Extended Audio Sample

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: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 1997 ISBN: 9780743518901
Regular Price: $49.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $16.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Angela's Ashes is a memoir written by Frank McCourt. The author also narrates this unabridged audio version. Pulitzer Prize winner for Autobiography, Angela's Ashes tells a saga spanning an ocean. Though some think of this book as sorrowful, many who have heard McCourt tell his story can hear the joy he felt over the smallest victory of finding a meal and can understand the sense of humor that he developed in order to bear these blows of life. This is thought of as a classic in memoir literature, and was adapted for a film. Living in poverty as a child, McCourt reveals those days into his adult years in the cities of Limerick, Ireland and Brooklyn, New York. He struggled with his father's alcoholism and with his mother's rescuing nature, which preserved their family unit for a time.

He was born in the thirties in New York to Irish immigrants, and later returned with them to the desolate slumhouses of Limerick, Ireland. The name Angela is his mother's, and she scrounged with what little money she had left over from his father's alcohol binges. His dad didn't work much in the first place. Though sometimes Frank had to wear soles on his shoe from rubber of a tire, and though sometimes he had to beg for pork head for holiday meals, and though he had to look for his dad in pubs, he is still able to tell us these stories with hope, grace, and humanity.

Frank McCourt was a teacher for years, and originally got himself into college without a high school degree by talking his way into New York University and promising to maintain an average grade of a B+. He died from cancer in 2009.

"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 does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story.

Perhaps it is a story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father, 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.

Imbued with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion -- and movingly read in his own voice -- Angela's Ashes is a glorious audiobook that bears all the marks of a classic.

Download and start listening now!

BK_SANS_000014

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

  • “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

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

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Pulitzer Prize winner
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography/Autobiography
  • Winner of the 1996 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography
  • 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 Nonfiction Finalist
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pepper Snyder | 2/18/2014

    " This is my all time favorite book. It made me laugh and cry and parts of it reminded me so much of my own family. The humor in it is not for everyone but, in my opinion, the humor (though mostly a depressing humor) was the best part of the book. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanielle Landers | 2/8/2014

    " This book is among my favorites and a definite must-read. I could see myself re-reading it several times. It is written from the perspective of a small child but is in no way simplistic--descriptions are wonderfully nuanced and enlightening, even as the character speaks in his childlike voice. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain insight into what poverty is truly like, as what you take away from it rings true in all countries and epochs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Aguirre | 1/28/2014

    " Amazing book..I love the way he wrote it from a boys point of view ..so descriptive and clever "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Losey o'hara | 1/26/2014

    " read again. absolutly beautiful and heartbreaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cory | 1/19/2014

    " A very quick read as well as amazing. Held my interest from front to back. A very detailed image of life growing up in Ireland/America with a family controlled by the "consumption" and the everyday life of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 1/17/2014

    " "Loved both audio and read, sad, poignant, humorous, story thru boy's eyes, poverty in Ireland, '40s etc., audio great- read by author" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elise | 1/17/2014

    " If Frank McCourt can survive the crushing poverty and near death experiences of his childhood, this is a testament to anyone in dire circumstances that there is hope. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce Sigler | 12/27/2013

    " A superb book. I enjoyed it so much I also borrowed for the library the book on tape, read by Frankie McCourt and accompanied by wonderful Irish music. Loved THAT even more! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari | 11/21/2013

    " Great story of enduring and overcoming poverty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/19/2013

    " Loved this book - so funny, but also bittersweet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gaylene Levally | 9/12/2013

    " Lush with imagery. Couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belinda Hlatshwayo | 9/4/2013

    " A really touching story. The realism in this work is remarkable; one really gets a feel for the time frame in which it was written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie Deborah | 5/31/2013

    " One of the most entertaining, truthful books I've ever read about an Irish family. I just wish Frank McCourt was still alive to tell us more tales of his youth and the beautiful country of my ancestors he grew up in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy Morgan | 5/14/2013

    " I read this book when I was a young Mother of four small children. It sparked my love for reading again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Racquel Lopez | 4/13/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrissy | 8/13/2012

    " I loved this book. I read it at a time when I really needed a fresh perspective on adversity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan Kerlin | 3/16/2012

    " Was the saddest, most depressing depiction of Ireland I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hilde Daman | 3/2/2012

    " Wonderful. Despite the tragedy, a book that makes you smile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margitte | 1/12/2012

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 8/20/2011

    " After getting used to the dialect I found this compelling and well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Canniff | 7/12/2011

    " I loved this book. Written by an Irish American author, you get to read a story about a boy, Frank, and his family as they struggled through poverty in both Ireland and New York in the 1930s and 1940s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn Gilbert | 7/5/2011

    " This is the most depressing page turner I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi Newton | 5/28/2011

    " This has been one of my favorite books for years. Still have to read the sequel, but i am scared that the second will not live up to my expectation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 5/24/2011

    " Incredible book. Such detail and character development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/24/2011

    " Powerful description of poverty and resilience, BUT what kind of mother would have her children live like this for years and years and then when they were grown live in better digs>>> story of the haves and the havenots "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 5/22/2011

    " Tragic and compelling, engrossing until the end, but too emotionally dense for my palate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget | 5/18/2011

    " Laughed till I cried, and cried till I laughed. So Irish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephie | 5/18/2011

    " very poignant memoir, at times heartbreaking, other times hilarious "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 5/16/2011

    " The best way to read this book is by listening to the author read it on audiobooks. No question. It doesn't get more Irish or more authentic than that.

    Plus, it's a great story by a wonderful storyteller.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 5/16/2011

    " on the one hand, i hated this book because i couldn't imagine a family living like that. on the other hand, the literary style was unique and once i got into it, i couldn't put the book down. i had to find out the end of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kent | 5/15/2011

    " Life in an Irish Catholic family was the tease line, I'm guessing. This is a sometimes very hard to read book;(emotionally.) Tough life for the Irish during hard times, perhaps all the time, but this is one of my favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Derek | 5/14/2011

    " A fecking depressing and fecking amazing book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willeke | 5/12/2011

    " Ireland in worse times than we have right now... brilliantly written, captivating... "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
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.