Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1) by Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

“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, I...

Details Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

TitleAngela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)
Release DateOct 3rd, 2005
PublisherHarper Perennial
Number of pages432 pages
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Cultural, Ireland, Classics, Biography

Reviews Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

  • Eric Althoff
    Before I get too deep into my review, let me just say this: "Angela's Ashes" is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. That said, it is also fascinating, heartbreaking, searingly honest narration told in the face of extreme poverty and alcoholism. This absolutely entrancing memoir follows an Irish-American-Irish-American (more on this later) boy who comes of age during the Depression and the War years in a country gripped in the stran...
  • Gail
    What, did NO one find this book funny except me??? I must be really perverse.Although the account of Frank's bad eyes was almost physically painful to read, the rest of the story didn't seem too odd or sad or overdone to me. My dad's family were immigrants; his father died young of cirrhosis of the liver, leaving my grandmother to raise her six living children (of a total of 13) on a cleaning woman's pay. So? Life was hard. They weren't Irish and...
  • Mitch Albom
    I read his book, then I got to know him, and rarely will you find as similar a voice between the man and the writer as in this memoir. A tragic gem of a childhood story.
  • David
    But the worst offender of the last twenty years has to be the uniquely meretricious drivel that constitutes "Angela's Ashes". Dishonest at every level, slimeball McCourt managed to parlay his mawkish maunderings to commercial success, presumably because the particular assortment of rainsodden cliches hawked in the book not only dovetails beautifully with the stereotypes lodged in the brain of every American of Irish descent, but also panders to t...
  • George Bradford
    “If you had the luck of the IrishYou’d be sorry and wish you was deadIf you had the luck of the IrishThen you’d wish you was English instead”How can ONE book be so WONDERFUL and so HORRIBLE at the same time? I have no idea. But this book is both. Big time. It’s difficult to imagine anything worse than a childhood crushed under the oppressive conditions of abject poverty, relentless filth and unmitigated suffering. The childhood describe...
  • Steve
    There once was a lad reared in Limerick,Quite literally without a bone to pick.His da used scant earningsTo slake liquid yearnings;In American parlance – a dick.To get past a father who drankIn a place that was dismal and dank,He wrote not in rhymes,But of those shite times A memoir that filled up his bank.
  • Maxwell
    Quite different from other memoirs I read--especially the brand of memoir that's been coming out in the last few years--Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes tells of the author's poverty-stricken childhood in Ireland in the early 20th century. It's told from the first person present perspective, which doesn't allow for as much mature reflection, but it does create a very immediate & immersive atmosphere. And speaking of atmosphere, McCourt writes so de...
  • Lyn
    Angela’s Ashes is a beautifully written, painfully honest account of Frank McCourt’s childhood in Limerick, Ireland.Frank’s parents, both Irish, met in New York and began their family there. McCourt himself was born in New York, but this was in the 1930s and the depression hurt everyone and everywhere, especially immigrant Irish with no resources.So back to Ireland they go to live near his maternal grandmother. 1930s Limerick was not much b...
  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    I have to admit that I didn't love the first third of this book but I realize the information gained there made me enjoy the rest even more. At times, this book was a beautiful dark comedy, "There is nothing like a wake for having a good time," and I think that some day I might make my kids promise to die for Ireland. Near the end, the young boy is trying to figure out what adultery is by looking it up in the dictionary; he is forced to look up n...
  • Brina
    Read pre goodreads. I've seen it pop up on a lot of people's feeds. One of the most inspiring books I ever read.
  • Tatiana
    Picked this memoire to experience some more foreign countries through literature. Good choice. What could have easily been another misery porn (immense poverty, hunger, never-ending unwanted pregnancies, drunkenness, strict religion, deaths of TB and pneumonia on every other page) became something more because of the author's remarkable voice, filled with innocence, humor and almost unwavering optimism of childhood. Amazing that McCourt managed t...
  • Teresa
    In Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt paints a picture of a childhood mired in poverty. He manages to be humorous and heartbreaking, and hopeless and triumphant all at once. I laughed, I cried, I felt dearly for the disadvantaged McCourt family that struggled against all odds.The memoir borrows heavily from the art of realism -- as tales of impoverished childhoods usually are. McCourt was born in depression era Brooklyn to an alcoholic father who spen...
  • Adam Floridia
    I had not planned on writing a proper review, so I began to read others'. Quite a few unleashed verbal vitriol at McCourt's memoir, claiming that it is not entirely accurate and that it is too mawkish/maudlin/bathetic. Others claim that the author romanticizes the penury and destitution of the lives in his lane. First, no memoir can ever be 100% truthful; our memories are incomplete and sporadic (at best). In fact, as I read I liked that there we...
  • Angela Paquin
    It's been ten years since I've read this book. Like everyone else I was floored by it when it first came out. But time and age have made me wiser.I don't think it's stood the test of time and the more I think of it... my grandmother is right. It's a one-sided, depressing view of life in Ireland. "Woah is me..." is the book in a nutshell. This book simply has you marinate in negativity. Maybe I've read too much Phillip Roth in the meantime and com...
  • M is for Mallory
    I can't put this down! I'm getting such a dark kick out of Frank McCourt's childhood. Favorite line that had me laughing out loud: "Oy, you Irish. You'll live forever but you'll never say challah like a Chew." I'm devastated this book is ending; it's been the most pleasurable part of my days over the past week. It's of course depressing, I mean, like he says in opening "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhoood...
  • Melvina
    One of my most favorite books and authors of all time. I can't get enough of Frank's stories. I also listened to him tell it on an audio recording, and it's even more awesome listening to his Irish accent. The most compelling characteristic of his writing is the ability to write about a subject as dire and despairing as poverty and neglect, and make it so blisteringly funny, I'm in tears. Then in another chapter, I'm crying with grief over the lo...
  • FeReSHte
    اجاق سرد آنجلا اتوبیوگرافی نویسنده تا سن بیست سالگی و ابتدای مهاجرتش از ایرلند به امریکا رو شامل میشه که همزمان با رکود بزرگ و جنگ جهانی دوم بوده . پدر الکلی و بیعار فرانک هرگز تلاشی برای نجات دادن خانواده ش از اون همه فلاکت ناشی از بی پولی نمی کنه .. ر...
  • Alicia
    There are not words to describe how horrible I felt this book was. First, I was somehow under the impression that it was a WWII novel, so that was a disappointment to begin with. I really felt like the theme of this novel was how to survive life's trials and difficulties by masturbating. Someone please tell me if I am way off here.
  • Carol
    This is one of the most depressing and heartbreaking true-life novels I've ever read so be forewarned, this Pulitzer Prize winner is pretty tough to take.In the beginning, Francis (Frank) McCourt's family story starts out so desperate, you think it can't get any worse, BUT....IT....DOES!Frankie had a very short and dreadful childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Even at age four with only the clothes (rags) on his back, he had adult responsibilities car...
  • Mark
    Couldn't bear it. Whiney, self-obsessed and smacked of disingenuity. Using misery, either yours (imagined) or others (purloined) to make money seems to be the height/depth of cheap shots. Someone once told me of a review of the book that they had read somewhere'Baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died, baby born, baby died; it rained'.Admittedy there was more to it than that, however I read it a long time ago and the gloom...
  • Madeline
    Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.This book is kind of like that bit in A Chorus Line where the director is making everyone tell him about their childhoods and the one guy goes, "Nobody wants to admit they had a happy childhood." There are two instances where this statement is extremely true: show business, and memoir writing. Angela's Ashes (which...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    This review may contain what some may consider as spoilers. On the whole, I don't think reading this will take away your enjoyment of the book, however, I just had to put the warning here. This review has now been shifted to my BLOG .
  • John
    Overpraised and insubstantive, the first installment in Frank McCourt's memoir cycle, Angela's Ashes, is mostly based around such an obvious cycle that its mind-numbing: "Times were tough and we were on the dole. Me father drank and came home late at night waking us up and making us swear we'd die for Ireland. Me mother and me father fought and he shaped up. Got a job, but nobody liked him because he was from the dirty north. So he drank his firs...
  • Eddie Owens
    This is a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it, which seems ironic, considering its subject matter.This is a story about grinding poverty and an alcoholic dad who spends the money for food on "the pint". There are terrible tragedies and the family is constantly fighting to survive.Kids and parents alike are nearly starved, most of the time. They are constantly cold and damp because of their lack of clothes and disgusting living conditions. This...
  • Beth F.
    I ended up really enjoying this book, in spite of my earlier frustrations with it. To say this book is depressing is one of the grossest understatements I've made in the past year. The book is narrated by the very young Frank McCourt and follows a child's stream of consciousness to describe the things he sees but doesn't always understand. As he gets older, the narration implies less and becomes more stark as Frankie develops the ability to see a...
  • Jan C
    I loved this book. I started out buying it as a gift for my mother. That might have been the last time I visited her at Christmas time (I'm not crazy about driving trips in the winter). And while there, I started reading it. I knew it I had to buy it for myself when I returned home. I did. And I read the book in about a week, if that long. I'm part Irish. But you don't have to be Irish to like this book. Matter of fact, a lot of the Irish didn't ...
  • Julie H.
    What a beautiful book. You will never look at your home's second story the same way again after reading of the flooding incident and how the family retreated to the upper story. I add this to the long line of reasons for wishing my Grandmother were still around so that I could ask about stories of our family's past in Cork. Read. This. Book.
  • Anastasia
    C'ho questa voglia matta di andare in Irlanda che non mi si scolla più di dosso.Giuro, saranno due o tre giorni che rompo le scatole ai miei con 'sta storia. Sono sorpresi, visto che a me dell'Irlanda fino a poco fa non me ne poteva fregar di meno. Il potere dei libri. Se c'è una cosa che è riuscito a far bene McCourt è descrivere il suo paese, e ora che mi sono affezionata a questa storia, non riesco a far nient'altro che pensare al mio nuov...
  • Carolyn
    Angela’s Ashes is the first of three memoirs written by Irish author Frank McCourt. Angela’s Ashes was published in 1996, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. The story was made into a film directed by Alan Parker in 1999. Frank McCourt begins his story with the tale of how his parents meet in Brooklyn, New York. When Malachy gets his mother Angela pregnant with Frank, she marries him and the two start their life togeth...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    This autobiographical book is so lyrical and well-written but, seriously, it ripped my heart into little pieces and then stomped on it. When I read it my children were small, about the ages of Frank and his siblings at the start of the book. I found the story of their neglect-filled childhood in New York and Ireland--with a helpless mother and an alcoholic father who spends his odd paychecks, as well as their welfare payments, in the pubs and let...