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Extended Audio Sample Angelas Ashes, by Frank McCourt Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (210,293 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frank McCourt Narrator: Frank McCour Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“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. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The reader of this stunning memoir can only hope that Mr. McCourt will set down the story of his subsequent adventures in America in another book. Angela’s Ashes is so good it deserves a sequel.”

    New York Times

  • “A spellbinding memoir of childhood that swerves flawlessly between aching sadness and desperate humor...A work of lasting beauty.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he’s done. With Angela’s Ashes, McCourt proves himself one of the very best.”


  • “A splendid memoir, both funny and forgiving.”


  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An American Bookseller Association Book of the Year in 1997
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Best Book for Nonfiction in 1996
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography
  • Winner of the 1996 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anita Dobs | 2/17/2014

    " Wonderful book, written from a childs perspective as he grows. Very original. At times heartbreaking and others, heartwarming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Froggy1001 | 2/5/2014

    " It was a good story and interesting hearing about the lives of people over in Ireland. I would have given this book 3.5 stars if that was an option. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bridget Morse | 1/31/2014

    " I was able to discus this book with my Dad, who was an Irish Immigrant and little older than the author, Frank McCourt. He also enjoyed book (audio version). He said that times were that bad, as McCourt's memoir portrays, those who say different weren't alive then. Some say the book is depressing but I never once felt sorry for the author. Truly, it is a man's triumph over humble beginnings. So alive, with humor, so emotionally raw and close to the bone, you wonder, how did this Irish man have the courage to write it? Mr. McCourt said it took a life time to write it and I am so thankful he did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sean Gillen | 1/14/2014

    " It was a well written book, but it was depressing. Through it all though there was a ray of hopefulness as he endeavors to flee Ireland and sail to the promised land of America, even though some of his tactics and choices seemed immoral. However, he was completely honest in that regard and I appreciated that. "

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