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Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 10:22 AM


Just read in the morning paper that the author of the wonderful "Angela's Ashes" and "'Tis" has died in a New York hospice, while under treatment for meningitis and an aggressive skin cancer.

What an awful end for such a gentle, compassionate man. I'm sorry to know there will be no more Frank McCourt books.

RIP, Mr McCourt.

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5235)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 11:33 AM

I have never read his work, but I did think of you and your puzzle yesterday when I read that.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 12:52 PM

He didn't write historical fiction, he wrote memoir. You MUST read Angela's Ashes. I'd send you mine but it's a first edition and he autographed it when he visited UNF. I'll look out for a paperback at the thrift and send it to you. It's a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking book. Brings the tears and makes you laugh out loud while they're still wet on your face. No lie.

Did you know his brother played the evil Irish innkeeper from Inish Craig on One Life to Live?

Abbyr  (Level: 86.8 - Posts: 2266)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 1:00 PM

"It's a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking book. Brings the tears and makes you laugh out loud while they're still wet on your face. No lie." ... perfectly put. One of my most favourite books, one that I was sorry when I finished it and I can read over and over. What a talent he was.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 3:14 PM

Don't think I ever read anything funnier than the scene where young Frankie is caught in his Auntie's dress while he waits for his wet clothes to dry.

Marynuala  (Level: 141.3 - Posts: 996)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 6:33 PM

A sad loss to the literary world. Angelas's Ashes was a novel with a mixture of comedy and sadness. Its profile of Frank's Irish childhood included amazingly horrific incidents about poverty etc., that no child should endure. I also saw the film, but as often happens with adaptations, it was not as interesting as the book. I will echo Smoke by saying too R.I.P. Frank

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Mon, 20th Jul '09 8:11 PM

I loved Frank -- he had a sweet gentleness that came through in his writing and in his speaking. Totally opposite of his brother Malachy.

RIP Frankie McCourt.

Sargon  (Level: 112.9 - Posts: 1256)
Tue, 21st Jul '09 4:27 PM

Here is a great story about McCourt written by Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Maury)

This is the link to the complete article

Frank McCourt played the harmonica. I don't know where or how he learned -- maybe as a scrawny kid running the streets of Limerick, Ireland -- but he played the thing, or so he said, in stating his credentials to join a novelty band of writers of which I am a part.

Now, any band would be happy to have Frank McCourt, Beatles song or not, because he was one of those guys who made the conversation funnier, made his table the envy of all the other tables. So of course we said OK, and a few band members privately practiced the song Frank said he knew, "Love Me Do."

And that night in Sun Valley, Idaho, we called him on stage. He clamored up, holding his harmonica, and he leaned in and started to blow.

And it was a Beatles song all right.

Unfortunately, it wasn't "Love Me Do." It was another Beatles song, which Frank had apparently mixed up, and while it quickly became obvious that we were not, shall we say, musically aligned -- since we sounded like a harmonica playing against a train crash -- Frank kept tooting away, happily oblivious, until we finally figured out what he was doing and scrambled to back him up.

The song he played that night was "I Should Have Known Better" and looking back, we should have, too, because that's who Frank McCourt was -- author, teacher, storyteller, harmonica man -- he walked through life making his happy, magical melodies until the world, like our band, finally caught up.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Tue, 21st Jul '09 5:48 PM

What a beautiful and fitting tribute from one fine writer to another. Thank you so much for posting it.

Kaufman  (Level: 269.8 - Posts: 3941)
Tue, 21st Jul '09 6:07 PM

At least it wasn't Revolution 9.

Wordster  (Level: 167.7 - Posts: 938)
Tue, 21st Jul '09 6:41 PM

Yes, "Angela's Ashes" was a great book. That's sad to hear.

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