Angela's Ashes: A Memoir of a Childhood

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9780001053090: Angela's Ashes: A Memoir of a Childhood

Special edition of the bestselling classic, to tie-in with the release of Alan Parker’s major new film of Angela’s Ashes

“When I look back on my childhood, I wonder how I survived 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.

People everywhere brag or whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying shcoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years. Above all we were wet…”

So begins Frank McCourt’s stunning memoir of his childhood in Ireland and America, a recollection of unvarnished truth and no self pity, of grinding poverty and indomitable spirit that will live in the memory long after the tape has ended.

Now a major film directed by Alan Parker and starring Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson.

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Review:

"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 clichés 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 of a compelling memoir.

Review:

“Frank McCourt’s gentle, understated voice throws into relief the admirable humour, spirit and humanity of the people who made the degradation of his childhood bearable.”
Gramophone 1/11/97

“It was Frank McCourt’s year and his reading of Angela’s Ashes on audio tape is the best reason I can think of for taking a long car journey.”
Irish Times 25/12/97

“Frank McCourt’s reading is captivating from the first moment. Felicitous writing and harsh voicing combine to make an apparently dismal story absolutely hilarious.”
Evening Standard 22/12/97

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McCourt, Frank
Published by HarperCollins
ISBN 10: 0001053094 ISBN 13: 9780001053090
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