Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt

Angela's Ashes

By Frank McCourt

  • Release Date: 1998-12-17
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 370 Ratings


A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive 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.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.


  • Just a normal story.

    By Arry777
    I don't understand why this is such a special book.
  • Inspiring

    By EnvyKisses
    I first heard of Angela's Ashes when I met the granddaughter of the author, Frank McCourt. She spoke very beautifully of him and I instantly became intrigued with his book. Frank McCourt's story is set in impoverished Ireland during the mid 1930's to 1940's. It follows "Frankie" as a child into adolescence. The author does a great job of transporting you into a different time period through the eyes of a child. It was detailed so well that at times, I felt I could walk the streets of Limerick myself. Frank McCourt takes you through his life and what it felt like to be the child of an alcoholic father, hungry, poor, and disease ridden. What it was like to be raised Catholic and societies expectations. One would think this book was simply depressing, but the author made it light and added enough humor without taking anything away from the gravity of those times. I highly recommend this book to any fans of memoirs, history, and light heartedness.
  • Read thus book!

    By OG Snowflake
    I read this book once a year and envy all who haven't read it because they still have it before them. So read it. Ye might drop dead without reading it and then yeer doomed.
  • Angela's Ashes

    By Nomad41649
    I enjoyed this book. Well written.
  • Great book

    By hlinneypoo
    The adversity some people live through is amazing. Reading this will make you thankful for what you have—I can't believe what passes for "poverty" in the US, when children in other 1st world countries live the way Frank McCourt did.
  • Sad, but Incredably Powerful

    By Liney P
    Beautiful story!!!
  • Amazing!

    By Creesebc
    A beautiful, poignant, hilarious, moving journey!
  • Highly-recommended

    By Ratskeee1982
    One of the best books I've read. Depressing yet humorous. The story is phenomenal, and the story-telling is stellar.
  • Phenomenal

    By tastetherainbow2