Book Reviews of Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt
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ISBN-13: 9780684842677
ISBN-10: 068484267X
Publication Date: 5/25/1999
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 789

4 stars, based on 789 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

91 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
This book won the Pullitzer prize and is excellent. It is hard to understand the kind of poverty that drove so many immigrants to this country. This book recalls the Northern Ireland childhood of the author and is the story of his family and their survival. An amazing story that is, in a way, the story of many of our grandparents who came here to find a better life not only for themselves but their decendants- us. If you are not grateful, you will be after reading this book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This is a very moving and heart wrenching story of a young boy's life. It details life in Ireland, in the poorest sections of town, most of the time in gruesome and honest detail. I'm glad I read it, but it's not for everyone. It deals with severe alcoholism, emotional and physical neglect of infants and children; and basically , "man's inhumanity towards man".
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 270 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I had never heard of this book before coming on PBS...I saw it when I did the search option, and thought it sounded good, and it is now one of my top favorite books of all time. What a great book, and now that I have it, I don't know if I will part with my copy or not. :-) I highly recommend it, very very good reading.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
One of those books that horrifies and facinates at the same time. To think that "modern" times can still have such challenges as the characters in this book were faced with is hard to think about. However, McCort's written voice (heck, you can almost hear the broge while reading it) and the written tone is light in many places, and the missunderstandings and misshaps caused by such utter "ignorance" of the time and place are often hysterical.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is a wonderfully written memoir of Frank McCourt's childhood, first in New York and then in Ireland. You see his mother (Angela), father, and siblings live a very hard and tumultuous life. Frank McCourt's writing style is very unique... very conversational. But, also very colorful... you can see what he sees and feel the emotion he feels. You will laugh out loud at times and feel like crying at others. The book ends with great hope, as he heads to New York to begin his adult life there. The next book, 'Tis, continues the story. Highly recommended.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 5
God this was a funny book, even though the story it tells is terrifically sad. McCourth does an excellent job of narrating this memoir with a fresh, uncynical voice. It almost feels like he is the child telling the story instead of a grown man looking back--although it is not childishly written. Much much better than the movie. Some parts of this will make you laugh out loud.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I kept reading this book thinking that something good had to eventually happen to this family. I did not enjoy the book and often had to force myself to continue through it but I do admire the author for eventually overcoming the extreme odds stacked against him at a young age.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 104 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I knew that this would be sad, but the spirit of the child shines through like the sun between clouds.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
His best work--a must read and appreciate
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Despite his difficult childhood growing up very poor, Frank McCourt brings humor and poignancy to his memoir. This book is so beautifully written that it's hard for a reader to remember that this is the US in 2007, not mid-century Ireland. Touching, haunting, and memorable.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 504 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book tells the story of author Frank McCourt's difficult childhood. Either he has an amazing memory or, more likely, he's embellished a bit of this to fill in the gaps to make it a readable memoir. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast, never mind what I ate or longed to eat for breakfast when I was wee child.

The book reads like a novel and I quickly forgot it was a first hand account of growing up in a slum with absolutely nothing but an exhausted mum, a lush of a dad who can't keep a job and a slew of younger siblings who seem to die off as soon as the next one is born. Frank grows up quickly because mom is tired, dad is lazy and he and his younger brother must take of the younger kids, scour the lane for bits of coal to keep his family warm, steal bits of food to survive and then face cruelty at school. The book is pretty grim so far as I've read but compelling enough that I want to continue reading to see how Frank makes it out alive.

I've seen criticism that this book is a one-sided view of Ireland during the depression and from what I read it looks like that is true. Many times in the book the author points out that other boys had shoes and weren't eating a pig head for Christmas dinner but the author gets away with it because he is writing from his experience and not of the experience of the boy with the full belly and hard-working father.

This was a thoroughly compelling, wryly funny, and often tragic read. It's much longer than most of the books I read but when the end came it was too soon.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Beautiful story - perfect ending. Sad life, except for the father, whom i would like to speak to face to face, this was a pretty loving family. Mom loved her boys, and i realize would not of considered dumping the "dad", but i wish she could of smartened up some. It almost seemed like the kids had all the sense of survival. I cried for these boys. Nothing in life is a sure thing but things were terrible for these boys when they were young. Everything that comes to them now has been earned. If you know someone who is never satisified with what they have, ask them to read this book. They will feel blessed. Loved the book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Okay, so I'm not a Frank McCourt fan. I'll admit that openly. I find his writing to be uncharacteristally whiney and without deep meaning as opposed to other Irish contemporaries of his. Although the story does portray a very real situation of growing up in certain areas of Ireland, McCourt fails to find beauty and meaning in anything around him, which is a shame. While I think this book should be read as a comprehensive shortlist of contemporary Irish literature, I have a few suggestions of my own that might lend readers to a more fair and balanced view of this genre.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
really good book. great writing style. would read it again.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
When I first started reading this book, I didn't like it. But I couldn't put it down until, a few days later, I finished it. I'm glad I read it, although I could have done without all the sexual content that McCourt felt necessary to include. His writing style -- as through the eyes of a child -- was very effective. I always mentally rate a book by whether I learned something in a book. This book was a teacher to me of the extremes of poverty, of Irish culture, of Irist humor and the love of the Irishmen of words and music and poem. Intelligence isn't only from the halls of university; it can indeed be found among the most humble of men. McCourt's father himself is quite a study of humanity. Indeed, the very title of this book has many implications and possible meanings. Yes, I am glad I read it, and I will read his further books although I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it due to its profanity and vulgarity.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book - it is a poignant look at a really tough upbringing - the book was better for me than the film - when it was simply too overwhelming I could put it down for a break.....the film had me walking out after 30 minutes. A very good read. A classic everyone should read.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It's amazing that this book is as entertaining as it is being about a child's eye view of poverty and the weight of the catholic church on a child's thought processes at such an early age. Excellent book!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
fantastic book, touching and heart wrenching
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a very difficult book to read. It is truly hard for me to understand this level of poverty. I keep reading thinking their lives would change for the better. I'm sure there are many who do understand and some who have it harder. It really makes you think and thank God.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
There aren't that many books that I could read and re-read but this is one of them. Frank McCourts account of his family could be told by thousands of people who had lives such as this. Prepare your emotions they will go in all directions.
So good.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Frank's story of growing up poor in Ireland. A moving story, beautifully written. Often heartbreaking and just as often hilariaous, I was touched and uplifted by his resilience. What spirit!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A gut wrenching story of a childhood of poverty and survival.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best memoirs I've read.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent book. True story, a tear-jerker at times, that will pull at your heartstrings...and will also bring laughter. The reality of poverty in Ireland.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
He is matchless in his first book. As an Irish-American child growing up in a Boston suburb this is the best way I've ever found to describe my childhood. The movie is superb also. His later books, notsomuch. On my list to have my grandchild read and see when se wants to know her ancestry.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 96 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Absolutely loved reading this memoir. Completely captivating. An amazing story of love, loyalty and a families struggle to survive.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A treasure of a memoir. Alternately despairing and laugh-out-loud funny, Angela's Ashes is a portrait of hope in the face of hopelessness.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Incredible. One of the top five books I've read in my life. Story about the author's experiences in the poorest parts of Ireland as a child.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A WONDERFUL memoir - gritty, honest, and heartbreaking.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 1
McCourt has a way of drawing you in -- a must read, I'd say.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 1
I could not put this book down. It made me appreciate all that I have. The trials this family underwent had me in tears often. A true triumph for Frank and his brothers to make it out of poverty and to become the authors, actors and successful people they are today.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a really well written memoir. It's gripping and poignant throughout!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A beautiful memoir of a childhood,---living in poverty in Ireland. Written with love and even humor. A story of survival and growth, beyond all odds. A story you will never forget! Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
one of my favorite books of all times....and auther, always witty, and humorous. Real story, real emotions.....great book
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book... Tore through it in a couple of days... Frank McCourt's childhood was quite absorbing to read about. Sobering too!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 1
An amazing story - heart-rending, funny, sad, horrifying. You name it!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful book about growing up very poor in Ireland. Reminded my grandfather of his life. A must read for anyone from Irish decent.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderfully tragic.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was tragically gripping. I cried all the way through.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 97 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A spellbinding memoir of childhood that swerves flawlessly between aching sadness and desperate humor. great book
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I hated this book. How long can you read about a downtrodden family treated horrendously by their dad. Yuck!! On the other hand it did win the pulitzer prize and it is my friends favorite book of all time. You decide.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 1
I am a sucker for memoirs and Frank McCourt is exceptional at depicting what he saw of his mother's life through his childhood eyes.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 17 more book reviews
What an amazing look into this man's life, growing up in Ireland poor. Simply an excellent read. Now I need to look for his other books!!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
i couldn't put it down
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 30 more book reviews
Yikes! I wanted to avert my eyes and not gawk at this "traffic accident on the side of the road" but morbid curiosity won out and I'm ultimately glad it did.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
Don't understand how this book became a bestseller.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 49 more book reviews
Excellent story told by a preteen boy in a poor town in Ireland. He talks about his poor family, how they live and get food, he talks about the church and the presence they have in Ireland, he talks about his odd jobs. It is an honest memoir of a young boy who is lost and trying to figure out life and what to do with his. I liked learning about the reality of the culture of a small Ireland town. This book is definately worth reading.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
This is literally my favorite book ever. Yes, it is very sad, but it is extremely touching and very inspirational. McCourt succeeds in seeing beyond the awful events of his childhood and tells his stories in a humorous and light-hearted way, in spite of the content. I've read this memoir multiple times and I never cease to enjoy it.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
This is a great book, very moving and really puts you into the story. I loved the book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
One of the best books I have ever read!!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 117 more book reviews
i really liked this book. It is Worth reading.What a life Frank Mccourt had.I loved reading all about his life.It makes you count your blessings.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 2 more book reviews
I loved this book. It is funny and sad all at the same time. I can't wait to read part 2, "Tis".
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
wow. This is one of our favorite books. This is a must read
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
I want more! An amazing story of survival written beautifully. You can almost hear a melodious Irish voice. I will now go for the audiobook to really hear his voice!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
What a great story! This is a must read!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Enjoyable reading.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 21 more book reviews
Have never forgotten how the author described the way people were treated with "casual cruelty" - sad sad sad.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 192 more book reviews
I loved this story! If you're even a wee-bit Irish you'll love it too!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 88 more book reviews
very good, very sad,very memorable.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Excellent book. I would recommend this to anyone.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 112 more book reviews
Frank McCourt is an awesome writer! He holds your interest w/ every page. I highly recommend all of his books!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 13 more book reviews
interesting story about a childhood in poverty in pre-WWII Ireland.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 49 more book reviews
A classic. So well written. His best. What a story. Don't miss.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 389 more book reviews
FROM THE PUBLISHER
"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.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 334 more book reviews
Highly readable memoir of Ireland. This book is stunning in its clarity and drama, told by the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The movie of the same name was based on this book. I found this memoir to be a fantastic read.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 11 more book reviews
Tearjerker, slice of history
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 7 more book reviews
World famous story of a courageous little girl who wins the hearts of many everyday. Hopes dreams and ambitions are never lost for Angela; they all live on because of this book about Angela and her struggles while living a confined life of damnation.
Creative story telling of a true story about a little Irish girl who's boundless zeal for life, despite terrible tragedies and against all odds,
will make an indelible impression on your heart as it has everyone whose lucky enough to read this memoir.
The movie made from this now famous literary contribution to literature which continues to serve as a spellbinding example of life's self- perpetuating power and the resiliency of human spirit in children, strikes an aching sadness with equally desperate nerves of humo,as a profound work of lasting beauty. You'll be glad you've invested in reading this story!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 32 more book reviews
I would give it a rating of 10 because it won a Pulitzer, but I haven't read it. It was my wife's book; I believed she enjoyed it. A memoir of a young man growing up in Ireland.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 24 more book reviews
A heartbreaking memoir of an Irish childhood.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 74 more book reviews
I didn't like the book at all. It was really a disappointment.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 3 more book reviews
Interesting look at how the poorest people of Ireland lived. Personal narrative, a little depressing.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 22 more book reviews
This book was recommended to me from my English Professor. It is really sad the conditions these people have to live in, but a very good book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 29 more book reviews
Frank MC Court was born in NY from an Irish Immigrant. He tell a story of how the grow up poor during the Great Depression Era. He talks about his struggle in school, religion, how they didn't have money for food and clothes. His father is a alcoholic. He lost a sister and twin brothers. He share his humor of his life with singing and poetic.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 62 more book reviews
Angela's Ashes is an epic memoir of poverty, sadness and determination.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 19 more book reviews
Great Book! The motion picture was quite faithful to the book, but not as entertaining. You will laugh, and cry, and love the McCourt family.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 70 more book reviews
Great book! Much better than the movie, so I'd recommend reading it. Story about growing up in Ireland and being poor.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 32 more book reviews
People raved about this book. I found it very depressing. I didn't see the humor in people's suffering. Portions of the book were entertaining but I found myself looking forward to the end.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 10 more book reviews
Frank McCourts life, and his searing telling of it, reveal all we need to know about human"-Detroit Free Press
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 18 more book reviews
Good book...
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 237 more book reviews
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE "THE POWER OF THIS MEMOIR IS THAT IT MAKES YOU BELIEVE THE CLAIM THAT DESPITE THE RAGS,HUNGER AND PAIN, LOVE AND STRENGTH SO COME OUT OF MISERY,,,,,,,"
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 17 more book reviews
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 14 more book reviews
"Every once in a while, a lucky reader comes across a book that makes an indelible impression , a book you immediattely want to share with everyone around you... Frank McCourt's life, and his searing telling of it, reveal all we need to know about being human"
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 25 more book reviews
sad story.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 14 more book reviews
Horrible. I couldn't get past the first chapter, because the image of the father dropping his son was so awful. I can't get it out of my head and I wish I had never picked this book up.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 33 more book reviews
Nice story -
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 7 more book reviews
Very good and entertaining!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 272 more book reviews
A very good book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 19 more book reviews
good book recommended by oprah!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 3 more book reviews
Loved it!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 14 more book reviews
GREAT STORY
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 11 more book reviews
Brilliant