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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
15,764238112 (3.99)281
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. 60
    The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls (cataylor)
  2. 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.
  3. 20
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (readerbabe1984)
  4. 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 .
  5. 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)
  6. 10
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (one-horse.library)
  7. 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)
  8. 32
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (nu-bibliophile)
  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 281 mentions

English (221)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Estonian (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
At first this book was kind of annoying. I got tired of the way the author babbled and rambled about insignificant details. However, near the end of the book there were a few particularly beautiful scenes. One in particular, no spoilers, that gave me goosebumps and made me look at the whole book differently. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it every couple of years. It makes you laugh, cry and inspires you to keep trying for your goals and never give up. The author (now deceased) and his family overcame many obstacles in his life such as poverty, illness, a parent's alcoholism, and discrimination yet went on to write his first book late in life. I also read his other book 'Tis. This book should be the reading list for every high school student! ( )
  Mary_Books | Aug 4, 2014 |
I didn't think I'd like this book at first. I'm not usually a huge fan of memoirs and such, but this one was different somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it. I blew through it much faster than any of my other required summer reading, and went in search of the two other books that compromise the memoirs of Frank McCourt. It was well worth it. A MUST read. ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
This book scrapes open the barely healed wound of McCourt's impoverished upbringing, exposing its grit and stench to full view. You would be hard-pressed to find a more thorough account of living off the absolute dregs of an alcoholic father's neglect. The stream of consciousness narration is distinctly Irish, but this story could otherwise be the story of any poor family (and let the reader not be mistaken, these circumstances are not the vestiges of a bygone Ireland, but an unfortunate reality for many invisible people even in today's most advanced and overprivileged societies). However, the obsessive level of detail that so masterfully showcases these horrors becomes so oppressive that it also numbed me to them; I read of death after death without feeling any heartbreak, of Friday after Friday of wages drunk in the pub and meals of fried bread or baby bottles filled with sugar water without feeling any surprise or sadness. I could wonder if I am just heartless and cruel, but I can think of students I've taught whose faces could just as easily have been that of young Frankie; instead, I really think the intense repetition in sentence after sentence of this thick memoir inures you to what you are reading. Since everything is seen through one child's eyes, it was hard for me to identify with other characters in the book, or to really care that another bad thing was about to happen to any of them. If the same attention had been paid to crafting perspective and narrative arc as was given to illustrating filth, this might have felt like a more redemptive reading experience. Instead, I left the story like Frankie, coldly slipping away on my boat back to a better America. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Jun 26, 2014 |
The book has an excellent narrative it know how to guide through the story. Is a very hard story that makes you cry sometimes and others laugh. The magic of the story is that it gets close to the Magic Realism of Latin america, he does not need to create a story from his mind, his own story is more than enough to put it in the paper, the charm of the book is not the story, but the way the story is written. ( )
  CaroPi | Jun 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (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)

"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)

(summary from another edition)

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