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A Monk Swimming
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A Monk Swimming

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  2,952 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Roll up your sleeves and settle in for a rough and tumble story of the hard life and fast times of an original Irish American rogue. Read by the author in his thick and hearty brogue, A Monk Swimming expands on the up-from-your-bootstraps tale of the McCourt family, which was so beautifully detailed in his big brother Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Angela's ...more
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published May 26th 1998 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Faith
Malachy McCourt is Frank McCourt's brother (u know Angela's Ashes). It's very obvious that they are brothers. They've got the same kind of humor and attitude to life. And they are good storytellers too. But however, the truth is that it is Frank, the older brother, who is the real literary genius, Or then it's just that he writes about "more interesting things". Well, they both write about their own lives, and Malachy's surely is more unusual. Traveling around the world and smuggling gold... whi ...more
Roberta
Well, he's no Frank McCourt. That's for sure.
Tory
"Hastily, I transferred the snow to the burning part of the mattress and extinguished it, I thought, but an hour or so after I went back to sleep, the smoke revisited me. Bounding out of the bed again, I went for a jug of water and sloshed it all over the spifflicated Paterson. The man hardly stirred, but my mission was complete : Fire Out! and back to bed.

Sometime later I was awakened abruptly and rudely by a rough hand shaking and thumping me. When I opened my eyes to see who it was that had t
...more
Bonnie Parent
I loved this book and fell in love with Malachy, but I need to know more!
His storytelling is so funny and engaging, yet sad at the same time. Now, I want to know what has happened to him after he finished writing the book. I couldn't help but feel a little empty afterwards. Did he stop drinking? Has he come to grips with his childhood? What about his own relationship with his kids? So many questions, I'll just have to find more of his books.
Lauren
Once you get through the Irish jargon - this book is hilarious! I enjoy reading both brothers (McCourt's) accounts on moving to America. They are great story tellers.
David Shaw
If you can find any interest into Malachy McCourt's endless pursuit for drinking, promiscuity and living a full-fledged hedonistic lifestyle, then this is the book for you.

Beyond that, he only demonstrates how reprehensibly immoral he is with respect to his treatment of marriage, and more so his dedication to his children. If there is any redemption to be attained on his part, he certainly does not make any case for it.

Yes, the book begins off comically, recounting stories of how he arrives to A
...more
John
I enjoyed being a voyeur on this 290 page, 10 year pub crawl through mid-century New York. In his day Malachy was a prolific philanderer, drinker, footballer and con man. Never wanting for enthusiasm or humor, there are also deep roots of rage at his father who subjected his children to an alcohol induced poverty before abandoning them. MM's desire to escape this upbringing propels him to heights of fame and frolic before he too sadly falls from the weight of his own inebriated, self absorption. ...more
Shannon
I absolutely loved this book. I found it in a used bookstore while on vacation. I'd read Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, and Teacher Man (and done book reports on the first two for school), so my eyes lit up when I saw another McCourt memoir. I was at the beach, and I had a desire for some light reading (to go with a Dubliners CD I'd just gotten), and this fit the bill 100%. It's a much lighter story than Angela's Ashes, being devoid of most of the grimmer bits. The difference in the writing style of the ...more
Annett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
You want to hate Malachy McCourt, he's a womanizer, an alcoholic, a terrible friend and even more terrible brother. He hurts people, leaves his bills unpaid, and deserts his family. And yet I enjoyed reading his story and about his adventures. I think he made it in life because he is charasmatic and witty, and that comes through in his writing. He makes Frank McCourt come across as the beleagured, responsible one, and Malachy is the "good time" guy, only his life isn't just fun. He openly discus ...more
Ron
Malachy McCourt's attempt to profit from his brother's fame.

Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis (and most recently Teacher Man), captured the hard-knock world of growing up in an impoverished Irish family, of making it to America - somewhat successfully.

His brother Malachy abuses the McCourt name to tell 'bar stories'. He constantly dropped names of minor celebrities - people he had had a drink with. I got bored of the whole thing after a few chapters. I kept waiting for the 'good p
...more
Annie Rachele
An Irish Decameron

--napping under a bed... then... a lurid couple comes in... the mattress springs push into your chest as you try to be quiet... then the jealous husband comes in a rage.. no one knows you are under the bed... the men take the fight outside... the woman is left alone... for your bashful frank sexual advance...

this is stuff out of the Decameron, or Malachy McCourt's life...

rip-roaring man tales. hysterical scenarios where whorehouses wash your balls with lysol....

and the reader l
...more
Meg
Malachy is an excellent storyteller, both disgusting and delighting the reader by turns. The train wreck of his life, from an absent father in the shoeless slums of Ireland, to long bouts of drunkenness dosed with the occasional moment of sobriety, the boisterous manner in which he succored his need to be welcomed and accepted by all and sundry which caused that very plan to fail, his failed marriage, his brief foray into drugs, his licentiousness, his belligerence, and all-around selfish behavi ...more
Terri
I wanted to like Malachy McCourt, I met him in Angela's Ashes, and was so glad he'd made his way to the US and a possible fortunate future with food and housing.

Malachy McCourt takes all the goodness and prosperity that was before him and drinks it away, just like his father. That isn't reason to give this book a 2 star rating though.

The rating is because the book is a shallow account of a shallow man who in writing this book is a name dropping account of his tenuous stardom.

The book started of
...more
Louise
This book wasn't as well written as Malachy's brother Frank's Angela's Ashes and Tis was. Although he makes a good attempt at getting his story across, I found his choice of words at times left alot to be desired. I feel he could have written a better memoir that would have held the readers attention easier than the "force yourself to finish it" mode I was in. Nonetheless, not a bad story just not high on my list as one of the better books I've read.

Gutman
The writing is a pleasure to read, and Malachy is quite the character. Glaringly and simultaneously entertaining as well as sad, another McCourt survives his fairly self-destructive tendencies and lives life in the fast lane, throwing sense and caution to the wind. While those closest to him surely feel the pain, we readers can enjoy the laughs from afar.
Frances Sawaya
Given my respect for Frank McCourt and his apparent love for his brother, Malachy, I was eager to read this first book of Malachy's. Very disappointing. He never chooses the most direct word when a four or five syllable one will do. Silly and pretentious style! Seemed as if he was trying to coast on Frank's successes.
Jean
just couldn't finish this book. I didn't like his writing style, particularly his use of a words seemed geared to impress, rather than express. It rambled on and threw around lots of famous names. the story might have been good but couldn't get through the trappings to enjoy it.
Kristen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Velvetink
Jan 07, 2010 Velvetink rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fivecats
one grows to like McCourt for his honesty and to sympathize with him for the struggle he wages with a mind that he describes as "leaping about like a caged and vicious rodent" whenever he wakes up after a night of drink.
U. Cronin
Having enjoyed and been very moved by Malachy's older brother Frank's "Angela's Ashes", I reckoned I'd be in for something similar with A Monk Swimming, but with a more ribald, artsy and Irish-American twist on the narrative. I wish! I can't recall having been as disappointed with a book in many's the long year.
A Monk Swimming (the title is a typically hilarious [not] pun on a phrase from the "Hail Mary": "blessed art Thou amongst women" - get it?) is a memoir of the life of Malachy McCourt from
...more
Myla
This is an awful book, just barely readable. The writing is sketchy and the author is so full of himself and his past of drinking, womanizing and bartending. Don't bother.
Jesse Hebert
Having read his brother Frank's series of foundational and reflective personal works, this ended up being little more than a humorous rant.
Leslie
I still like his writing better than Frank's (his brother). And seeing him in person is a TREAT.
Collette
Too boastful and dull. I skipped and was uninterested at times.
J Peace-inthestorm
Jan 04, 2015 J Peace-inthestorm rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Malachy McCourt's memoir is irreverent, crude, and I couldn't figure out what his point was in writing the book. I much prefer his brother Frank's memoirs. Frank displays a sensitivity in his writing that, to me, is completely lacking in Malachy's. Though Frank's books delve more into the many tragedies he and his family faced throughout the years, it is Malachy's book that made me the saddest.

BE AWARE:
- language—crude and rough language throughout.
- sexual content—sexual references and encount
...more
Nelleke
Not comparable with Angela's ashes, the book of Malachy's brother Frank. Frank describes the desperate story of his youth, while Malachy write the story from the time he came to America. There are flashbacks to his youth, interesting to read, they are from a different point of view then the ones of Frank.

Coming to America Malachy wants to be rich. He gets a job, a wive and then becoming an alcoholic, just like his dad, leaving his wife, because he has to go to the pub. The book is about alcohol,
...more
Kyle
I found a paperback copy of "A Monk Swimming" at Savers for like a $1.50. Since I couldn't resist the deal and the back description seemed interesting enough, I bought it. Besides being a bargain, reading McCourt's memoir gave me the chance to regain my respect for Irish culture (that has been so commercialized the past decade--with all the "I Love Ireland" and Ireland this, Irish that...I'm not entirely sure if this is a problem anywhere besides the U.S.? Anyways, I'll get to my point. McCourt' ...more
Christopher Wolowski
I had just finished reading Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, so I thought I’d follow it up with his brother Malachy.

A Monk Swimming is nearly 300 pages of drunkenness, debauchery, pretension, lasciviousness, and using ten dollar words where a fifty cent one would suffice. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any moral compunction against reading drunkenness and debauchery. . .providing it is written well. Problem is, this book isn’t particularly well written. Funny at times, it also seems to be
...more
Kit★
Picked up this book because I've read all three of Frank McCourt's memoirs, and absolutely loved them, and watched the movie for Angela's Ashes many times, so when I saw this book, I was pretty excited to see one from his brother (and I've also loved the name Malachy since first seeing the movie years ago, just a little side-note there). So, this book was a great, quick read. Easy to get into, good flow... I really liked the author's style. I think it'd be a good one to listen to on audiobook, e ...more
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Malachy Gerard McCourt is an Irish-American actor, writer and politician. He was the 2006 Green party candidate for governor in New York State, losing to the Democratic candidate Eliot Spitzer. He is the younger brother of Frank McCourt.

Malachy McCourt also wrote two memoirs titled A Monk Swimming and Singing my Him Song, detailing his life in Ireland and later return to the United States where de
...more
More about Malachy McCourt...
Singing My Him Song Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland The Claddagh Ring: Ireland's Cherished Symbol of Friendship, Loyalty, and Love Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad Voices of Ireland: Classic Writings of a Rich and Rare Land

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