Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tis : A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Tis : A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tis : A Memoir (Frank McCourt #2)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,510 Ratings  ·  1,777 Reviews

Frank McCourt’s glorious childhood memoir, Angela’s Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly f
Audio Cassette, Abridged
Published September 1st 1999 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tis , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tis

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 14, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Charles Van
Shelves: memoirs, series, irish
My brother was the one who told me to read Frank McCourt’s 1996 Pulitzer-winning memoir Angela’s Ashes. It was one of the books that made me who am I today: a voracious reader.

It took me 12 years before reading its 1999 sequel, ’Tis (short for “It is”). Reason: I wanted to let the cute and innocent boy Frank and his brothers Malachy, Michael and Alphie to stay as long as possible in my mind. I did not want them to grow up. I wanted to hold on to the image of those boys running and walking aroun
Jun 22, 2016 FeReSHte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, ireland
بعید می دونم بشه کتاب اجاق سرد آنجلا رو خوند و فرانک بیچاره رو که بعد از تحمل اون همه فلاکت بالاخره به رویای دور و درازش - زندگی در امریکا - رسیده تو دهه ی دوم زندگیش رها کرد. اینجاست که با اشتیاق برای فرونشوندن حس کنجکاویتون دنبال جلد دوم می گردین

به نظر من ادامه ی ماجرا تو جلد دوم نسبت به جلد اول ضعف های بیشتری داره . لحن ساده و یکنواخت نویسنده تو جلد اول به واسطه ی سن پایین راوی آزاردهنده نیست ولی با بزرگ شدن راوی تو جلد دوم ، لحن روایت نویسنده همون طور ساده باقی می مونه که باور بزرگ شدن فرانک
Mar 31, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Sadder in some ways than Angela's Ashes. Whereas Angela's Ashes was a story of Frank McCourt fighting the odds and dangers of growing up in a Limerick slum and trying to escape, this book is about Frank McCourt fighting with himself and occasionally American society. This book reveals his darker side, including his own battles with the drink (though these are never as bad as his father's alcohol problems), his insecurities and the chip on his shoulder about growing up in a slum. Frank had a toug ...more
May 07, 2011 Elisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ci sono giornate eccezionali in cui la discussione di una poesia apre la porta a una luce bianca abbagliante e tutti capiscono i versi e capiscono di aver capito e quando la luce si smorza ci sorridiamo come viaggiatori al ritorno da un'avventura.

Con Frank McCourt accade esattamente lo stesso. Seguirlo per le strade di New York è come sbirciare in una stanza rimasta chiusa per decenni, lasciandovi entrare un fascio di luce.
Il suo passo incerto e goffo si fa più solido con il rincorrersi dei de
Feb 16, 2007 Brandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
First, let me say that I absolutely adored this book. While not as dear to my heart as the first, I think this story is moving and the voice is, as always, unique. That said, this story is a much more familiar one than the last: Irish immigrant trying to make a life for himself in a new world, and a war-enraged America. This story, though, is much more tangible than "other" immigration stories and unique in that, throughout all the troubles, heartache, injustice, and anger, this is a story not b ...more
Bart Breen
May 24, 2012 Bart Breen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do I Detect an Irish Brogue? ;)

I listened to this book as read by the Author. I recommend that, as I read Angela's Ashes and enjoyed it a lot as well, but there is something special about the reading by the author that adds a diminsion to the work that you can't quite catch reading it.

Up front, many are uncomfortable with this work and Angela's Ashes because of the language, which is quite blue in places. I don't find it the most endearing quality myself, but as a memoir it captures the language
Kimberly Smith
I enjoyed this sequel to "Angela's Ashes", because of Frank McCourt's ability to recollect dialogue, and his way of writing the words so well that you can just HEAR the Irish accent while you read.

It is so amazing and inspiring to see where Frank comes from, the slums of Ireland, with his essentially single mother to college, eventually graduate school, & later a teacher in New York City. It's a long road out of the slums & out of his own head of fears, limitations, & low self estee
Mar 10, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couple of points here:

McCourt's story is mesmerizing. From what he came from to what he become is beyond inspiring and thought provoking; however, I have some qualms with McCourt.

Knowing what he knows about the dangers and pitfalls of alcohol, why the hell does he touch the stuff? It goes on to ruin several of his relationships and opportunities and yet he never comments on this. He never touches on the point of alcoholism in families and how his father's drinking did or did not directly affect
Jan 20, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-2009
This is an amazing and a motivational book that has inspired me these past few months being a junior. What makes this book inspirtational is how at every event in McCourt's life he finds the positive sides or tries to find something humorous within the event. This has taught me that no matter what life throws me at I can achieve, nothing is a major deal. I was really able to connect to McCourt in this book more than the first, Angela's Ashes because this story took place in New York, and in my n ...more
Victor Carson
I did not like this book as well as McCourt's earlier memoir, Angela's Ashes, which related the family's struggles in Ireland in the 1940's and 1950's. 'Tis relates Frank McCourt's life in New York from the 1950's until his Mother's death in New York and his father's death and burial in Belfast in 1985. Frank McCourt himself read the audio-book edition of 'Tis. This book, however, needed editing to move the story along more smoothly. Certain parts are moving, thoughtful, or funny but some are re ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Fede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narration of Frank McCourt's life continues in this volume, in which he faces the adversities of life in America.

It is quite easy to understand till the beginning that this version of Frank McCourt is an older, more mature one, that, during the narration, becomes more and more aware of the hypocrisies and incoherences of the society, in a country where theoretically everyone should have the opportunity to make his own fortune but where practically it's harder than ever to make it happen.

May 07, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literati, Lit students, fiction readers
Recommended to Michael by: Frank McCourt
Shelves: memoirs, literature
This book would get five stars, except that it isn't -quite- as great as Angela's Ashes, which makes it seem a bit disappointing. In comparison to that book, it is also somewhat less inspiring, in the sense that AA tells a story of perseverance over hardship as Frank survives all by carrying his dream of going to America through times of crushing poverty. In _'Tis_ he finally makes it to America, and things still are not perfect. In fact he still spends a lot of time feeling afraid and too insec ...more
Marwan Asmar
May 21, 2013 Marwan Asmar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A memorable read, an Irishman in New York. This is a sequel to Angela's Ashes. The start is one of the McCourt's eldest brother, coming into New York across the Atlantic to start a new life at the Big Apple. We are introduced to Irish culture in another land, the heartaches of work, the odd jobs to make ends meets, the bedsits, the education, marriage, and finally death. At times it is hilariously funny, at times poignant. We are introduced to books, authors, to the teaching profession and the p ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Bookguide rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers
Frank McCourt's first book, Angela's Ashes, was incredible in its descriptions of an unbelievable poverty experienced within living memory in a Western European country. The impact of the continuation of McCourt's life story could hardly fail to pale in comparison. I felt that his descriptions of his miserable life at a succession of pitiful jobs and in the army dragged on too long. I was irritated by the continual harping on about how fortunate the Americans were, with their electricity, hot an ...more
May 06, 2011 Luana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ciao Frank!
Non sono una recensitrice, non ho idea di cosa si scrive dietro una quarta di copertina per far sì che un libro - quantunque penoso - venga venduto a orde di lettori entusiasti, e il commento che seguito a scrivere è animato solo dal fatto che io non solo ho letto le tue parole, ma le ho fatte mie e le ho rese il mio insegnamento principale di vita.
Ho letto 'Le ceneri di Angela' nel 2010, durante il mio secondo viaggio a Francoforte, una delle città che amo più al mondo, e all'inizio
Book Concierge
Frank McCourt burst on the literary scene with his memoir Angela’s Ashes , which outlined his childhood lived in abject poverty in Limerick Ireland. This book picks up where that one left off. He begins by recounting some of the overseas voyage, befriended by a priest who encourages him to talk to the “wealthy Protestants from Kentucky,” and who is dismayed when McCourt’s embarrassment over his teeth, his eyes, his clothing, keeps him from asserting himself. But although nothing is as he expect ...more
Melissa McShane
Meh. Angela's Ashes was wonderful, lots of history mixed in with the memoir, and so emotionally engaging. This one was a lot more memoir and not so much history, and far too much detail about his sex life and frequent masturbation (though he does, amusingly, refer to the latter as "interfering with himself"). The beautiful Irish voice still comes through, so it's pleasant to read even when the subject matter becomes pedestrian, and there are a few brilliant moments: my favorite is when, as a fir ...more
Barbara Mitchell
Quite some time ago I reviewed McCourt's first autobiography, Angela's Ashes. 'Tis is the second book which picks up as Frank is sailing from Ireland to America, where he expects to see everyone has a tan and beautiful white teeth, i.e. the Hollywood version. First lesson, New York City and its people don't much resemble his expectations.

He's still poor as a churchmouse of course but he finds a job sweeping the floor and emptying ashtrays in the lobby of the Biltmore, then moves on to a warehous
I have several books currently reading and a ton in the "to be read" pile but couldn't wait. Started this last night. Enthralled.

Really enjoyed this book. I felt the first half of the book better than the last. Although his teaching experiences were a delight to read. The differences he felt between growing up in Ireland and then the apparent wealth in America - I'm sure relates to a lot of immigrants. I found the book useful for tracking down inherited feelings of a particular kind, the inbred
Apr 25, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second part of Frank McCourt's autobiography picks up exactly where Angela's Ashes left off and is, essentially, an extention of the first book. He maintains his lighthearted (in the face of adversity) tone, his oral storytelling style, flitting in and out of present and past tense at will, his anecdotal, intimate tales and, therefore, maintains and increases the sympathies we felt for this young man's struggle for survival and for a place in the world.

The setting has changed. We have moved
I really loved Angela's Ashes, so I was really excited to read this, but I didn't enjoy this one as much. I can't quite put my finger on why, because I was still interested in the subject matter, but it just seemed choppier to me and less in depth I guess. It was still good though and I'm looking forward to reading Teacher Man.
Jul 29, 2015 Shanae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I like about Frank McCourt is he doesn't have the little man's disease of literature where some authors find the need to come up with every unusual word from the thesaurus to prove their writing proficiency. In fact, I find that trend common among all great authors: simple, pure writing. He's amazingly talented without being annoying. I did like this one less than Angela's Ashes because I didn't think it was as moving or maybe even as necessary. However, I do love it when an author isn't af ...more
Pales in comparison to its prequel Angela's Ashes, which is heart-wrenching and brilliant.
(Previously published in BookLove blog) - After Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, one of the bleakest books I’ve ever read, I wasn’t sure what to expect from ’Tis. Frank McCourt was born in New York City , but moved back to Ireland with his family as a small child. The fact that young Frank, at the age of 19, was able to escape extreme poverty in Ireland and move to New York City is an accomplishment by itself. Within several days of arriving, he receives the first of many warnings about the evils ...more
Richard Nicholson
I’d mentioned to a friend of my mum’s that I had read Angela’s Ashes and enjoyed it, to a point (see my review). Unknown to me, Frank McCourt had at the time recently released ‘Tis, so quicker than you can do an Irish jig I was merrily ensconced in the continuation of his memoirs. Oh how quickly that went from merriment to drudgery. Maybe I got too absorbed in Frank’s bitter retelling of life in America – man is this guy got self-esteem issues and a large Irish chip on his shoulder or what!

But t
Robert Goudie
Aug 20, 2012 Robert Goudie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I must say that I found McCourt's indirect method of handling dialog very distrating. I can assume it was done for a good reason and that McCourt was successful at creating the exact impressions that it generated in me. That is, that the dialogue felt more like the author's hazy recollection or a partially overheard conversation in a public place. The lack of quotation marks left the lines blurred between McCourt's thoughts and the actual words that were spoken. Or possibly, this is the w ...more
This is not a book I read, but one I listened to from Crescent City CA to Olympia WA.

As an audio book, it was really great to listen to. Frank did not put me to sleep and I laughed a lot at his stories. It made the haul up the 5 as fun as it can be.

If I had read it I would have been a lot less impressed. The book covers the time he comes to the US in 1949 to when his mother dies in 1985. It is shamelessly taking advantage of the first book, Angela's Ashes, which covers a more manageable time fr
I enjoyed this book but it was more difficult to get through than Angela's Ashes. Whereas McCourt's tale of growing up in and escaping from the poverty of Limerick's slums was tragic and moving, I found myself getting frustrated with Frank's near-alcoholism ruining his life.

You would think that after the constant disappointment he experienced with his father's choice of 'the bottle over the babies' he would have been more wary of alcohol rather than falling into the same habits and screwing up
Dec 19, 2013 Hoang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Tis tells the story of Frank McCourt, an Irish men who returned to New York, United States from Limerick, Ireland. The book is set in World War II or after that. When the economy of the United States was going up. Wanting to leave the old town in Ireland, Frank McCourt came back to America, where it had a lot of opportunities to start his life there. He did every possible things to live in America like: trying to get rid of that Irish accent, blending in with the American people, working hard t ...more
I must admit that my first reaction to this book was to be was this American-born Irishman returned to America to fulfill his dreams and all he could do was complain. I kept reminding myself how hard it would be at 19 yrs to ride the "learning curve" of customs, language, job & adult responsibilities while being mixed into the melting pot of NYC in the 1940's. He was frustrated, disenchanted, tired, confused. I continued reading - I wanted to see how this guy redeemed himself ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Monk Swimming
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
  • The Roosevelts: An American Saga
  • Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman
  • Lost in America: A Journey with My Father
  • The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments / The Snapper / The Van
  • All Will Be Well: A Memoir
  • Still Me
  • In the Name of the Father: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four
  • Stalking Irish Madness: Searching for the Roots of My Family's Schizophrenia
  • 44: Dublin Made Me
  • The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood
  • Ava's Man
  • The Language of Baklava: A Memoir
  • Stad i världen (Stadserien, #5)
  • True North: A Memoir
  • The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House
  • Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus
Francis "Frank" McCourt was an Irish-American teacher and author. McCourt was born in Brooklyn; however, his family returned to their native Ireland in 1934.

He received the Pulitzer Prize (1997) and National Book Critics Circle Award (1996) for his memoir Angela's Ashes (1996), which details his childhood as a poor Irish Catholic in Limerick. He is also the author of 'Tis (1999), which continues t
More about Frank McCourt...

Other Books in the Series

Frank McCourt (3 books)
  • Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)
  • Teacher Man

Share This Book

“It's not enough to be American. You always have to be something else, Irish-American, German-American, and you'd wonder how they'd get along if someone hadn't invented the hyphen” 65 likes
“I told her tea bags were just a convenience for people with busy lives and she said no one is so busy they can't take time to make a decent cup of tea and if you are that busy you don't deserve a decent cup of tea for what is it all about anyway? Are we put into this world to be busy or to chat over a nice cup of tea?” 51 likes
More quotes…