Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1)

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt #1)
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 05, 1996
ISBN
068484267X
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“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.

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5 reviews
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A Hard One But Worth It
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Amy

I found this book to also be a hard read, but definatley worth it. It is the story of an Irish Catholic family growing up in the United States and Ireland, and the different things that they daily encounter. I really enjoyed reading the book, but it was hard at times seeing the family (especailly the children) in such poverty and dealing with issues such as sickness, death, and drinking.

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Surprising
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4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Samantha Watt

I figured that this book would be like the rest of the boring books my teacher makes us read but it wasn't.

It surprised me the most of the things that were said, the stuff i wouldn't expect a teacher to let their students read.

The talks about sex and other things.

For school books this was my favorite.
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Good book
Overall rating
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Jamie

I really liked this book. This book gave me a better look at the way it is for someone with very little money and who just come to America during The Great Depression. It gave me a peek into how life is as a little kid who hardly understands whats happening. The author has a grand way of telling us about how racism isnt just in America or between countries it exists between the north and south of a single country. It showed how hard it can be to get a job, no matter how qualified you are; if you have a disliked northern accent in southern Ireland you wont be hired. It showed how hard it is as an oldest child having to take care of your younger siblings and how difficult it is to see three of them die in less than a year.
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tear-jerker
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Dara

OH MY GOSH. This book was the best biography i have ever read...it is a truly sad book...i cried through the whole thing. The thing these people go through throughout this book is unimaginable. Even worse, Frank McCourt is still alive today, meaning it happened not-so-long ago. The struggles throughout his life never end. I thought he portrayed all of his characters well, and I felt his attachment to all the people he met throughout his life and how they had an affect on him. This is what made his life so sad. He appreciated what everyone did for him, yet he had nothing.
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fascinating biography
Overall rating
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Emily

Frank McCourt's fascinating account of his childhood as an Irish Catholic is both sad and heartwarming. He tells of his family, constantly growing due to a lack of birth control and a drunken father, whom he learns to support at a very early age. He tells of deceased siblings, his weak mother and her attempts to feed her children, his experiences with strict schoolteachers and his confusion with the church, learning about sin and confession, and living in numerous poor neighborhoods with a lack of plumbing and stricken with tuberculosis. Obviously, the story is very depressing at times, but it's worth reading for the sake of comparison to the stereotypically lucky American childhood.
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