- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 15 hours and 9 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 16, 1999
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0000547CQ
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Angela's Ashes Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The setting was Ireland and he brought the flavor
of the Emerald Isle along with all its greenery to a bigger than life status!
So much of the book was depressing yet he intermingled comedic parts throughout to keep it balanced and exciting!
The reader was shown the perils of poverty and all its brutal effects on a family: the father, mother, children and relatives.
In most cases it brought out the worst of people but some characters showed strength and resilience beyond imagination!
The ending provided no resolutions and left you with a grave feeling of despair and uncertainty!
It was a sad tale of woe which makes one wonder if any of us could ever endure what Frank and his family did and live to actually write about it?
Out in the Atlantic Ocean great sheets of rain gathered to drift slowly up the River Shannon and settle forever in Limerick. The rain dampened the city from the Feast of Circumcision to New Year’s Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks. It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges…
The rain drove us into the church–our refuge, our strength, our only dry place. At Mass, Benediction, novenas, we huddled in great damp clumps, dozing through priest drone, while steam rose again from our clothes to mingle with the sweetness of incense, flower and candles.
Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain. (1-2)
We learn that it rains in LimerickLimerick, but Limerick is not just wet, it stays wet for eternity. The great sheets of rain drift slowly up the River Shannon and settle forever in Limerick (emphasis added). We learned that the rain dampened the city from the Feast of Circumcision to New Year’s Eve. Not only does the detail of the ‘Feast of Circumcision’ sound humorous, but that sentence actually means that it stayed wet from January 1 to December 31. In the next sentence, McCourt takes things up a notch by providing us with a marvelous list of alliteration and onomatopoeia. Again, the details are compelling. We don’t just have a cacophony of coughs, which sounds clichéd, but a cacophony of hacking coughs. Just when you think this can’t possibly get any worse, McCourt tops that sentence with the next one: “It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges.” After a few more sentences (omitted for brevity), we learn that the rain drove everyone into church, it was “our refuge, our strength, our only dry place.” In this sentence, McCourt gives us a list which acts like a garden path sentence. It implies that it’s talking about one thing (the piety of the people of Limerick), when it’s actually talking about something else (their wish to get out of the rain). The next sentence gives us a marvelous image of all those people crowded into church in “great damp clumps, dozing through priest drone,” and this sets us up for the punch line at the end, that Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but “we knew it was only the rain.”
And so the story begins with some humor, to ease the way for the tragedies that follow. I highly recommend this memoir. Five Stars.
This is a story of a family who chose to move back to Ireland during the worst economic period in modern history. They prove that children can live on sugar water, tea, and bread fried in grease. And little else.
The mastery here is that McCourt cn make us laugh out loud through all of this horror that he and his family suffers through. I did find the first chapter a bit of a slog, but by the second I caught onto his voice and enjoyed his ability to turn "oral story telling" into written literature. Be prepared for shifting points of view within paragraphs, no conventional indication of dialogue, and paragraphing that seems to come out of a drunken stupor.