WWII. It's so vivid I could practically feel the damp of Limerick and smell the stench of his tenement home. While I found both parents frustrating, McCourt portrays them in a very forgiving and generous manner by successfully relating the historical, cultural and religious context of his family's situation throughout the book. I'm not sure if the author intended this to be a cautionary tale but it did make me think about child poverty and if we are not just a little too blase here in smug Canada!
Date published: 2000-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is Great I could not put it down. It made me look to my own life and how well off I am.
Date published: 2000-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart- Pounding! I could'nt put this book down! What a fascinating, heart-pounding, sad, funny but forceful life you lead Mr. McCourt. But you did shine brilliantly after all that. I was so angry with your father, and so touched with your devotion. I also had the pleasure to see the movie. Done so very well. Can't wait to read Tis. Thank you for sharing!
Date published: 2000-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent! best book i have ever read. couldn't put it down at all. a must read! you will enjoy it for sure.
Date published: 2000-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I was totally wrapped up in this book. I started to think the way the author wrote.
Date published: 2000-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes This was a heartwarming and hopeful look at life in Ireland during wartime. I loved the innocent humor and the simplicity of style. It was sad to see it end.
Date published: 2000-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book This book is great. The story is amazing and you will want to continue reading the book to see how the family survives. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Date published: 2000-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't wait to read it. This one is a must. I didn't think that it would be my kind of book, I couldn't have been more wrong this is everyone's kind of book.
Date published: 2000-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from magnificent I can honestly say that this book will hold you captive in the way that you simply must read on to see what misery lies ahead for poor little Frankie M. I have never been made more aware of the suffering some people have endured in their lives. This book is a journey through the misery of the depression and the little hand that leads you is that of a very special child .A child you won't ever forget!
Date published: 2000-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing I was amazed how McCourt could tell the story of his impovrished upbringing with such a touching sense of humour. At times I was so angry reading this book and other times I was laughing. What carried me through this novel is that McCourt is a survivor, a realist, and a poet but never a cynic.
Date published: 2000-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I'm sitting here, not knowing exactly what to say. So easy to think of, so hard to write down. This book amazed me, made me laugh, made me cry. Very well written. I've never personally met an author before, but if I were to pick my choice, it would be Frank McCourt. I'm looking forward to 'Tis. Thanks Mr. McCourt, for bringing your life story to us, the public.
Date published: 2000-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspirational Frank McCourt is first past the post in this account of his early life. His humor,zest for life and humanity somehow manage to shine through the degradation, squalor and despondency. A real lesson in life.
Date published: 2000-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Glad I Read It A fascinating view of the life of an Irish family made all the more fascinating by the fact that it is a personal memoir. Although sometimes slow reading given the monotony of their day-to-day struggles (the majority of this novel seems to be about food or the lack thereof), by the end of the book you are left with the feeling that you have been as close to the Ireland of the times as you can hope to be without the physical conditions so vividly described throughout the book. I would recommend it to a friend, but I don’t think I will read it again.
Date published: 1999-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes I was born in Ireland and moved to Canada at a very young age, so I must admit that one of the main reasons that I read Angela's Ashes was bias because him being a author of Irish background. This book made me cry, laugh and I could not put it down. I have never read abook that has touched me so much and that I could relate too. I look forward to reading "Tis". Angela's Ashes made me be thankful for what I have in Canada and how lucky I am.
Date published: 1999-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the VERY BEST EVER This book is so compelling. I could not put it down. As someone who has never known poverty, McCourt makes you relive his childhood. You can feel the aching that he endured. The innocence and the adventure. It is as vivid as your own childhood memories. Look for the Movie to come out at Christmas. But the book is a MUST READ!!!
Date published: 1999-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes A beautifully written memoir about a very tragic family enviroment. Thank goodness for the ability to dream and succeed as Frank McCourt has done. Bravo!
Date published: 1999-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Green Couch An astounding book which sheds a whole new light on the catholic faith.
Date published: 1999-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from angela's ashes when you don't want to put down a book, when you're kind of sad that the story is almost over, when you wish it would go on...Then you've had a great read! Angela's Ashes is all this and more. It filled me with laughter, tears, a sense of pity for the grinding poverty and despair depicted so clearly in Frank McCourt's unforgettable novel. I'm convinced that it will be required reading in our schools before too long. A literary gift to us all from the author.
Date published: 1999-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes:A Memoir Excellent story a must read. Makes you laugh and cry. Was unable to put the book down. He is very good the way he tells it through the eyes of a child.
Date published: 1999-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from COMPELLING READ I could not get this book off my mind as I read it. I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I immediatley bought 'Tis after and enjoyed it almost as well. Warning - brother Malachy has a book out called "Monk Swimming" He is not nearly as endearing as Frank, I got sick of his drinking and womanizing very early on and am struggling to finish it.
Date published: 1999-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes This book was one of the most amazing books that I've ever read. Frank McCourt is one of those writers that just captures you and holds you on till the end. I was not able to put this book down. I just finished 'Tis and McCourt did it again! I would recommend both of these books to anyone, young or old, both books will touch your heart in ways that you never thought possible.
Date published: 1999-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best in a Very Long Time Somehow a ***** just isn't enough!!! My copy of this book has been in circulation to all my friends and they loved it as much as I did!!! I crave a book that you cannot put down and all other priorities (saving death and taxes) take a back seat. This is what reading is all about. If they could all be this good, how would we get anything else done??? I loved this book and can't wait to read 'Tis.....
Date published: 1999-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes Absolutely the best book ever. McCourt's unique style places you right there, right then. Do not be put off with the melancholy title/subject matter. McCourt's spirit and belief that there is a "better beyond" shines through...making this book a true joy to read.
Date published: 1999-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Anglea's Ashes I had seen the book on talk shows and in stores. The cover had always attrached me but I never took the plunge and bought the book. This summer I made up my mind to purchased and read the book. I couldn't put it down! McCourt has such and interesting story to tell and he tells it so well, that when I actually did put the book down, I had to shake myself into reality and realize that I was not part of the book. Since finishing Angelas Ashes, I've read a book written by McCourt's younger brother, Malachy, titled "A Monk Swimming" and now I'm currently reading McCourts sequel "'Tis". So far it's excellent. I urge anyone who has enjoyed McCourt's first book to read the sequel.
Date published: 1999-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Old Friend... I took my time reading this story, three to four weeks. It touched me with it's living sadness, the hindsight of age, the strength of wisdom and the release of forgiveness. Little Frankie was like an old friend, always with me, and then every once in a while I'd call him up to hear more of the bad news.
Date published: 1999-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from exquisite The first time I read Angela's Ashes I was thirteen I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that I have recomended it to several friends of mine who all shared the same feelings as I. I am now fifteen and have read the book a total of four times.
Date published: 1999-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Never having read a non-fiction novel, i was hesitant to read this one, but i read it in four days and feel i should go back and re-read it now. i felt i had to keep reminding myself that the characters and events in this novel were real. the characters are portrayed so well that they cannot be classified into the love them/hate them category. i even felt for Frank's father despite everything. Another wonderful aspect of the book is the language in which it is written (lack of quotes and the gradual improvement in Frank's speech and understanding in the world around him which makes the story much more believeable).I cannot wait for the sequel (" 'Tis").this book is amazing!
Date published: 1999-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes This was a heartwrenching story that captivated my attention from start to finish. It made me angry at Frank's father, sad for his mother and siblings. It is hard to imagine the things that family had to go through. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read serious books that make you take a second look at your own life and be thankful for the little things that we all take for granted. I was totally moved by this book.
Date published: 1999-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes What a fabulous read. I could hear the Irish accents and experience the Irish ways as I read. This was a very desitute life but also filled with humour. I could not put it down, I was so gripped and that is quite unusual for me. I didn't want it to end.
Date published: 1999-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read It was an amazing story of poverty and survival in Ireland in the 30's and 40's. We don't appreciate what we have until we read about other peoples' suffering and starvation. I can't wait to read 'Tis.
Date published: 1999-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoughts on ANGELA'S ASHES IN general,I was overwhelmed by the book and what I understood to be a realistic portrayal of Frank Mcourt's upbringing. The courage and his persistence in every day life was a lesson to me. The fact that he was able to overcome such great adversities and survive to create a successful life in another country is true inspiration.
Date published: 1999-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing McCourt has the amazing ability to write his childhood memories exactly the way a child would experience them, complete with the brutal honesty that typifies childhood. As the novel progresses, you can see the style of writing mature as the author does. It is an engaging commentary on the hardships of poverty and the role that religion can play in alienating people from one another. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 1999-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping! I couldn't put it down. I've never read anything with the descriptive power of Angela's Ashes. I felt like I could see (and smell) everything he talks about! There were times when I wanted to weep from sadness and there were times when I laughed out loud. A wonderful piece of work. This is a book that everyone with any interest in anything Irish should read. It is truly fabulous! I can't wait to read 'Tis.
Date published: 1999-07-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-provoking read Angela's Ashes is an entertaining and thought-provoking book. After reading this book, I have a new understanding of the political and religious troubles in Ireland.
Date published: 1999-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this Book! This was one of the best books I have ever read. I have not been able to think of food in the same way since. Everytime I have a "whole" egg to myself, I think of how Frank would have loved this! This book really makes you count your blessings.
Date published: 1999-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angelas Ashes This was a fantastic book!! How Frank McCourt protrayed his life was just unbelivable. This book made me open my eyes to a world I never really knew off. How rough it must have been to grow up in those times, and be shamed for your religion. It brought out so many different emoitions in me, and I would highly recommed it. Can't wait for the sequel!!
Date published: 1999-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read. McCourt's memoir of his childhood years is absolutely brilliant! In this book you will follow the inquisitive mind of a poor, young, Irish child into his adolescent years all with a writing style that is humorous, fun and charming. A must read!
Date published: 1999-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant McCourt's story of his childhood brilliantly shows both the tragedy and comedy that is Ireland. You'll laugh and cry and then want to read it again. A must read!
Date published: 1999-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Time Well Spent Not often do I come across a book that reads like life itself. Each chapter is like a day in the life; each page provides entertaining events that are easy to relate to. So many laughs and so many tears! Truly, time well spent!
Date published: 1999-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS PEOPLE! I read this book before Christmas, at a time when everyone is going crazy trying to buy everything in sight. I thought I was losing the spirit, and then I read Angela's Ashes. I can tell you, it puts everything in perspective. All too often we take for granted the blessings we have in our lives. Such a well written book,it makes you actually feel the hunger pains of the children ;and gives you a taste of the anguish the mother must have felt at the loss of her children and constant struggle to feed the surviving ones with no help from an often absent husband. She must, indeed, have been a remarkable woman.
Date published: 1999-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Angela's Ashes I shied away from this family saga, which plays out in a terrible historical period that included famine, mass poverty and civil strife. I thought it would be emotionally hard to read. When I couldn't put off reading it any more, I found McCourt's childhood tragedy more heartbreaking than I could have imagined. But his story also made me laugh and feel proud to get to know this very warm, sincere man. He taught me that life has no guarantees or givens. His tale of survival is a fine example of getting on with it, in spite of the setbacks. Very life-affirming!
Date published: 1999-03-07

– More About This Product –

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

by Frank McCourt

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 0.8 in

Published: May 25, 1999

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 068484267X

ISBN - 13: 9780684842677

About the Book

Frank McCourt returned to America when he was nineteen. For many years, he was an English teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. The sequel to "Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, " will be published in the fall of 1999. McCourt lives in Connecticut.

Read from the Book

Chapter OneMy father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four, my brother, Malachy, three, the twins, Oliver and Eugene, barely one, and my sister, Margaret, dead and gone.When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived 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.People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.Above all -- we were wet.Out in the Atlantic Ocean great sheets of rain gathered to drift slowly up the River Shannon and settle forever in Limerick. The rain dampened the city from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year's Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks. It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges. It provoked cures galore; to ease the catarrh you boiled onions in milk blackened with pepper; for the congested passages you made a paste of boiled flour and nettles, wrapped it in a rag, and slapped i
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From the Publisher

A Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela's Ashes is Frank McCourt's masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“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.

About the Author

Frank McCourt returned to America when he was nineteen. For many years, he was an English teacher at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. The sequel to Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, will be published in the fall of 1999. McCourt lives in Connecticut.

From Our Editors

Born in Depression era Brooklyn to Irish immigrants, Frank McCourt experienced a childhood fraught with poverty and occasional cruelty. When the family moved back to Limerick, Ireland, Frank endured the most miserable of childhoods. From harrowing family episodes to the surprizing, indefatigable spirit of McCourt, this memoir is an absorbing read from start to finish. An astonishing, glorious debut, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela's Ashes recounts McCourt's experience with remarkable exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Editorial Reviews

Vanessa V. Friedman Entertainment Weekly The power of this memoir is that it makes you believe the claim: that despite the rags and hunger and pain, love and strength do come out of misery -- as well as a page-turner of a book. And though the experience it tells of was individual, the point -- and the story -- is universal.

Bookclub Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points

  1. Countless memoirs have been published recently, yet Angela's Ashes stands out. What makes this memoir so unique and compelling?

  2. Discuss the originality and immediacy of Frank McCourt's voice and the style he employs -- i.e., his sparing use of commas, the absence of quotation marks. How, through a child's voice and perspective, does McCourt establish and maintain credibility?

  3. Ever present in Angela's Ashes is the Catholic Church. In what ways does the Catholic Church of McCourt's Ireland hurt its members and limit their experience? How does the Church protect and nurture its followers? What is Frank's attitude toward the Church?

  4. McCourt writes: "I think my father is like the Holy Trinity with three people in him, the one in the morning with the paper, the one at night with the stories and prayers, and then the one who does the bad thing and comes home with the smell of whiskey and wants us to die for Ireland." Was this your impression of Frank McCourt's father? How can Frank write about his father without bitterness? What part did Malachy play in creating the person that Frank eventually became?

  5. Women -- in particular mothers -- play a significant role in Angela's Ashes. Recall the scenes between Angela and her children; the MacNamara sisters (Delia and Philomena) and Malachy; Aunt Aggie and young Frank; Angela and her own mother. In what ways do these interactions reflect the roles of women within their families? Discuss the ways in which Angela struggles to keep her family together in the most desperate of circumstances.

  6. McCourt titles his memoir Angela's Ashes, after his mother. What significance does the phrase "Angela's Ashes" acquire by the end of the book?

  7. Despite the McCourts' horrid poverty, mind-numbing starvation, and devastating losses, Angela's Ashes is not a tragic memoir. In fact, it is uplifting, triumphant even. How does McCourt accomplish this?

  8. Irish songs and lyrics are prominently featured in Angela's Ashes. How do these lyrics contribute to the unique voice of this memoir? How does music affect Frank's experiences? How do you think it continues to influence his memories of his childhood?

  9. Frank spent the first four years of his life in the United States. How do his experiences in America affect Frank's years in Ireland?
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