Customer Reviews for

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Angela's Ashes: A Truly Compelling Tale

Angela's Ashes is a compelling and inspiring memoir that gives the reader insight on the life of a poverty stricken Irish boy, Frank McCourt, and his family during WWII. McCourt's writing style draws the reader into his tale and creates pictures from his words that make...
Angela's Ashes is a compelling and inspiring memoir that gives the reader insight on the life of a poverty stricken Irish boy, Frank McCourt, and his family during WWII. McCourt's writing style draws the reader into his tale and creates pictures from his words that make readers seem like they are actually there. The memoir begins in New York in a small cramped apartment where McCourt lived for the first four years of his life. His parents had come to America with the hopes of living the American Dream, but instead their family encountered a struggle for food, clothing, and money. After enduring the hardships of America, the McCourt family decided to move back to Ireland in the hopes of finding a better life back in their homeland; however they again did not succeed in creating a better life for themselves. Despite the promises made by Frank's father to bring home money for his family, his alcoholic father continued to spend all of his paycheck on "the pint" leaving no money left over for his family. This left Frank and the rest of his family to fend for themselves in anyway they could. Frank's mother would beg the church for money, and Frank and his siblings would steal whatever food they could. They lived in tattered clothing and a worn down house, with hardly any food. Frank also endured hardships within school and his church. His teachers constantly called him stupid, beat him, and shot him down because of his ranking within society. However, Frank does finish school, proving his intelligence. Frank's school and church had consistently told that he has to die for God just as Jesus Christ died for our sins, however his father continuously tells Frank and his siblings to die for Ireland because it is the only worthy thing to die for. Frank becomes confused about life because he was never taught that there was anything to live for. After his father leaves for England to find work, Frank realizes that he must live to provide for his family and make a better life for himself and do more than what people expect from him. In his memoir, McCourt points out, "People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years" (McCourt11). Despite all of these hardships and obstacles, McCourt endures and learns to overcome the challenges that life throws at him. Angela's Ashes is a truly inspirational story full of perseverance, determination, and most of all, hope for the future. It teaches the reader to appreciate what they have and recognize the hardships that others must face. McCourt's writing style engages the reader in the tale and allows them to feel the same sadness, humor, joy, and anger that Frank McCourt felt throughout his childhood. Frank McCourt's story is a emotional rollercoaster, and in the end, it is well worth the ride.

posted by Ellen13 on January 10, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

You need the stomach for it!!!

The book seemed sick at some points. You really need he stomach for it. I recogment reading the book before the movie

posted by Anonymous on July 8, 2003

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Page 2 of 37
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2006

    Interesting and detailed

    The book was very interesting. it taught me a lot about the past and how people were in that time frame. Frank McCourt really showed the hardships he went through and that his family went through. i think once a person reads this book they will have a greater knowledge and understanding for people back then. in some parts of the book was really heartbreaking but other parts showed great courage.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    Simply a horrible book

    I could never reccomend this to even the wost of enemies

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    This book was ok.

    The book Angela's Ashes was very sad and depressing. I cannot believe such a thing actually happened to one family. Poverty, the lack of social class, and sickness played a major role in making Frank McCourt's life so tragic. I do not recommend just anyone reading this book. I would only recommend reading this book for research purposes only or if you were just curious. The book is about going through life dealing with poverty and sickness from day to day. Therefore, I believe this story is very strong, but I do not believe all age groups should be exposed to this type of literature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2003

    Don't Wate Your Time

    I chose to read this book because I thought that it would be enjoyable. I presumed that a Pulitzer Prize winning book would be worth my time.Well, I was wrong. I don¿t think that I have ever been so wrong in my whole life. I didn¿t think that it was very well written. I thought that it was very complicated. After a while all the events just seemed to turn into one big blur in my mind. There was a definite lack of quotation marks, which I know is a technique for writing, but I found it to be a complex story. It was very difficult to follow. I found the book to be monotonous and lackluster. It was very repetitive. The family has a child, the kid passes on, and they have another kid, that kid dies too. The father gets a job, he drinks all of the paycheck away, he gets fired from his job and the unrelenting cycle continues. I found the book to be rather depressing. There was no humor whatsoever. I know that some people would find it interesting, but I guess reading memoirs is just not my thing. If you enjoy reading depressing stories of people living in poverty, then go ahead this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2002

    Libbys review

    I thought that this book was really sad, it touched on points that were heartbreaking. I am only 15 years of age and i didnt understand all of it but that is because i dont live like that and i dont know how anyone could. It was thouroughly enjoying and i reccomedn it to anyone, Luv Libbs

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2002

    'Nice'

    Angela's Ashes was a charming story if you're looking to kill time. But as far as entertainment, it comes up lacking. I enjoyed following Frank through the years, but the book itself could've used a bit of polishing. Give it a whirl, though, if you're inclined. It's like the ugly girl that everyone says has a great personality. If you can get past the outer flaws, you'll find it pleasant.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2014

    &starf Solarblaze's Biography &starf

    Name: Solarblaze <br> First Warrior Name: Sunblaze <p> Gender: &female <p> Appearance: <br> Fiery Golden/Ginger fur <br> Deep Amber eyes <p> Mate: Sunflare <p> Kits: <br> Sleetfall ((Daughter)) <br> Flarestrike ((Son)) <br> Thunderstripe ((Son)) <br> Sunwing ((Daughter)) <p> Kin: Too Many To Name

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    The first autobiography that kept me entertained enough to finis

    The first autobiography that kept me entertained enough to finish. I am absolutely in love with this book. Clearly some people did not connect to this heart wrenching story. It is beautifully sad.
    I'd recommend this to anyone. It is a fantastic read.

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  • Posted September 1, 2014

    Frank McCourt has a very difficult childhood. Although born in N

    Frank McCourt has a very difficult childhood. Although born in New York, he is raised in Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s father rarely works, and when he does, he drinks away all the wages and comes home drunk in the middle of the night making his sons promise to die for Ireland. Despite the fact that Malachy is a major cause for the McCourt’s starvation, he is still able to provide Frank with one thing: his stories. From Cuchulain to the angel on the seventh step, Malachy is always satisfying Frank with his stories. Through the immerse poverty the McCourts suffered, many of Frank’s siblings died due to starvation. Frank himself visits the hospital with typhoid fever and complications with his eyes. This timeless memoir is also a story of survival, from begging for food on Christmas to gathering coal on the street, Frank is always in a constant state of trying to survive. Although a sad story of a depressing childhood, Angela’s Ashes is a classic memoir and a must read. I would rate this book 4.5/5 stars. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Ashclan bios in result 3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    c=:::::::::::>

    Droped goldenheart and gave her to burrningahes

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Air

    Ran in and grabbed sweetkits body. She then took it to thundrclan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    To Burningcinder

    Whats yer proof that i did it >:T? Hmm? Well?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Angela's Ashes depicts a difficult time for many people around t

    Angela's Ashes depicts a difficult time for many people around the world. At the time of the Great Depression, America's stock market had crashed and Europe was still recovering from World War One. This story is written by Frank McCourt, who was a child during this time. Frank's childhood is nothing like what we see nowadays. His family lives in America for the first few years of his life, struggling to break even as their father is an alcoholic who spends his time at local speakeasys and bars. After several years in America, the family moves back to their homeland of Ireland. Through his childhood and pre-teen years, we see Frank become more and more mature. He has an easier time making friends with elderly people than schoolmates, and he enjoys reading books that they suggest. The friends that he meets become like father figures to him since his father is distant, not even living in the same house as his wife and children. Frank begins to see that his life is already painted for him, as he is destined to be poor and impoverished. He has dreams of moving back to America and achieving his dreams, but  he continues to help his family because their father is working in England. His life is not only difficult due to poverty, but also his own personal issues. He deals with sin and religion, and understanding the workings of God.

    Frank's life proves that what we have in our lives is fantastic. We have parents who love us and don't leave us randomly. We have clothes on our back and shoes on our feet, something that Frank at times never had. it's fantastic to see that Frank fought his way through all of his hardships, financial and personal, to reach a better life that he had always dreamed of. This memoir paints a perfect picture of the reason that so many immigrants flooded the shores of America during this era. They wanted an opportunity to find happiness, because with hard work, they knew that they could. Frank knew the odds were not in his favor, but he didn't listen to the haters, he persevered through the people at his school that told him his destiny. He looked for a better life and he found it. This memoir is a must read for people who want to be uplifted by the reason that we live in this country: The American Dream.  

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  • Posted March 20, 2014

    One of my favorite books ever. I bought his entire set!

    One of my favorite books ever. I bought his entire set!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Angela¿s Ashes is a memoir about Frank McCourt¿s childhood and h

    Angela’s Ashes is a memoir about Frank McCourt’s childhood and how his mother struggles to take care of her four children despite her husband’s drinking addiction. Throughout the story, the McCourts face a numerous amount of hardships, including the death of Frank’s three siblings. Although Frank’s family is remarkably poverty-stricken, Frank still strives to get a good education to be successful. For example, “I don’t know what it means and I don’t care because it’s Shakespeare and it’s like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words.” Portrays that even though Frank might not understand the text, he still loves to learn and devour literature. Throughout the book, the author portrays that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and never give up, no matter how unfortunate your situation is. For example, “You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” Displays the perfect example to describe how Frank lived his life. He didn’t have much at all but yet still kept his mind filled with knowledge.
    I like how the author’s writing style is a familiar tone. He writes as if he’s directly speaking to you as if he’s directly speaking to you which makes it easier to understand and connect with the story. “Mam tells us, that’s the Baby Jesus, the infant of Prague, and if ye ever need anything to pray to Him.” By writing with this tone, you feel like you are sitting right by the author in the story. I also enjoyed how the beginning of the story portrays the author in a youthful and naïve fashion, as the story progresses, he becomes more aware of things. For example, in the beginning of the story Frank and his friends would tease girls and call them names. As the story goes on, Frank ends up falling for a girl named Theresa Carmody and develops a physical relationship with her. A thing that I disliked in the story was how Frank’s grandmother and aunt would look down upon Frank because his father was from the north. For example, “ I don’t want nothing that’s half Limerick and half North of Ireland […]” displays the opposition towards Franks and his siblings. I highly recommend this book because it makes you appreciate the things that you have in your life a little more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Awesome!!

    This boonies a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Very intriguing. This book truly makes one grateful, with all th

    Very intriguing. This book truly makes one grateful, with all the tribulations expressed and told throughout. I would only recommend it for a teen to adult audience just for some of the themes within. Great read, a little dragging but it’s a memoir and life tends to null at sometimes. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    I think that this book is a very good read. Though, it is some

    I think that this book is a very good read. Though, it is something that you shouldn’t read to brighten your day. The story seemed to have one bad thing happen after another. However, it made me think of how easy I had it growing up. This book is a very good book for people that don’t normally enjoy reading autobiographies. To me autobiographies are normally boring and don’t have much of a story to tell. But, Frank’s story is something that is different and interesting. He shows you how he made it through his hardships and how he reaches goals that he works very hard to achieve. Frank takes you on a wonderful journey of his life, how he travels from America and Ireland, how he struggles to support his mom because his dad is never there to take care of them, how he makes mistakes and rebelled as a kid just like very one else, and how his decisions majorly effected his mother because she didn’t have anyone else that was there to help her but him. Responsibility was thrown at him at a very young age because his father was always out drinking and never bringing home the money that his family desperately needed. He was the only one there to take care of the family and his mother when she was sick. Overall this book is a story of a young boy named Frank and his struggling life, to step up at a very young age and become a man to protect his mom and his brothers. All of this happened because his dad struggled with alcoholism, unemployment, and was never home for them when they truly needed him the most. This book is full of sadness, perseverance and hope that makes it a great read for just about anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

    ASHCLAN MEDICNE CAT DEN

    You stand before a large tall thick pine tree, as you crawl under the tree it leads to a much bigger den. Among the cracks and roots of the wall herbs lay for storage. Three thick moss nest line the wall, a small waterfall and pool of water are near the entrance for easy passage so the sick cats can get water.

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