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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt

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

by Frank McCourt

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,911278105 (3.99)329
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)

  1. 70
    The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (cataylor)
  2. 30
    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. 52
    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.
  4. 53
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (nu-bibliophile)
  5. 20
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (readerbabe1984)
  6. 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 .
  7. 20
    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)
  8. 10
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (TomWaitsTables)
  9. 00
    44: Dublin Made Me by Peter Sheridan (Fliss88)
  10. 00
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (KayCliff)
  11. 11
    The Dark by John McGahern (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both stories are about young men growing up in poverty in Ireland.
  12. 00
    The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein (RoxieF)
  13. 00
    No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (dpf2102)
    dpf2102: Similar stories of childhood loss.
  14. 01
    Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu (shesinplainview)
  15. 01
    All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  16. 01
    Q & A by Vikas Swarup (shesinplainview)
    shesinplainview: One is true, one is fiction, but both about boys growing up in inconceivable proverty.

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» See also 329 mentions

English (257)  Spanish (6)  Italian (5)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Estonian (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (278)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
From Brooklyn, NY to Limerick, Ireland 1930s-1940s - This is a remarkable memoir for its honesty and tragic humor. I laughed and cried within a few sentences, and always craved the ability to hug, comfort and feed the young Frank and his brothers. A favorite. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Oct 16, 2016 |
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt can only be described as the epitome of a memoir. With comedy at its best Frank McCourt turns misery into true hilarity as he chronicles his life growing up dirt poor in Ireland. Even after the many tragedies that strike his family Frank McCourt still keeps a positive outlook on life and manages to find the story in everything whether its his miserable times in the Catholic Church or the angel on the seventh step who gives his mother babies. Overall I loved everything about this book. The writing was so raw and honest yet still brimming with comedy which made for a very interesting reading experience. There were so many points in this book where I wanted to cry out of sympathy for young Frank and only a minute later I would be laughing out loud at the joke that he had made out of his life. One thing that I found very interesting about this book was how even though we as readers can see how horrible Frank's family is to him the whole story is filled with forgiveness and we never hear of grudges held against anyone who was a part of his terrible life in Ireland. Frank McCourt's writing style is unlike anything I have ever read. He is ultra descriptive while still managing to be subtle and humorous and all of his writing has meaning. Even though his life deserves a major pity party Frank McCourt sure isn't throwing one for himself. His writing is not "Woe is me" as so many other memoirs are, in fact Frank McCourt actually appears to be great full for some aspect of his life. As someone who finds most memoirs to be fake and unenjoyable I was amazed by this book and I would highly recommend it as a must read in your lifetime kind of book. Angela's Ashes is very adult so I would only recommend for mature readers. ( )
  rebeccabarer | Sep 14, 2016 |
Much better than I'd expected. It's a wonderful look into history through carefully-crafted memoir. It's also very sad. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
As much as I loved reading this book years ago, the audiobook got a little monotonous at times. I feel bad saying that since the author narrated it but oh well. ( )
  pennma05 | Jul 21, 2016 |
  StPaulsChurch | Jul 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (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 (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCourt, Frankprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jonkheer, ChristienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary 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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:58 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

"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.… (more)

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