Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Tough-o-Meter

By Frank McCourt

Tough-o-Meter

(4) Tree Line

The (not so) bad: The book is chock full of Irish colloquialisms, like "eejit" and "blaguard". It also takes place in a time and culture very different to ours, which makes some of the allusions and references hard to understand.Ā 

The good: Luckily, if you're armed with a bit of historical context (and you are: for historical context, check out "Setting and Theme: Patriotism") and an Irish phrasebook you'll be able to read the book without a hiccup. The book also has a long list of characters, which can be confusing at times, but it's nothing that a pen and a notepad (and our "Characters" section) can't solve. The language is generally really accessible except for the Irishisms, and the story's so engaging that we happily put up with the unfamiliar stuff.

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