Sammy's Reviews > Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
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's review
Jan 21, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: a-the-best

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. What an amazing way of telling your life's story. Or at least the story of your first nineteen years on this earth. This didn't read like a memoir, full of funny stories and important, yet fleeting figures, that all combine in the end to give a moral or a lesson. Rather this is just a raw and honest look at a hard life.

When I talk to people about Angela's Ashes most have the reaction of, "Oh my gosh it's such a sad book." Or "I loved that book." Or variations on the two. The former reaction seemed to come from people without strong Irish heritage. The latter- Irish. There's a bitter humor that runs throughout the book. A very, what I've come to realize is an Irish humor.

If asked- I'm American. Really, most of my family has been in this country since it was first founded. But when tracing family lineage I'm a strong 25% German, and the rest of me is Irish. Maybe just a dash of French, Scottish and English thrown in there- but mostly Irish. I found myself laughing at so many things, that other people, without that bitter, biting, Irish sense of humor would find unsettling. There is an Irish personality I've noticed, especially after reading this book and thinking about my family. We laugh at hardships, they (or at least Frank) laughed at hardships.

Yes, Frank McCourt had an extremely hard life. Yes, there were dispicable things happening, disturbing and sad. But he writes it all with such an innocent and storylike quality to it, you feel that he's kindly putting up a window so you're not right in it, and you can watch in comfort.

His style of writing is so unique as well. It's story-telling done so well you have trouble remembering this all really happened. There are depressing moments, there are touching moments, and like I keep saying there are many funny moments.

Angela's Ashes is a perfect book to help you really remember that life is what you make it. Shit is going to be thrown at you, but you can't let it weigh you down. You can change your circumstances. Yes, it's hard work, but with determination and the ability not to take it all so seriously, you can turn things around your way. And really, things aren't so bad.

Oh- I guess there was a moral here. Well done, McCourt. Well done.
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Ðɑηηɑ Could you please recommend it to me? Happy Christmas/Chanukah!

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