In his best-selling memoir, filled with poverty and humor, suffering and grace, Frank McCourt traces his childhood in Limerick. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award, Angela's Ashes is an unflinching vision of life on the dole in Ireland. It is also a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Frank McCourt's early years are a nightmare. His father is a drunk; his mother is often pregnant; social services provide too little, too late. But despite this deprivation, McCourt grows up with a passionate love of storytelling and an unerring eye for detail. He survives the squalor, cruelty, and insensitivity surrounding him by seasoning his memories with strains of music and compassion. McCourt now lives in New York, where he has been a teacher and actor. With Angela's Ashes he makes his debut behind the Recorded Books' microphone. After narrating this unabridged recording of his text in our studio, McCourt claims that it was an almost "mystical experience."
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"You could paper the walls of an Irish castle with the accolades bestowed upon Angela's Ashes. First, the print version won the Pulitzer Prize. Then Frank McCourt himself narrated the abridged version (celebrated in AudioFile, April/May 1997). But the best was yet to come--the entire book read and sung and recited by author McCourt. Here we have the stereotypical Irish characters--the drunken poet father; the all-suffering mother; the miserable, hungry kids being turned away by a haughty Church--all made three-dimensional and brought fully to life by both McCourt's language and his loving, intimate narration. "It happened," this voice attests, "I was there." Grim it is--but the tale and its teller transcend the poverty--and so does the listener, who glories in the story and voice from beginning to end. Happily, Mc-Court is at work on a sequel. We eagerly await his next turn at the mike. E.K.D. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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