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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir (original 1996; edition 2003)

by Frank McCourt

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15,467None116 (3.99)266
Title:Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
Authors:Frank McCourt
Collections:Donated Aug 2010 for the Aflac Cancer Center Book Sale

Work details

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (1996)

20th century (112) alcoholism (106) autobiography (651) biography (702) biography/memoir (62) Catholicism (72) childhood (128) coming of age (64) family (143) fiction (345) Frank McCourt (74) history (88) immigration (92) Ireland (1,175) Irish (347) Irish Americans (76) Irish literature (71) Limerick (69) literature (83) memoir (1,637) New York (62) non-fiction (952) novel (93) own (82) poverty (382) Pulitzer (80) Pulitzer Prize (137) read (204) to-read (140) unread (92)
  1. 60
    The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (cataylor)
  2. 20
    The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: The Hiding Place is often compared to Angela's Ashes. The settings and subject matter are indeed very similar; however, McCourt's book has a lot of humour written between the depressing bits. And the Hiding Place is more creative and literary. Two very different approaches to poverty in the British Isles.… (more)
  3. 20
    The Life Before Us by Romain Gary (olyvia)
    olyvia: Un reel bijoux de tendresse et d'emotion , a ne pas rater pour ceux qui ont aimé les cendres d'angela .
  4. 42
    Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (Joles)
    Joles: Written in the same style as Angela's Ashes, this deals with Frank's teaching in New York.
  5. 10
    Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor (raton-liseur)
    raton-liseur: L’Etoile des mers est un roman, il décrit l’Irlande rurale, les luttes politiques du XIXème siècle. Mais ce ne sont pas ses seules différences avec les Cendres d’Angela. C’est aussi et surtout un régal de lecture, tant par sa trame que son écriture et par son intérêt historique.… (more)
  6. 10
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (one-horse.library)
  7. 32
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (nu-bibliophile)
  8. 10
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (readerbabe1984)
  9. 00
    The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein (RoxieF)
  10. 11
    The Dark by John McGahern (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both stories are about young men growing up in poverty in Ireland.
  11. 00
    No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (dpf2102)
    dpf2102: Similar stories of childhood loss.
  12. 00
    44: Dublin Made Me by Peter Sheridan (Fliss88)
  13. 01
    Q & A by Vikas Swarup (shesinplainview)
    shesinplainview: One is true, one is fiction, but both about boys growing up in inconceivable proverty.
  14. 01
    Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu (shesinplainview)

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» See also 266 mentions

English (215)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Estonian (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (233)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
( )
  warangel820 | Apr 2, 2014 |
And here, yet again, Goodreads' search engine is fucked. I type in Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and the search engine has a damn meltdown over the apostrophe, and then when that is sorted, I get a fucking study guide by Bookrags again but not McCourt's damn book. JESUS WEPT. ( )
  laurentlollie | Mar 27, 2014 |
Frank McCourt’s style is mesmerizing. I could not put this book down even though it made me depressed. From Ireland to America and back to Ireland, nothing ever got better for this family. ( )
  WongXu | Mar 26, 2014 |
This book was highly regarded by many people. This book’s reputation preceded itself. A good friend finally gave it to me to read, after I had recommended they tackle The Glass Castle. Angela’s Ashes took me about halfway through the book for it to finally get interesting. That’s not a harsh judgment just my personal feeling. It has won a Pulitzer Prize.
I can definitely see why people would be amazed by this memoir. I enjoyed having read it, but more so, to be able to talk about the content than the pure pleasure of reading it per se. It has a Catcher in the Rye feel to it. It has The Basketball Diaries immediacy which I liked. It could even be paired up with Morrissey’s Autobiography for a great seminar syllabus. There are so many ways to appreciate Angela’s Ashes. Just not in complete isolation. I do need to bulk up on Irish writers but I still feel that it wasn’t as concise as The Glass Castle. Angela’s Ashes does cover all the bases of great literature, it just didn’t hold my attention from the starting gate. I had heard so much about it being a tale of Irish degradation, but I didn’t find it so bad. I totally identified with the church figures being less than authentic, the sense of physical hunger making moral rationalization easy and the need to care for others even if it meant oneself being deprived. There are second and third parts which follow after Angela’s Ashes, so it might be unfair to judge the book as a single unit if it’s meant to be a trilogy.
I would not recommend this book to read unless the person was an avid reader and could follow the context. Overall I discarded the tragic aspect of McCourt’s life and saw the book as a full comedy by trial and error, mostly error. The tone of the work is McCourt at his teenage years but he also narrates years before that. I can easily place the book as fiction which was the case with Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Mar 19, 2014 |
I think you have to have spent some time in Ireland with the Irish people to really fully understand the beauty of this amazing work. He painted them exactly as they are... ( )
  Laurie.Schultz | Mar 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
A spunky, bittersweet memoir.
added by Shortride | editTime, John Elson (Sep 23, 1996)
Frank McCourt waited more than four decades to tell the story of his childhood, and it's been well worth the wait. With ''Angela's Ashes,'' he has [written] a book that redeems the pain of his early years with wit and compassion and grace. He has written a book that stands with ''The Liars Club'' by Mary Karr and Andre Aciman's ''Out of Egypt'' as a classic modern memoir.
For the most part, [McCourt's] style is that of an Irish-American raconteur, honorably voluble and engaging. He is aware of his charm but doesn't disgracefully linger upon it. Induced by potent circumstances, he has told his story, and memorable it is.
This memoir is an instant classic of the genre -- all the more remarkable for being the 66-year-old McCourt's first book.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCourt, Frankprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonkheer, ChristienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowohlt, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wissen, Driek vanContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my brothers,
Malachy, Michael, Alphonsus.
I learn from you, I admire you and I love you.
First words
My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born.
Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes, you can never get enough of him.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived it 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.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes is an unusual immigrant story, told from the view of the person the author was at a particular stage in his life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 068484267X, Paperback)

Frank McCourt's haunting memoir takes on new life when the author reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Recounting scenes from his childhood in New York City and Limerick, Ireland, McCourt paints a brutal yet poignant picture of his early days when there was rarely enough food on the table, and boots and coats were a luxury. In a melodic Irish voice that often lends a gentle humor to the unimaginable, the author remembers his wayward yet adoring father who was forever drinking what little money the family had. He recounts the painful loss of his siblings to avoidable sickness and hunger, a proud mother reduced to begging for charity, and the stench of the sewage-strewn streets that ran outside the front door. As McCourt approaches adolescence, he discovers the shame of poverty and the beauty of Shakespeare, the mystery of sex and the unforgiving power of the Irish Catholic Church. This powerful and heart-rending testament to the resiliency and determination of youth is populated with memorable characters and moments, and McCourt's interpretation of the narrative and the voices it contains will leave listeners laughing through their tears.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:56 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Born to Irish parents, McCourt endured a childhood of extreme poverty. He rose from humble beginnings to become a Pulitzer Prize winner. In "Angela's ashes", he recounts the heartbreaking stories and the soul-saving humor of his childhood.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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