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Download Angela's Ashes Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Angelas Ashes Audiobook, 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 McCourt Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 1998 ISBN: 9780743541596
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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.”

    Newsweek

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

    People

  • 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
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelly-shawn Womack-gritton | 1/13/2014

    " Great history of the Irish culture, heartbreaking and inspiring . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 1/9/2014

    " Good book, sort of sad and dreary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammi Clark | 1/1/2014

    " Mr. McCourt's telling of his life story transported me to another time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Wanless | 12/20/2013

    " A wonderful memoir by Frank McCourt. I remember actually crying while reading this book. McCourt has a clever way of telling the story of his sad, desperate childhood. I really enjoyed reading this book and even picked it up a few times since. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noelle | 12/16/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book but I have to admit, every time I hear a terrible cough, the first thought that comes to mind is "Oh Lord he/she has been ruined by consumption." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Stubbs | 11/19/2013

    " Very sad, this book made me cry thro most of it, unfortunately this was how life was for a lot of Irish back then. Very riveting book, a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Racquel Lopez | 8/4/2013

    " So depressingly sad... My heart ached and tears blurred my vision throughout the entire book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 11/10/2012

    " This is one of the funniest yet at times saddest books I've ever read. I laughed until I cried and then cried and cried over the author's experiences during his childhood; a definite five-star read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Beaudoin | 2/22/2009

    " Depressing of corse, but entertaining. A well worth reading book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa-dawn Morrison | 2/19/2008

    " Depressing but I can't say I didn't e joy it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oggie | 4/11/2007

    " Beautifully written book. Not only kept me reading from beginning to end, but also drew me into this childhood. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margitte | 2/6/2007

    " Brilliant. Hardships, humor and happiness combined in the vivid story of a modern Irish family. Shocking, sometimes revolting, but most of all interesting and riveting reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 6/14/2004

    " It's been a few years since I read this. I think it's time for a re-read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerry | 2/20/2003

    " Loved this book, although dark and sad, McCourts writing made me want to go over some parts again and again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fonzie | 11/11/2002

    " I put this book down the first time I read it. I just couldn't get into it. I was young. I picked it back up a few years later and it took a few days to complete it. Page turner to the end. If you read this, read the other two that follow. Very very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Hyde | 8/15/2002

    " one of my all-time favorite books. if you haven't read it, I highly suggest it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 11/5/2001

    " Fantastic. Sad without being too self-pitying. His descriptions are so vivid that I've had his Limerick in my head for days. Honest and funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen Burque | 4/6/2001

    " Frank has the ability to make light of a difficult upbringing without being too cynical. I found my self laughing through tears. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ray Velez | 1/14/2001

    " Amazing book, my great aunt Minnie McAdorey is mentioned in chapter 1:). "

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About the Author
Author Frank McCourtFrank McCourt (1930–2009) was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For thirty years he taught in New York City high schools. His first book, Angela's Ashes, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the L.A. Times Book Award. In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.