Read Angela's Ashes Online by Frank McCourt
Click Here to Download the Book "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 Malach--- 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.
Reviews I’m sorry that I ever saw the movie. It was very good and followed the book well but “hearing” the book read by the author - a recounting of the youth of the author, Frank McCourt (first as a 4 year old, then at age 10 and a teenager) - is amazing and very touching. It deserved the Pulitzer Prize. What abject poverty! There’s also a seemingly never ending battle with alcohol – so bad that his father drinks away the family’s food money. This is a contributing factor in the loss of three babies! The “evils of drink” are truly evil. Food – or hunger – is always on the mind of the McCourt’s. While there are some stinging anti-Catholic stereotypes, they can be very funny. If you thought David Copperfield had it rough…
Why is it wonderful writing is always about the crappiest things? I'm halfway through this collection of sadness. This is the point where I think, "Is this really worth it to continue?" It's so depressing and so hard to read, particularly during this miserable cold, wet, gray, awful weather week in Portland, with my measly 401K dwindling to nothing and my own kids grown up out of my control, doing things they really shouldn't. Keep reading? Keep hope alive? Keep thinking about crawling under the covers and hoping it all ends with as little pain as possible? I kept reading and happy I did so. I read the last 200 pages or more, without stopping. It's that good. Love the character and immediacy of the language.
This is one of my most favorite books of all-time. And according to some of the other reviews, it looks like I am a shallow, disturbing and perverted person for loving it as much as I do. Some of the humor is pretty dark, some of it is well-hidden. But it's there. Some of McCourt's stories are hysterical. And I am sure McCourt's experiences weren't commonplace for every single person living in Ireland at that particular time, but they were for him. And his stories, however it might offend you or your Irish heritage, are his truth.
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