Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

I don't know why, but the two Irish books that I read all have unique narrative voices. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha uses something that approaches stream-of-consciousness at times, and Angela's Ashes doesn't have any quotation marks, which just makes the prose flow and flow and flow. Both books are quite similar.

For one thing, both them are about the Irish Childhood. But while Paddy Clarke focused on one year (with flashbacks), Angela's Ashes ranges from birth to about twenty (when Frankie goes to America). And Angela's Ashes is also set in America.

And, both of them both quote the same poem (I'm quite sure). In particular, they both quote this line:

"And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,/ That one small head could carry all he knew."

I love those two lines!

Angela's Ashes is sometimes funny, sometimes sad and always wonderful. I'm not sure why, but I have this impression that this book has dark humour. Of course, I may have mixed it up with another book :p Apart from the fact that Frankie (Frank) McCourt lived an interesting (but somewhat sad) life, the writing is fantastic! I'm not surprised that this was chosen as my unseen prose text, there's so much to say about the writing style, about the, OH YEAH, I said something about oversharing more.

So basically, after I got this as an unseen prose in MG (the teachers have such good taste!), I've been looking for the book after that. I don't think I actually attempted the text (I'm terrible at poetry, but somehow, I score better at it), but it left a deep impression on me. So imagine my surprise when I found it at BookOff? Well, the first copy was large print and quite expensive (about 800 yen), and not in very good condition. So imagine my surprise when I find an almost pristine paperback for 200 yen. I did not let go of the book after that.

This book didn't disappoint. You definitely have to read it, it's fantastic!

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