Spencer's Reviews > Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
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's review
Dec 19, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: reading-2009-2010

<< Life-Through a New, Refreshing Lens (Review of Angela's Ashes)

A family, deeply weakened by death, alcohol, and poverty. If you feel like your life has gotten into an uncomfortable groove, you must read this, for this book will add some spice to your life for sure; “Angela’s Ashes”, a truly stunning and heart-wrenching memoir about the author, Frank McCourt’s childhood in the poverty-stricken city of Limerick in Ireland, will hit you like a tidal wave. Optimistic and hopeful, McCourt uses graphic realistic details, characterization, and the enchanting theme of childhood to craft this wonderful story about poverty, perseverance, and just being a kid, gracefully.

It think it is very easy to say that watching a movie is considerably less difficult than reading a book. All you do is watch images and hear sounds. Passionate and heart filled, the way Frank McCourt writes this book, with awing and lifelike details makes the words pop out into a movie. You can envision the drunken dad coming home every day without money and singing his usual songs. You can envision impoverished people begging outside the local church. You can hear the babies wailing in the streets, the mothers crying over deceased loved ones. Frank McCourt writes with telling details put insane, high-definition, 50-inch flat-screen TVs in the reader’s head. Readers that have never been to Ireland will surely know what it looks like after reading Angela’s Ashes!

Distinct and diverse, the people surrounding Frank McCourt’s life are all unique in their own way. The extremely alcoholic father who would rather buy a beer than pay for his little baby’s funeral and casket, the weeping mom, the spirited little brother, the extremely inquisitive classmate...and the list of characters simply just goes on. All the characters have an affect on Frank McCourt, and soon enough they start to affect your life, and the way you think.

We all remember our childhood days. Ahhhh, those days of freedom and innocence! Well, Frank McCourt writes as if he is a child, and throughout the entire book you visit the mind of a very curious and innocent child. Quiet and observant, he writes of things like seeing his mother beg for food, and his father waste away from alcohol, very innocently. And as the book goes on, and more and more tragic and mind awakening experiences happen, you may observe that he slowly starts to lose that innocence. You see him age not only physically, but mentally. This reoccurring theme of childhood pops out at you throughout whole story. There is something that people of all ages can relate to and enjoy about the mind of a child.

It’s amazing how something as small as a book can change a person’s life, and turn it in a whole new direction of thinking. The many components and themes of Angela’s Ashes will click on a luminescent light bulb in your head, and soon you will view everything in a different light. It will be like seeing life through a whole new lens – a refreshing feeling nobody minds.

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