"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood," writes Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes. "Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Welcome, then, to the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. It turns out that prospects weren't so great back in the old country either--not with Malachy for a father. A chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic, he appears to be the model on which many of our more insulting cliches about drunken Irish manhood are based. Mix in abject poverty and frequent death and illness and you have all the makings of a truly difficult early life. Fortunately, in McCourt's able hands it also has all the makings for a compelling memoir
Maybe I'm just a heartless oaf, but all that sweet humanity that the book got so much credit for largely missed me. But nice writing and not your average memoir.
I enjoyed this book back when it was first released. Much better than the movie. The movie was such a disappointment but Frank McCourt wrote a very moving, and quite sad account of his life in Ireland way back when. Good quick read, don't bother with the film.
"Angela's Ashes" was an amazing memoir that allowed the reader to see that there are so many things in our present day lives that we take for granted, while others around us barely have enough to survive. Frank McCourt was one of the latter. He survived against the odds while the world seemed stacked against him. During a time of great poverty the McCourt family kept their heads above water, literally in some occasions. While issues regarding children may upset you the story of his first communion will have you laughing. This is a great book for everyone.
Excellent story telling especially for a first book. I loved this one from front to back. It is told so vividly, you feel as if you are watching a movie.The story brings out how painfully cruel poverty is. Made me aware of all of the things that are taken for granted each and every day. We dont even realize how much we do have. I love how the author used humor in telling his story and how he could find that and bring it out amidst the horror. I honestly didn't expect to even like this book but then fell in love with it. I would recommend this memoir to everyone that hasn't yet read it--you will love it too, without a doubt.