Friday, May 04, 2007

I Never Read Angela's Ashes

I have a suspicion that Frank McCourt has been selling his blurbs. I could be wrong--it could be that he and I just have similar taste in nonfiction. I wouldn't have suspected that, since I couldn't get past page 10 of Angela's Ashes, but then, I have noticed the fact that I often share a taste in literature with authors whose work I don't necessarily care for. So it's not impossible that he just likes these two rather obscure books that I plucked off the internet and checked out of the library.

One of these books is not even available through the BPL system--I had to go to Minuteman. (Minuteman officially has way more books, probably by virtue of having a lot of member libraries, each one building an independent collection. Unfortunately, their online catalog is very, very clunky.) One book I heard about on a This American Life story from about three years ago that I was listening recently. It's a memoir called The Man Who Outgrew his Prison Cell, by Joe Loya, a former bank robber who has, apparently, gone straight. Frank McCourt ("Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes") believes I will "be taken with the energy and urgency of Loya's writing," among other things.

Frank McCourt also expresses his gratitude for the existence of Susan Jane Gilman, author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress. "Thank you, O Lord," he prays, "for sending us Susan Gilman's tales." He feels pretty passionate about this, clearly. I'd never heard of the book till someone on the internets pointed me at it. They read a lot of good books out there in cyberspace. Anyway, I don't know pretty much anything about this book at this point, except that Frank McCourt just loved it.

I'd say I should re-try Angela's Ashes, and I suspect that a large number of folks in the world would agree with that idea. But, I have to say, I don't suspect I will. Sorry.

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