The audiobook version available through Jefferson County Public Library, via Axis360, is ABRIDGED, not unabridged as listed. Many parts of the story were missing, which we only discovered after having listened to the entire book and realized other reviewers and those discussing the book were talking about parts we had not heard in the audiobook version we listened to.
That said, the book was a disappointment: very enjoyable, if tragic and appalling, at first, but later the family Frank talks about in such detail utterly disappears from the tale. Instead, the focus shifts entirely to a very selfish Frank, who earns money delivering telegrams but never mentions sharing his wages with his impoverished mother and brothers, and later has no problem stealing money to save up for HIS trip to America -- even from a dead woman.
The (audio)book ends abruptly, the ending rushed, leaving a very lopsided narrative that is richly detailed at the beginning and then, as if he realized things were getting long and he needed to wrap things up, he threw together an ending. As both a writer and a reader, I found the ending chapters utterly a letdown, and I'm puzzled as to why the book received a Pulitzer Prize. If it had continued as brilliantly as it began, maybe ... but as it's written, it's a big mystery why it got all the hype and a Pulitzer it doesn't deserve.
EDIT: In skimming through the e-book for comparison, I now see why this audiobook version was so short. It's probably HALF the original book contents! Many, many stories were left out, key details that would've significantly changed the story. The ending is still the ending, however, which for me is still a letdown: a selfish, sexually immoral Frank arriving in America, full stop. Some have said it's a "cliffhanger" to lead into the next memoir, entitled " 'Tis," but the writing at the end of Angela's Ashes is very badly handled, not to mention a disappointment in Frank as a person (if you have moral decency and a sense of rightness, that is).
Nov 16, 2016.....this one is a hit for Rick! (and me as well.)
I never would have figured out how to pronounce some of the words in McCourt's dialogues by the spelling he uses to indicate regional accents, so the author's own narration is exceptionally helpful, as well as entertaining and beautiful to listen to.
A tender and lighthearted recounting of the childhood, boyhood, and youth of the author, who lived in abject poverty.
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