Review – ‘Tis

‘Tis by Frank McCourt

From the book jacket -

Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat.  He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this “classless country” and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports.  It is Frank’s incomparable voice – his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue – that renders these experiences spellbinding.

When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should “stick to their own kind” once they arrive.  Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University.  There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blond, and tries to live his dream.  But it is not until he starts to teach – and to write – that Frank finds his place in the world.  The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela’s Ashes comes of age.

My thoughts -

As many of you probably know, ‘Tis is the sequel to Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt’s first memoir about growing up poor in Ireland.  While I liked this continuation of McCourt’s life, it didn’t come anywhere close to living up to his first memoir.  AA was just amazing, I fell completely in love with that book and reading about McCourt’s family and his life completely captivated me.  With ‘Tis… well not so much with the captivation this time.  I mean, I was definitely interested to find out what happened to him after he left Ireland, so it was especially enjoyable to read about all the good that happened in his life.  And McCourt definitely has a way of writing his life that makes it read like a novel; he can obviously understand and relate to all types of people, which is why he can write the characters in his own life so well.  So this is not a bad memoir, by any means, it’s just difficult to live up to something as magnificent as AA and do as great a job.  Just didn’t quite get there, in my opinion.

6.5 stars.

**To continue with Weekly Geeks, if anyone has read and reviewed this book (or any others that I’ve reviewed, including Speak!) please send me your links and I will post them on this page.**

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