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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir of a Childhood…
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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir of a Childhood (original 1996; edition 1999)

by Frank McCourt

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,300295123 (3.99)360
Member:cindystark
Title:Angela's Ashes: A Memoir of a Childhood
Authors:Frank McCourt
Info:Scribner (1999), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (Author) (1996)

  1. 70
    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (cataylor)
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 20
    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (readerbabe1984)
  5. 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)
  6. 53
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (nu-bibliophile)
  7. 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 .
  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. 00
    The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein (RoxieF)
  12. 00
    No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod (dpf2102)
    dpf2102: Similar stories of childhood loss.
  13. 11
    The Dark by John McGahern (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both stories are about young men growing up in poverty in Ireland.
  14. 01
    All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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» See also 360 mentions

English (272)  Spanish (7)  Italian (5)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Estonian (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (294)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
Excerpts from my original GR review (Apr 2009):
- What more can be said? Moving, sad yet hopeful, funny at times. Won the Pulitzer, L.A. Tiimes Award... I read this in about 1998. I am not a memoir enthusiast in general, but this personal history rang so deep and true, I was captivated. My read again someday. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Sep 3, 2018 |
Angela's Ashes was an extremely heavy, tragic but touching memoir peppered with humor and emotion and love. Frank McCourt is a master at telling stories, but this memoir of his Irish Catholic family, spans so many subjects, so creatively and so beautifully - from family, to love, religion, sickness, abandonment, poverty... The hardship that immigrants had to go through is heartbreaking - as is their strength, and will to survive and make better lives for themselves. So much emotion after reading this. I don't know if this story will leave me for awhile. Definitely something for the mature reader, and definitely something that stays within you.
( )
  Bookapotamus | Jun 27, 2018 |
What a depressing book and knowing it's autobiographical made it even worse. From the very first chapter on, I thought things can't possibly get worse than they already are. I was wrong.
Angela's Ashes is a wonderfully written, yet painful account of Frank McCourt's childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Very powerful! ( )
  Vinjii | Apr 24, 2018 |
I haven't picked this book up since middle school, but damn, it was still as powerful.Frank McCourt recounts his childhood in the Irish slums with such tenacity, hilarity, and vividness; that you feel as if you are there with him. Only an author such as McCourt could make such a trying, poverty stricken, childhood into a story of strength and humor, and belief. As a child he grew up having to accept handouts because his father was a drunk and would drink away whatever little work money he was able to get. Due to the family's malnourishment and lack of proper housing; Frank lost three young siblings to illness, and spent his entire childhood hungry and in and out of hospitals. Despite all that he was able to look towards the future and worked hard to save money to go to America. He used his brains to escape the poverty cycle and Angela's Ashes is just the first of his memoirs. There are others (that I have not read yet) that recount his life in America, his teaching job, and his adult life. A wonderful memoir, and if you get a chance, listen to it. The author narrates it himself and you won't want to miss out on his Irish accent and singing of bawdy tavern songs. ( )
  ecataldi | Apr 23, 2018 |
Imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion. This is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

"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 Pulitzer Prize winning 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 neighbours--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humour and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
  JESGalway | Apr 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 272 (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, FrankAuthorprimary 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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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