133 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Tis Not Angela, Nor Should It, Or Could It Be,
This review is from: 'Tis: A Memoir (Hardcover)
Angela's Ashes was a unique accomplishment on many levels. Tis was doomed before it ever came out because it would suffer by comparison. However, this is still a great read by an interesting man who has great sensitivity to dialogue, and makes some stinging social observations with great subtlety. The books cannot be compared unless you have strong feelings about the skill the writer had, or did not have in either volume. Is the language rougher, yes, this is a man describing his life, not a child. Does he have opinions that are black and white, with little room for gray at times, yes. Part of the problem with moving from one book to the next, is that the memories of a child, and terrible memories at that, are a powerful force to draw you in, and cause one to feel great sympathy and pain for the child. Then the child becomes a man, and it's much more difficult to carry the same empathy from the first book to the second. In fact I don't think it is possible. If you have read neither book, read this first, and then Angela's Ashes. The books change dramatically when you do. The harsh criticism of the man becomes infinitely more complex and difficult if you learn of the childhood that was his formative years. Most autobiographies, or biographies cover a life, not pieces of a life that in this case are still unfolding. The abrupt change from book one to book two is caused, I believe, because they are bound separately. If he had covered the same period in his life with a single book it would have been more comfortable for the reader. I am glad that he did break his life up, as Angela's Ashes will forever remain a book that will gain the title of a "Classic". Book one was brilliant, it was the author's first, it won The Pulitzer, it one other awards, it is about to be shown as a major motion picture. There is no one that can follow that act #1. Frank McCourt is a great writer who I wish had come to us sooner. I hope he lives to be a hundred so I may selfishly read as much as possible of what he writes.
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Initial post: May 17, 2011 3:07:14 PM PDT
I am in total agreement. I did enjoy "Tis" very much, sadly he is gone now but he did leave his mark as a writer.
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