I haven't picked this book up since middle school, but damn, it was still as powerful.Frank McCourt recounts his childhood in the Irish slums with such tenacity, hilarity, and vividness; that you feel as if you are there with him. Only an author such as McCourt could make such a trying, poverty stricken, childhood into a story of strength and humor, and belief. As a child he grew up having to accept handouts because his father was a drunk and would drink away whatever little work money he was able to get. Due to the family's malnourishment and lack of proper housing; Frank lost three young siblings to illness, and spent his entire childhood hungry and in and out of hospitals. Despite all that he was able to look towards the future and worked hard to save money to go to America. He used his brains to escape the poverty cycle and Angela's Ashes is just the first of his memoirs. There are others (that I have not read yet) that recount his life in America, his teaching job, and his adult life. A wonderful memoir, and if you get a chance, listen to it. The author narrates it himself and you won't want to miss out on his Irish accent and singing of bawdy tavern songs.