Book Reviews of Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt
ISBN-13: 9780684872155
ISBN-10: 0684872153
Publication Date: 11/30/1999
Pages: 464
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 482

4 stars, based on 482 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

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

reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
"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
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 2
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.
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Helpful Score: 2
If you enjoy reading about bad parents, alcoholism, extreme poverty, illness, and death, then by all means pick up Angela's Ashes. Why is it that many of the "critically acclaimed" books are unenduringly depressing? I understand that this is a memoir, and it is a miracle that Frank McCourt and some of his siblings survived this kind of upbringing, but it isn't exactly what I want to read about in my spare time.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"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.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
this is, without a doubt, one of the best books ever written. it will become a classic. read it. it is a keeper.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
what could possibly be left to say about 'angela's ashes'? it would be like writing a review of 'the lion king' on broadway. here's the deal. you know its brilliant. you know its critically acclaimed. now you can find out why.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A wonderful book that makes you appreciate life.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this book (and movie as well) were interesting and thought provoking. I was very surprised when the family returned to Ireland after having come to America, but not be able to make it. Their life in Ireland wasn't any better ... than if they had just stayed in America. It makes you wonder how families (mothers in particular) survived such poverty, heartache and death. I am interested in reading McCourt's other book "'Tis" as well, especially since this is the last chapter and ending of the book.

I am a bit surprised that its on the extra reading for my DD's High School Independent Novel reading list ... as some of the parts get rather sexually explicit. But I don't think it's that bad and wouldn't dream of banning it.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a fast but incredibly enjoyable read. Just when you think the book is headed in one direction, it takes an entirely different (and many times comic) path. The book is similar to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn although adds more humor to the mix.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best memoirs I've read. His story really draws you in. A must read!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best books I have read. Frank McCourt is a wonderful and very interesting writter. His life story is full of fascinating people and events. This is a must read!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great book that gives you insight how the poor lived. Sad, but good!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book. Heard it first on tape from the library.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
Memoir of Frank McCourt's family life while growing up in Ireland. Tragic, sad but uplifting.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 18 more book reviews
A very good writer, but too self-indulgent for me (this is only one of his autobiographies).
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 13 more book reviews
a childhood memoir both funny and forgiving.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 12 more book reviews
This was an incredible book, absolutely incredible. I refused to read it for years as I was afraid it would just be way too depressing....well, I got brave & am so grateful I didn't continue denying this book. It is unfathomably sad in parts yet never despairing & what I loved the most was just when I thought I couldn't take anymore nor cry any harder -- the next instant I'm laughing so hard that I'm still crying.
Angela's Ashes is very well written and is a perfect balance of all the good and bad traits found in the human being.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
A great read. Although Frank McCourt's childhood was rough he was able to write about it with some humor. Made me want to find his second novel ASAP!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
This was a thrill for me since I am Irish and my brother-in-law is from the setting of the book.

At times extremely funny and at times very sad.
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Poignant, moving, wonderful. You must read this book.
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Very well written and very moving.
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I could not put this book down. This autobiography absolutely moved me from tears, to out loud laughter, to disbelief. It will give you such a perspective of life. A must read!!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 17 more book reviews
loved this so much I has to get the next one.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
If you haven't read this you should, I think.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
This is a very difficult book to read. Few of us have experienced such poverty and to read and know this is not fiction but the true life accounting of the author caused me to feel extreme discomfort. But, like watching a car wreck, you cannot help but continue on through accounts of hunger, pain, and hurtful family relationships. In fact, I ordered the follow-on book of Frank McCourt's life so that I might understand where he landed and how he saved himself from the utter despair of his childhood. Great book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
A story of an Irish Catholic family. It's a coming-of-age story that made me laugh out loud, but at moments found my heart breaking. It's a very educational book.
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This is a sad yet intriguing story. One of those books that you can't put down. The sequel to this book is not as good. This is one of my very favorite books.
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An incredible book about growing up as a poor little boy in Ireland. So good, I had to immediately purchase its sequel.
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I absolutely love this book. It is so well written and it pulls you into it the story.
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This true story keeps you on the edge of your seat. I first read the book then saw the movie. The movie was good but the book of course goes into much more detail. Well worth reading.
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This is one of those books I couldn't put down. I read it through the night, into next day. Couldn't stop. I recommend it. It's powerfully dark at times, but wow.
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I read this book because I loved "Ireland" so much. I really enjoyed most of it, but felt let down at the end. I feel that the whole feeling of the book is brought down by the end. Of course it is a memoir, so I guess there was no choice?
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Great book. Another perspective on the Holocaust. This from a young Jewish boy.
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This is one of those books that you can't put down. Mainly because you begin to wonder if things will EVER look up for Frank! The descriptions of that particular place (Limerick) and that particular time (pre and just post WWII) will stick with me forever.
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REALLY LIKED IT, VERY SAD
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McCourt's memoir is sad, but with hysterical views told from the eyes of a child. I loved this book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
The story is tragic and emotionally draining but it just may make you appreciate your own childhood. The author's writing style is much like reading over journal entries and the thoughts can be a bit "choppy" but as the book progresses, it is easier to appreciate.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 5 more book reviews
This was written as a child thinks so was a very interesting read!!!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Frank McCourt's storytelling abilities are superb. I was caught up in his life--felt his pain, his frustration, his joy, and enjoyed his humor.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 97 more book reviews
Soooooooooo Funny yet sad
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 26 more book reviews
Memoir of Frank McCourt who grew up in an Irish slum.
Both funny and heart-wrenching.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 141 more book reviews
This is the only book by this author that I found gripping. I rushed out to get the sequel ('Tis) but it fell flat for me. This one, however, was captivating. I couldn't stop reading it. It was so fantastic. All the "hype" was on-target.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 47 more book reviews
This was a good book about a time in life where things were so different from what we know now. I really enjoyed this book.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 77 more book reviews
A spellbinding memoir of childhood that includes aching sadness and desperate humor.
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Every once in while, a lucky reader comes across a book that makes an indelible impression, a book you immediately want to share with everyone around you.l..Frank McCourt's life, and his searing telling of it revelas all we need to know about being human. Linnea Lannon, Detroit Free Press.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 67 more book reviews
Great read, pretty detailed and may disturb some.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 149 more book reviews
Really an excellent memoir by a fine writer. Will evoke all the horrors of the slums of New York and Limerick. Follow this with 'Tis.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 4 more book reviews
thoroughly enjoyed this book. very interesting memoir of the childhood of Frank McCourt, very insightful.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
This is my second copy of this book. The first, I wore out lending to friends and family. A must read!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on
Great story!
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I love his writing & wish his books were even longer.
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I read this book after seeing the movie and enjoyed the book much better. It was a little slow at the start but was a good read.
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One of the best books I have ever read
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Good story, but sad.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 43 more book reviews
A most excellent biography. Worthy of all the praise.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 171 more book reviews
AN EXCELLENT BOOK I DON'T USUALLY LIKE BIOGRAPHIES BUT THIS AN WAS GREAT
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 269 more book reviews
It's amazing that McCourt survived the childhood described in this book. He is a wonderful storyteller...
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 31 more book reviews
The book that started McCourt's rise to fame.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 31 more book reviews
One of the most depressing novels I've ever read. I enjoyed it, if you could use that word on such a downer of a book, but I had to take a break every so often to make sure I didn't get too morose and not want to finish.
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Very good book. Draws you right into the story.
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Great book. Funny and forgiving.
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This book is excellent and a National Bestseller. I just finished McCourt's newest, Teacherman and loved it too.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 6 more book reviews
Excellent autobiography of the author, Frank McCourt and his family and their struggles living in poverty in Ireland during the 1930'a and early 40's. This book won the Pulitzer Prize. Published 1996 and 1999.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 8 more book reviews
This is a very thought-provoking book about growing up in an Irish family in extreme poverty. Being a child of Irish immigrants myself, it was quite an eye opener.
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It started off a little slow, but the initial struggle is worth it. McCourt does a wonderful job describing his life in the 1930s. His descriptive passages make you feel like you are there, experiencing life with him.
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Wonderful book. I loved the author's writing style.
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I loved this book. Dreadfully sad, and yet McCourt's humor sustains you throughout. What an amazing life he led.
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This book was good but had some sad parts.
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Super read. Abject poverty of an Irish family and yet at least one member of the family rises above it, using it as a vehicle to attain reputation as an author!
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Gripping, heart-wrenching true story!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 367 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 106 more book reviews
If you get the chance listen to Frank McCourt read this, his own story. The combination of this beautiful, funny and sad story all told in his own voice is one of the BEST audio "reads" ever!
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 51 more book reviews
a little slow in the beginning...
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Charming, tender, heartwarming. Loved every word!
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Loved this book. Can't wait for the next one ('Tis) to arrive.
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Very intense!!
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The New York Times Best Seller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
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beginning-excellent story
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Almost a classic...such a great book, I just realized I have two copies!
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Wonderful book. Highly recommended
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Fabulous book.
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" A monument to the self-perpetuation power of the human spirit...An accomplished, authoritative, and shimmering example of the memoririst's art."...The Miami Herald
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Read my online review at YOUR ARE WHAT YOU READ:

http://youarewhatyouread2.blogspot.com/2006/03/2-angelas-ashes-by-frank-mccourt.html
reviewed Angela's Ashes on + 255 more book reviews
"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.