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Teacher Man (Frank McCourt #3)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  22,545 ratings  ·  1,810 reviews
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, mega-bestselling author who wore his celebrity with extraordinary grace comes a magnificently appealing book about teaching and about how one great storyteller found his voice.

Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of sixty-six, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his ch
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Scribner (first published 2005)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsNight by Elie WieselAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography
105th out of 3,010 books — 3,423 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Best Books of the 21st Century
272nd out of 6,549 books — 16,006 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Jul 20, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: Charles Van
Shelves: memoirs, series
My fourth book by Frank McCourt and I am still impressed.

Teacher Man (2005) is the last book of his 3-part tragicomic memoir and it is about his experiences as a teacher in at least 3 schools in New York. He spent 33 years teaching high school students before he retired at the age of 60 and wrote his first book, Angela's Ashes at the age of 66. The book changed his life tremendously. He won a Pulitzer in 1997. National Book Critics Circle Award in 1996. He met President Bush, Lady Diana and othe
This book is difficult to review. While I appreciated McCourt's attempt to recognize teachers (especially English teachers) and the work (often underappreciated) that we do, I felt that his theory of if we all "think outside the box" and try to be friendly with our students, than we will have a successful teaching career, a bit unrealistic, overly idealistic, and in many ways, condescending. While I do admire some of his methods, and enjoy his writing style, I found that the times when he let hi ...more
Titolo: Ehi, prof!
Sottotitolo: I libri non sono oggetti. I libri hanno l'anima

Caro Frank, è ormai la terza volta che ti scrivo, ti do del tu perché ti conosco da quando eri un moccioso e vivevi a Limerick, e anche se sei morto professore a New York, io ti ricordo così, come quell'infelice infante irlandese e cattolico.
Siccome ormai abbiamo la confidenza adatta, e non mi piacerebbe essere disonesta nei tuoi confronti, te lo devo dire, ho pianto per le prime trenta pagine di questo ultimo libr
May 16, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers, avid readers
Shelves: nonfiction, memoirs
At first, I was a little disappointed, because the book went by so fast. He summed up 30 years of teaching in a little over 200 pages.

Then, when I thought about it, I realized how much it made sense. I've only been teaching for five years, and at times, it feels like forever, but at the same time, it's gone by so fast. I think McCourt captured that perfectly.

Also, I love his self-deprecating humor. There are many times when I feel like a fraud as a teacher, but I know that if I tried to write li
McCourt has a compelling style of writing, an extraordinarily masculine style (I don't know what this means exactly, but if I were ever to try to pin down what I thought made for "masculine" writing, I'd definitely look at McCourt's book, if only to avoid the traditional recourse to Hemingway). One thing that was nice about it was that it was a memoir that happened to be about a period in his life when he was a teacher -- i.e. that happened to be about teaching. It clearly wasn't a "teacher mem ...more
Feb 25, 2007 E rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
i hated this book. i didn't like the style of his writing. i didn't like the way he talked about his teaching and what he did in his classroom. as i kept on reading, i was just like- dude- you are not a good teacher. but maybe it's just the way he presented himself.

when i got to the end, i was like- so. what was the point? but i guess the point was that this is part of his life story.
Fred Gorrell
The first chapter of this book is so exquisite that I have caught myself rehearsing it as a possible public reading many times. Mr. McCourt describes his first day as a new teacher standing before a class of hardened urban students. It bristles with irony and suspense comparable to great classic comedy scenes. I read the book for the first time shortly after it was published, at the end of my first year as a teacher, and identified with Mr. McCourt's predicament completely. If only I had managed ...more
JJ Marsh
A very different book to Angela’s Ashes. It’s like listening to a witty, self-deprecating yet passionate man tell you stories of his life. You can even hear his accent.

McCourt talks about his time as a teacher; how it came about, his successes and failures, his talent for telling stories.
In other hands, this could read as one long ego trip. But this man is, was, a master storyteller. He draws you in with his confidences and asides, making you believe you’re sharing his secrets.

I met Susan Jan
I read this book years ago, at the start of my teaching career. I can't remember if I was student teaching or if it was my first year, but nevertheless, I was a newbie. I actually started reading it again forgetting this was the Frank McCourt book I had read years ago. It took me about two pages to realize my mistake, but I figured I might as well finish it since I hadn't even remembered I had read it in the first place.
McCourt no doubt has some questionable pedagogy. Some of his out-of-the-box
E' il primo libro di McCourt che mi capita di leggere, anche se Adelphi ne ha pubblicati altri due, sempre autobiografici. In questo l'autore si concentra sui suoi lunghi anni d'insegnamento nelle scuole superiori di New York. La prima parte è molto divertente, brillante, si simpatizza subito con questo "povero" professore costretto ad avere a che fare con branchi di alunni adolescenti senza controllo. La seconda parte è invece più frammentata, non so se fosse stanco di scrivere, ma sembra aver ...more
Non è così appassionante e coinvolgente come Le ceneri di Angela, ma lo stile è ugualmente molto scorrevole, con la solita vena di ironia; l'ho letto tutto d'un fiato, nonostante sia un racconto non unitario, ma un succedersi di tanti episodi legati comunque tra loro dalla vita di insegnante di McCourt. Così emerge una miriade di personaggi, di alunni con le loro storie, storie uniche, personali, spesso con le loro vite difficili di figli di immigrati. In tutto questo mondo McCourt si trova coin ...more
Jan 04, 2008 Dusty rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Inexperienced teachers!
Shelves: read-in-2008
Frank McCourt: The Irish-American Larry McMurtry?

I ended up with mixed feelings about this book. I loved -- no, adored -- the first section of this wry, honest memoir. The second section was solid, also, but felt a little out of place. (My reaction: What? McCourt's in Dublin drinking, cheating on his wife, and not getting the doctorate he's supposed to be working on? What does this have to do with his high school teaching career?) The third section returns to and wraps up his teaching career. I
Almost As Good As "Angela's Ashes"

McCourties of the world rejoice! You have nothing to lose but your tears of woe anticipating when he'd return with his next book; the foremost memoirist of our time is back. Frank McCourt's "Teacher Man" is a spellbinding lyrical ode to the craft of teaching. It is a rollicking, delightful trek across nearly thirty years in New York City public school classrooms that will surely please his devout legion of fans, and perhaps win some new admirers too. Truly, with
Feb 23, 2008 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Heather by: self
Shelves: nonfiction
I do not like this book. I thought, "He's a teacher, I'm a teacher. I should read it," and "He wrote 'Angela's Ashes' which people seem to like, so I'll read it." I wish I'd left it alone. I actually bought the book for someone else, but then I decided to read it myself and give her something else. I'm glad I didn't give it as a gift.

Frank McCourt was a high school teacher in New York and is an immigrant from......Ireland! He was actually born in America, but his family moves to Ireland, and he
I had read this one before, but decided to listen to the audio version from the library because #1 it's good, and #2 it's read by the author. Hearing the author made it even better the second time around. His accent is great, and his sense of humor comes through better on the audio. A couple times, as he tells a story, he chuckles, and it's so great I had to rewind to hear it again.
Frank McCourt has been a favourite of mine since high school where I read 'Tis and then Angela's Ashes, so when I saw a copy of the final book in his memoirs, I snapped it up, and read it. I enjoyed it so much that I passed it on the a friend from TColl, who enjoyed it just as much as I did, and so she passed it on to another friend of ours from it's done a miniring among friends :-)

I'll probably take this one to the meetup on Tuesday :-)

From the back

"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning,
This author wrote ANGELA'S ASHES which I have not read, but the title of course intrigued me.

There is a lot of adult information and language, not for the junior high yet.

I could identify with this author on many different levels. I haven't cheated on my wife (or gotten a divorce). I teach junior high, maybe that's the difference (I guess I also teach fifty years after McCourt).

However, when he talks about the suitcase full of papers watching you from the corner (definitely been there and done
i'm fascinated, as usual by the negative reviews of this book. ive never read anything that spoke to me about teaching the way this book did, and about the rest of the stuff we're all to deal with in general. perhaps the people who dont get it arent rebels at heart...perhaps they are individuals who havent had a boss scold them or perhaps theyve just always felt in control. but i am grateful for this book, and moreso for frank mc court writing about everything he chose to detail in all three, an ...more
Greg Morrison
I read Teacher Man on a whim. I read Angela's Ashes seemingly in a past life, and scarcely remember much of it. Did he throw up his communion wafers, & did the priest chastise him for rejecting the body of Christ? And do I remember him having to lick it up? Was there also some closing section that involved the long death of a sweetheart to tuberculosis, or am I confusing that with Van Morrison's "T.B. Sheets"?

Teacher Man doesn't demand extensive knowledge of Frank McCourt's other two memoirs
Alien  Citizen
Also heard this one read by the author on cd. Not nearly as good as 'Tis. I liked hearing about his life and the impersonations of students was somewhat amusing, if not repetitive and grating on the nerves, but I actually felt like this story was a little cheesy. It seemed like he fell back on a lot of cliches of that old standby, the uplifting story of the teacher who makes a difference. I don't think that this was at all intentional and I'm sure that he probably was as honest about his teachin ...more
Melissa McShane
Not as good as Angela's Ashes, better than 'Tis. McCourt is unfailingly honest about what it was like for him to teach English at four high schools and one college of varying levels of quality. Unfortunately, what it was like for him was pretty bleak. Well-trained in the Catholic art of Examining your Conscience (his words), McCourt also supplies a ready stream of insights into his personality. I can't fault him for this, but it made me sad for this Irish American who was so consistently hard on ...more
Mikey B.
An amusing book and the author can to spin a good yarn. It is noble that he sings the praises of being a teacher for it is a profession well worthy of being written of. However there are times where he seems self-absorbed and draws too much attention to himself (Woody Allen style).

The book can be a little too much of “McCourt and his students” instead of being “the students and McCourt”. There is self-centredness of how the students feel about the author. The writing can be wonderful when he foc
Russell Bittner
This is the second work of Frank McCourt’s I’ve read (the other being Angela’s Ashes, which I read and reviewed in September of last year). And since he chooses to call both of them ‘memoirs,’ I can only conclude that the man knows what he’s talking about and is a master of the form.

McCourt is about as real a writer as I can imagine. His language is straightforward – never hackneyed, never trite – and every situation he describes seems to lift right off the page and into a reader’s eyes, ears, n
Wow. I loved this book. LOVED it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a good teacher memoir.

McCourt got the Pulitzer for Angela's Ashes, and he didn't write it until he was 63. Until then he'd been teaching. And he was (negatively) categorized as such.

McCourt epitomizes teachers in this book, and he humorously documents the challenges we all face.
I really wanted to love this book. Having just qualified as a teacher, it very much appealed to read a novel about somebody from a deprived background falling almost accidentally into the teaching profession in New York without being remotely prepared for what he has let himself in for.

The first few chapters delivered exactly what I wanted - inspirational quotations about teaching, about how misunderstood the profession is and the common assumptions that get thrown around regarding the amount o
Mr. Z
"This is the situation in the public schools of America: the farther you travel from the classroom the greater your financial and professional rewards." While I can certainly related to and even laughed at many of McCourt's classroom challenges and adventures, I tried not to buy into the feeling of all being lost with today's students. No, the bulk of today's students don't appreciate their education nearly as much as they would have 50 years ago, but let's not blame our students for all of thei ...more
Linda George
What did I think of this book...and of his previous two books? Amazing. And the only way to "read" his books is to listen to him narrate his own story. What a gifted writer and teacher!

I loved Mr. McCourt's honesty. At no point did I hear him excuse his poor judgment away by whining about his horrendous upbringing in poverty or his father's affinity for the bottle. It may have been there, for sure, but *I* didn't hear it, simply because I enjoyed every single word that the man spoke.

As a woman
Bart Breen
More of the Same - And that is a Good Thing!

McCourt has a very consistent writing style with a very appealing, and revealing style.

I listened to the Audio Book as McCourt read it himself. I highly recommend that. There are very strong meanings and reinforced patterns to be gained by listening to his lilting Irish Brogue.

McCourt writes as he thinks, and in doing so his book is both biographical and very psychologically revealing. Sure it gives insight to the teacher. But it really shows us oursel
Apr 15, 2011 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heather by: Lorri's b.o.b pick
This book doesn't fall into my normal type of readings. That doesn't account for the low rating though. I needed to read this for my book club (I know I sound like I have to justify why I read this book, sorry). I love my book club, because I get to read books I normally wouldn't, at least not right away.

I didn't like this book for a number of reasons. Frank McCourt's writing didn't appeal to me. Most of the book seemed like one long diatribe about how sucky it was to be a teacher. A lot of us k
Quang Khuê
Mình rất khoái giọng văn, có lẽ là do cách chuyển ngữ vui vẻ của dịch giả. Tuy nhiên, nội dung cuốn sách không quá mới lạ, cách nghĩ của tác giả cũng không quá đặc biệt. Nếu ai đã từng đọc "Giáo dục con người chân chính như thế nào" của V.A. Xu Khômlinxki thì thấy ông cũng có cách nghĩ tương tự. Mình đọc cuốn kia lâu rồi, cũng thật khập khiễng khi so sánh, vì một bên là sách nghiên cứu, còn một bên lại thiên về tự truyện. Tuy nhiên chi tiết mình nhớ nhất trong cả hai cuốn trên, đó là cách giáo d ...more
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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)
  • 'Tis (Frank McCourt, #2)
Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1) 'Tis (Frank McCourt, #2) The Angela's Ashes/'Tis Boxed Set Angela and the Baby Jesus Angela's Ashes/'Tis/Teacher Man

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“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won't let them because there's nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep 'em busy or they might start thinking.” 21 likes
“You have to give yourself credit, not too much because that would be bragging.” 10 likes
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