Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

Version: Unabridged
Author: Frank McCourt
Narrator: Frank McCourt
Genres: Biography & Memoir, Non-Fiction, Literary, Memoirs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: November 2005
# of Units: 12 CDs
Length: 15 hours
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A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

Reviews (8)


Written by CelticCutie on November 17th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

While this book's content was wonderful and thorough, as a recovering Catholic, it was very difficult for me to hear how the church bullied people and threaten them. Frank was an excellent narrator and I wondered through it all how he survived and became a successful human being. Many people would have become bitter and dependent on alcohol or drugs to deal with the trauma they endured.

Written by Amy C. on September 19th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is one of those books that makes you choke because you start dying laughing in the middle of a good cry, great book and narrated perfectly

Written by Mariana Toro on March 18th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

One of the best, saddest, most engaging books I've read.


Written by Liza on April 12th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book is so very sad: extreme poverty, starvation, diseases, neglect, and many dead children. The most terrible thing in these situations is the parents' neglect of their children, and their blindness and ignorance about it. Neglect that leads to many of the terrible things that happen to kids in poverty. And that leads very young children to prematurely behave and become adults, as Frank was already at the age of 5 or even earlier. So sad, so painful. The book is bleak, but what can you expect when the kids are dirty, dressed in filthy rags, starving, barely have a shack for a house, a father that drinks his weekly salary (when he has a job!), and diseases that are overlooked by neglecting parents and get sever sometimes to the death of infants. There is also some black humor in this book, and it is funny although depressing. And of course, whomever loves this book should also read The Glass Castle.

Written by Bill Anderson on February 6th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I went through a variety of emotions from laughter to anger to sadness. This has been the best read of my life thus far.

Written by regina ryan on February 16th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A terrible life, redeemed by human tenacity. His reading makes it unforgettable.

Written by Jim Seymour on June 3rd, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is the third time I've listened to this memoir and I have read it twice. 'Nuff said.

Written by Carrie Ritchie on December 24th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I loved this book. The narration was excellent! I highly recommend it.

Author Details

Author Details

McCourt, Frank

"Frank McCourt was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents; grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For thirty years he taught in various New York City high schools, including Stuyvesant, and in city colleges. He lives with his wife, Ellen, in New York City and Connecticut."