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National Book Critics Circle, Biography/Autobiography, 1997
Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, movingly read in his own voice, bears all the marks of a classic. Born in Depression-era Brooklyn to Irish immigrant parents, Frank was later raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. His mother, Angela, had no money to feed her children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely worked, and when he did, he drank his wages. Angela's Ashes is the story of how Frank endured - wearing shoes repaired with tires, begging for a pig's head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father - a tale he relates with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
Listen to Frank McCourt talk about this book on C-SPAN's Booknotes (7/11/97).
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Karen on 01-30-03
A classic book *and* a classic audiobook
Sometimes the audio version of a good book can be ruined by a bad reader (too much Broadway or something). And sometimes a good reader can cause a book that's boring on paper to come alive in the audio version. But it's a rare and wonderful combination when a top-notch book is brought to life in a top-notch way by its own author in the audio version, especially if it's a memoir. This is an example of that blessed phenomenon. Some people find Angela's Ashes to be depressing, but I find it to be just the opposite. McCourt's attitude is inspiring. He got through his terrible childhood, and triumphed. The pathos is generously tempered with humor. I love this book, and I love to listen to McCourt himself read it to me.
129 of 132 people found this review helpful
By Patti on 07-04-05
Don't Hesitate, Listen!
I hesitated on getting this book. All I had envisioned about this story, including the picture on the book cover, told me it would be a sad, dark, and depressing tale. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Ethnic tales have always captivated me, but they were usually stories from MY ehtnic background. I am not irish and this tale still cpativated me. The child's perspective was so true ...like not understanding what it meant to die for one's country. And the author was able to bring this out in his own voice so well.
Many literary masterpieces leave me cold. But not this one. I truly understand why the Pulitzer was awarded. Nothing was sugar coated. There were awful things that happened, yet the hope came out. Whether his parents were stupid, or loosers, or just plain ignorant ...they were his parents and he loved them. And they loved him. We should all be so lucky.
84 of 86 people found this review helpful