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Angela's Ashes


Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Memories of an impoverished upbringing in an Irish Catholic family returning to Ireland from America. Author Frank McCourt recounts his early years in Ireland to his eventual return to America at the age of nineteen.

For Discussion: Despite McCourt's horrid poverty, mind-numbing starvation and devastating losses, Angela's Ashes is not a tragic memoir. It is uplifting, triumphant even. How does McCourt accomplish this?

Review: In his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Frank McCourt chronicles the childhood that produced his storytelling genius. If he is correct in his statement that “a happy childhood is hardly worth your while,” then he must have had a most rewarding childhood ever known. The most miserable childhood, the Irish Catholic childhood of the son of an alcoholic father who knows enough of his wife’s religion not to use birth control, starts off badly as the family’s move from New York to Limerick, Ireland foreshadows many wrong choices. His mother points out Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty where all the immigrants come in and then vomits as they leave the land of opportunity for the poison of the River Shannon. Humor is used as a buffer against the painful life of McCourt and his family and consequently the reader laughs through tears, running the gamut of emotions that McCourt himself must have experienced. 5 stars (* * * * *)

- review submitted by John

Submitted by Sharon, posted on Thursday February 22, @12:59PM

Re: Feature: Angela's Ashes

Some of it is accomplished with humor. Stories like the one about the false teeth and the sex discussion with the priest use humor to show a sense of family and community commitment.

by Sue on Thursday February 22, @01:01PM

Re: Feature: Angela's Ashes

I agree. It's amazing how a story so sad can be told so humorously! I also think that there is a vein of hope that is present throughout this story, and survival itself brings a sense of triumph.

Maybe the story being told from the perspective of youth and it's natural optimism, (or the adult perception of youth) also helped.

by Em on Thursday February 22, @01:03PM

Re: Feature: Angela's Ashes

i do not think that it is right that Malachy drinks his wages.

by ashely on Monday February 23, @07:26PM

Re: Angela's Ashes

I agree,i could read this book over and over again and never tire of it!

by VICKI on Tuesday May 18, @05:37AM

Re: Angela's Ashes

I was fascinated and repelled at the same time while reading the book. The poverty the family experienced was simply overwhelming. It made me take an inventory of all my belongings and to realize that the majority of us have much more than we actually need. I started seeing "SOAP" and "TOWELS" in a whole new light.

by patricia taft on Sunday December 10, @10:47AM

Re: Angela's Ashes


by josh on Monday May 17, @07:34AM

How retarded this book is....

Well... I had to read this book for my senior literature class and I have to say..... it ruined my last semester of high school. Thanks alot Frank McCourt you should have died with the rest of the drunk "bastards"

by John on Monday May 17, @07:38AM

Re: Angela's Ashes

Dear John, above me. I think that was ridiculously rude. If you had any class at all, or were just a little less egocentric, you would realize that there are people in the world less fortunate than you. Open your eyes, and grow up, and stop worrying what other people think of you and enjoy your life.

I loved the book. It changed my aspect on life tremendously. Bravo, Frank McCourt.

by Sarah on Tuesday July 27, @07:51PM

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