*** About the Book ***
Frank McCourt, author of the memoirs ANGELA'S ASHES and 'TIS, returns to tell more of his life story in this third memoir. TEACHER MAN focuses on his 30 year career as a high school teacher in New York City. The book includes bits of his childhood and young adult life and the ways they influenced his behavior as a teacher.
*** Why I Listened To It ***
I always meant to check out this book (and 'TIS as well) after I read ANGELA'S ASHES years ago but I never got around to it. Since my car doesn't have a CD player I am limited in the books I can listen to in the car, so I was really excited to find that this was available on cassette at my library.
*** My Thoughts ***
Can I tell you how much I love Frank McCourt? This guy is hilarious! Of course, much of his humor is self-deprecating and he definitely doesn't think that highly of himself, but he is still really, REALLY funny.
I loved hearing about his experience in the classroom. The comments from his early students had me imagining the classroom setting in the movie Grease - you know, with the students all calling out and arguing with the teachers? That is what most of his first years of teaching seemed to be like. As his career progressed he became better at handling his students and keeping them on track, and I really enjoyed hearing how he kept their attention.
My favorite part of the book was when he talked about specific students. The one that touched me the most was a boy named Bob Stein, a "Jewish Future Farmer of America" whose parents were flabergasted by his desire to be a farmer. McCourt ran into Bob several years after graduation and was able to tell him how much he loved having Bob in class, and what an impact this student had on him. It was incredibly sweet.
Although there are some sad and disturbing parts to this book I really enjoyed listening to it. It had me laughing out loud again and again and I've already recommended to several people.
*** About the Narrator ***
McCourt narrated this book himself and he did a fantastic job. He is one of those authors whose work benefits from being read aloud, and when you add the perfect narrator ... well, things can't get much better!
*** Your Thoughts ***
Have you read any of Frank McCourt's books? If so, which was your favorite? I have his children's book ANGELA AND THE BABY JESUS on my shelf ... hopefully I'll remember to read it with Kiddo this Christmas.