~Read Book ♢ 'Tis: A Memoir ♳ The Sequel To Frank McCourt S Memoir Of His Irish Catholic Boyhood, Angela S Ashes, Picks Up The Story In October , Upon His Arrival In America Though He Was Born In New York, The Family Had Returned To Ireland Due To Poor Prospects In The United States Now Back On American Soil, This AwkwardYear Old, With His Pimply Face, Sore Eyes, And Bad Teeth, Has Little In Common With The Healthy, Self Assured College Students He Sees On The Subway And Dreams Of Joining In The Classroom Initially, His American Experience Is As Harrowing As His Impoverished Youth In Ireland, Including Two Of The Grimmest Christmases Ever Described In Literature McCourt Views The US Through The Same Sharp Eye And With The Same Dark Humor That Distinguished His First Memoir Race Prejudice, Casual Cruelty, And Dead End Jobs Weigh On His Spirits As He Searches For A Way Out A Glimpse Of Hope Comes From The Army, Where He Acquires Some White Collar Skills, And From New York University, Which Admits Him Without A High School Diploma But The Journey Toward His Position Teaching Creative Writing At Stuyvesant High School Is Neither Quick Nor Easy Fortunately, McCourt S Openness To Every Variety Of Human Emotion And Longing Remains Exceptional Even The Most Damaged, Difficult People He Encounters Are Richly Rendered Individuals With Whom The Reader Can T Help But Feel Uncomfortable Kinship The Magical Prose, With Its Singing Irish Cadences, Brings Grandeur And Beauty To The Most Sorrowful Events, Including The Final Scene, Set In A Limerick GraveyardWendy Smith
First, let me say that I absolutely adored this book While not as dear to my heart as the first, I think this story is moving and the voice is, as always, unique That said, this story is a muchfamiliar one than the last Irish immigrant trying to make a life for himself in a new world, and a war enraged America This story, though, is muchtangible than other immigration stories and unique in that, throughout all the troubles, heartache, injustice, and anger, this is a story not burdened with self pity That s magic.This is the continued story of Frank McCourt see Angela s Ashes and we pick up upon his arrival in America His eyes are still troublesome, a testament to the poverty that has followed him across the ocean The cold water flat he rents is both freezing and tiny, he finds He must stick close to other Catholics initially , and the land of opportunity, it seems, offers little opportunity to the likes of him Where the first book seemed startling and heartbreaking in its sudden contrast to American life, this book invokes the same feelings but with an added twinge of guilt for the fact these were our ancestors mistreating and being mistreated These lives were real not a distant story, but a tangible one McCourt s voice too is nothing short of poetry throughout We said a Hail Mary and it wasn t enough We had drifted from the church but we knew that for her and for us in that ancient abbey there would have been comfort in dignity in the prayers of a priest, proper requiem for a mother of seven We had lunch at a pub along the road to Ballinacura and you d never know from the way we ate and drank and laughed that we d scattered our mother who was once a grand dancer at the Wembley Hall and known to one and all for the way she sang a good song, oh, if she could only catch her breath. Sadder in some ways than Angela s Ashes Whereas Angela s Ashes was a story of Frank McCourt fighting the odds and dangers of growing up in a Limerick slum and trying to escape, this book is about Frank McCourt fighting with himself and occasionally American society This book reveals his darker side, including his own battles with the drink though these are never as bad as his father s alcohol problems , his insecurities and the chip on his shoulder about growing up in a slum Frank had a tough life even in America, and while the book is occasionally humorous, it is sad to see the way drinking contributes to a lot of his problems and the growing gulf between him and his mother McCourt s sparse writing style, while refreshing, only makes these problems seem worse In Angela s Ashes, McCourt left Ireland in triumph, as a victim turned hero, while in Tis he is half victim, half villain. After reading Angela s Ashes I was glad to know author Frank McCourt had also written a sequel I felt after reading Ashes, I needed closure I wanted to know how Frank fared as a young adult when he arrived in New York as an Irish immigrant in 1949 and if the rest of the McCourt family followed in his footsteps Tis had all the answers I was seeking with such an amazing writing style of aching sadness and desperate humor 5 Stars Do I Detect an Irish Brogue I listened to this book as read by the Author I recommend that, as I read Angela s Ashes and enjoyed it a lot as well, but there is something special about the reading by the author that adds a diminsion to the work that you can t quite catch reading it.Up front, many are uncomfortable with this work and Angela s Ashes because of the language, which is quite blue in places I don t find it the most endearing quality myself, but as a memoir it captures the language of the army, the loading dock, the teachers lounge and the bar Be warned up front, if you are not comfortable hearing swearing, then this is NOT the book for you.That having been said, listening to McCourt read, I caught the poetic, lyrical, stream of consciousness attributes that I knew were present in Angela s Ashes, but hearing the cadence, the lilting roll and flow of the language there are parts of this book that come close to poetry It is an amazing and endearing quality that is rarely achieved in most modern literature.McCourt has a rare transparency with his insecurity, his dysfunctional relationships, his family dynamics, his romance with his first wife and his transition to teaching and moving toward writing is very revealing and almost has a therapeutic value as you listen and can recognize the human condition in general.My one criticism, is that, perhaps, this book stretches a little long for the material he includes The actual narrative events can be condensed to a very short story line It is the embellishment, the thinking out loud and the dancing around in what becomes a farily discernible pattern by the end of the book to where, it almost becomes a little tedious, although this is faint criticism when weighed against the overall impact of the book.A very entertaining listen and read It is hard to follow up on a Pulitzer Prize The goal is lofty and the expectations overwhelming My opinion is this book does not surpass its progenitor, but it certainly comes close and providesof the same type of reading and entertainment.I look forward to reading, and hopefully hearing the next installment. All a bit sad.What happens when your dreams come true and you re still not happy After the shocking story of Angelas s Ashes , any sequel was likely to suffer and unfortunately this one does too This is the often told tale of a young man arriving in the big city and the adventures that befall him.Frank McCourt arrives in New York aged 19, joins the US army and eventually becomes a teacher It s everything he wanted or dreamed about as a child in Limerick But he s still not happy Like his father, he has problems with alcohol, and it causes him problems with jobs and relationships There is a lot of grown up introspection from Frank, no longer the ignorant kid from the lanes He sees a lot of racism in America, not just black and white, but anti Irish, whites against Puerto Ricans, Italians looking down on everyone and so on.Of course there are still lots of very funny lines and sequences as you d expect from McCourt Everyone of Irish descent that he meets, tells him where their mother and father came from in Ireland Frank tells stories about lots of amazing characters, and these are so many that he must have amalgamated his own and other stories Frank is a master storyteller and I suspect teller of tall tales, but that doesn t make them any the less entertaining.The sadness continues when his father who swears he has given up the drink arrives from Ireland, he is taken off the boat in restraints, blind drunk.His mother, Angela, is lonely in America, and she irritates Frank, even though he knows how much he owes her.His brothers are falling prey to drink, and the cycle of alcoholism continues.I suppose it s the story all families go through kids grow up, parents become a burden kids have kids and it begins again.At the end of Bob Geldof s autobiography, he is standing outside Wembley late at night after the Live Aid concert, when a man says to him Is that it And as Frank McCourt would say Tis I will read the final volume of memoirs Teaching Man but I expect it to beof the same Entertaining but nothingthan that. I enjoyed this sequel to Angela s Ashes , because of Frank McCourt s ability to recollect dialogue, and his way of writing the words so well that you can just HEAR the Irish accent while you read It is so amazing and inspiring to see where Frank comes from, the slums of Ireland, with his essentially single mother to college, eventually graduate school, later a teacher in New York City It s a long road out of the slums out of his own head of fears, limitations, low self esteem to the place where he is able to make something of himself..One thing about Frank as an author is that he tells the truth, even if it s ugly and shows his own flaws I struggled with him drinking too much repeatedly visiting the Irish pubs, especially after growing up WITHOUT his alcoholic father who couldn t prioritize his wife children ahead of his addiction for drink abandoned them all to poverty a life of misery It was hard to read about Frank stopping for a beer after school, then one beer turns into a nine hour binge, and then oh well what s onewhen the wife is already going to be pissed, so what s the use I couldn t help but think Frank was possibly self sabotaging his life relationships While I appreciate honesty, I ll offer my own I am disappointed with Frank for this drinking, if it weren t for that, I would have easily given the book 4 stars What I love about Mr McCourt is that he never fails to make me laugh out loud, even in the midst of the grimmest material He is funny I laughed a lot.I also have a great respect for the language, cultural, and financial struggles that immigrants have when they first come to this country. This is an amazing and a motivational book that has inspired me these past few months being a junior What makes this book inspirtational is how at every event in McCourt s life he finds the positive sides or tries to find something humorous within the event This has taught me that no matter what life throws me at I can achieve, nothing is a major deal I was really able to connect to McCourt in this bookthan the first, Angela s Ashes because this story took place in New York, and in my neighborhood McCourt mentions the area I live in and the Church I go to, having these images in my head made the story seem closer to home What really kept the story interesting for me is how descriptive McCourt is in his writing, mentioning specific neighborhoods, bars, schools which allowed me to really connect to this book especially since I live in New York What also made the story fascinating is all the ordeals that McCourt has went through in his life, every chapter was a cliffhanger with me not being able to see what happened next I didn t like how McCourt kept going from one story in his life to another because it made the book very suspensful For example, I couldn t wait to see what happened to his relationship with Alberta and what would become of the relationship with his father Overall, this is an amazing book that I believe every one can learn life lessons from and find some sort of connection with McCourt. I seem to be somewhat in the minority here, but I enjoyed Tisthan Angela s Ashes Perhaps because I was already so invested in Frank s life, so intrigued to see where he went next Or maybe because he had control over his life now he is an adult While he is still deeply affected by his circumstances, he is now in a position to attempt to change them, so it was a little less depressing to read I love his way with language, how he can describe something that is both horrifying and humorous I don t want to spoil anything, so I ll just say I loved finding out where he goes and how he got there Looking forward to reading the final volume soon Couple of points here McCourt s story is mesmerizing From what he came from to what he become is beyond inspiring and thought provoking however, I have some qualms with McCourt Knowing what he knows about the dangers and pitfalls of alcohol, why the hell does he touch the stuff It goes on to ruin several of his relationships and opportunities and yet he never comments on this He never touches on the point of alcoholism in families and how his father s drinking did or did not directly affect him Further, how the hell does his brothers open a bar once they both arrive in New York What about the devastation of drinking did these guys not get I regret that his order is off kilter and much of the time the reader has no idea McCourt s age or at least the year At one point he was 29 and graduating from college The next, he s having a kid at 38 McCourt constantly harps on random people in his life complaining about mundane things Then, a girl breaks up with him and he s about to commit suicide Or he complains about high school kids being obnoxious and unruly And who the hell has sex with a prostitute after entering the incinerator rooms of Dachau McCourt s pretty screwed up, or so it shows in his memoirs.