Tuesday, January 17, 2006

9. "Teacher Man" ~ Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Angela's Ashes, writes what is called his first memoir. While some would argue that all or most of Ashes and 'Tis are autobiographical, Teacher Man separates itself in its span of McCourt's thirty-plus years of teaching in several New York schools.

His self-deprecating sense of humor gains too much momentum. By the time I was two-thirds of the way through the book, I began to dislike him almost as much as he seemed to dislike himself. "Who would want to have sex with him?" I wondered, even as he described his own pathetic attempts at grab-ass.

However, if you are in the teaching profession, you will nod repeatedly as you read. The stilted begging of students, the tilting chairs, the attitudes... it is all woefully familiar, yet still entertaining. Without the depth of his other books' issues (poverty, death, redemption), Teacher Man seems like a quick dart throw at a bullseye, only hitting a double 14 instead.

3.0 out of 5.0 iced coffee fillips.

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