Trade Ed. Simon & Schuster Audio 1999
CD ISBN 9780743581523 $14.99 Five CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
Leaving Limerick, "the city of gray miseries," behind, Frank McCourt picks up his family story, started in ANGELA'S ASHES, on board the boat to America in 1949. McCourt is a consummate storyteller, interweaving his wry sense of absurdity to leaven the misfortunes and unhappiness that plague the McCourt family. America, the promised land, is fraught with trials for the newly arrived immigrant. McCourt's direct writing style and engaging delivery make this a treat for listeners. Punctuated by soulful fiddle tunes, the abridgment is better developed in McCourt's early years in New York, moving quickly through the last few years before the McCourt sons actually spread Angela's ashes in the Limerick graveyard in 1985. Frank McCourt said in an interview after recording 'TIS that he never anticipated a sequel to ANGELA'S ASHES, nor does he feel that one needs to read, or listen to, the earlier book. This is modesty, perhaps, because 'TIS is an American immigrant's story without the dream that is the brilliant focus and redemption of ANGELA'S ASHES. McCourt seems fully absorbed in the parts of 'TIS that touch on earlier years and have the luminous humanity that distinguish the earlier book. ANGELA is available on audio, in both unabridged and abridged formats, and having McCourt read it to you is an ultimate treat. An interesting production note on this recording--the abridgment was edited from the full-length text. McCourt worked in the Simon & Schuster studios with producer/director Karen Frillman to record the entire work. Mindful of the transitions needed to produce the edited version, Frillman was able to suggest and adjust the segues needed to keep the abridgment smooth and fluid. R.F.W. © AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 99]
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