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Angela's Ashes

A Memoir

by Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt X
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
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  • First Published:
    Sep 1996, 360 pages
    Paperback:
    May 1999, 255 pages

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There are currently 86 reader reviews for Angela's Ashes
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erin, 15 (10/22/03)

Angelas Ashes is one of the most moving, sincere books i have ever read, although it described the pain and hardship of franks life, it did not ask for sympathy. The humour was perfectly placed and rose the tone from somber to cheeky at times.Erin,15
emma (10/20/03)

Brilliant book, very moving however funny at the same time. great book would recomend it to any great book lover!
Amanda (10/12/03)

I loved this book! It was funny, sad, happy, and very touching all at the same time! I could never imagine having the life he had and having to grow up like Frank McCourt. It just goes to show how much we take for granted these days!
jemma miller (08/12/03)

i loved this book it was so exciting and you never knew what was going to happen next. i read it three times and loves it each time! Jemma Miller,13, Glasgow.
Patrysia (06/01/03)

Wonderful book. very touching and unforgettable!!! i loved it!
Sarah (05/21/03)

Angela and Malachy marry in Brooklyn, New York and have a son named Francis followed by Malachy Jr., Eugene, Oliver and Margaret. Margaret dies soon after she is born from tuberculosis. When they return to their native land, Ireland, life turns out for the worse. Living through the slums with flea infested matresses and no electricity or washrooms the McCourts manage to survive. The story is written from Francis' perspective. I enjoyed this book so much that I felt at times I had to pull myself away from it so I could attend to my other responsibilities. This novel forced me to think upon what I have instead of what I want. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an easy read.
mick (05/06/03)

it was a spetacular memoir
Emily (04/24/03)

Angela's Ashes - A Memoir of a Childhood by Frank McCourt

Published by Harper Collins, 1996

Frank McCourt created a new genre of memoir when he wrote this book and its sequel 'Tis.

As he says himself "I wonder how I survived 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". Without doubt growing up in Ireland in the Forties and Fifties was not the most advantaged of childhoods. Frank McCourt was raised in the back lanes of Limerick in a time of poverty in Ireland. His family's poverty was worsened by his father's alcoholism.

McCourt is a very good storyteller and has a very good ability for catching the little personal faults that make his characters come alive on the page. His description of the deaths of his brothers and sister is depressingly lifelike. The responder can feel the desperate hopelessness of the grief-stricken mother and her grim anger and antipathy of her alcoholic husband. However, this is not a completely depressing book - the story is interrupted throughout with a cynical, black humor that can have you laughing at pitiful descriptions of grief and sadness.

It is McCourt's ability as a writer and his skill to bring to life the miserable, hypocritical society of Limerick in the Forties and expose the cruelties that existed in Ireland of that time, which brought the anger of modern, comfortable middle-class Ireland down round his head. Yes, he may have exaggerated and dramatized his story, but ask people of his time and they will admit that, yes certainly, Irish society at the time was cruel, unforgiving and judgmental.

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