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Hugely funny with very real descriptions of life's ups and downs. I was impressed with the writing style, wit and cleaver use of phrases.
It was entertaining even though I don't drink alcohol and think alcohol overuse is idiotic. I think most people miss one point -maybe the biggest point that McCourt was trying to make - that he became the father/husband he did not like, and in the end the father that he could not have was what his children could not have, and he owed it mostly to huge amounts of alcohol.
Those who do not like this book are, quite possibly, of the same distemperent disposition of the tight-xxxxxx brit-oriented Anglophiles whom Mr. McCourt so jovially dissects in this hillariously dark memoir. Those who despise this book must suffer a terminal case of 'the fear of recognition', for who else but the social nosferatu, head planted firmly in xxxx, self-righteous indignation in tow, could ever dislike a novel of such honesty, passion, and humor. To you, the Anglomaniac psychic vampires and culture vulture alike, I say a hearty, "God Save The Queen!" Those who refuse to laugh or smile must, by penalty of law, give their lips to someone more deserving.
I found this book to be above average at parts, but as a whole, I was not entirely pleased. Yes, Mr. McCourt shared many interesting accounts of his life with the readers, but I must agree with Ms. McIlraith. His use of language could be a bit offensive at times. I also felt that the man's abuse of women was unnecessarily vulgar and lude. However, it could also be hilariously funny at times. So though there are many shortcomings to this book, there are also a great many successes.
My dear Erin, nothing could be further from the truth. "A Monk Swimming" is a devilishly funny, and outrageously entertaining book. To try and compare it to "Angela's Ashes" is like drawing parallels between apples and oranges. For one is the dark, evoking memoir of a horribly harsh childhood, and the other; a memoir of the lighter, sometimes equally as dark, times in the life of younger brother Malachy. The book remains a complete enjoyment from start to finish, and I recommend you re-open it (I hesitate "re-" b/c it appears by your review, as though you have yet to open it once) and read the book. Not as a person looking to discover more of the hardship childhood in Limerick, but someone who simply desires to read a great book.
I personally despised this book. It was the worst memoir I have ever read! I find Mr. McCourt's language disturbing and his accounts with pretty "young things" sickening. He gives the Irish a bad name. Not to mention, most of the time while reading his book, I wasn't sure what he felt he was accomplishing by writing it. It was all pointless babble. He should learn how to write from his brother Frank. Now HE can write.