Alphie is the youngest of the four McCourt brothers and the third-after Frank and Malachy-to pen a memoir about his life in Ireland and the U.S. Being a decade younger than Frank, we see the Limerick of the early 1950s is still a hard life for the McCourts, but with the brothers leaving for America-and being drafted into the U.S. Army-there is now money coming into the household. Still it is the same bleak landscape that Frank wrote about in Angela's Ashes, full of class-based bias and still under the thumb Holy Mother Church. This book is a nomadic adventure worthy of Ulysses. We see Alphie coming to America, going to Canada, finally reentering the U.S. and going into the Army as, of all things, a No. 10 can food inspector. After jobs in bars and journeys to Dublin and California, Archie finally settles in New York, finds a wife and has a child. McCourt always finds irony in life and his tales of the bar and restaurant business and its clientele are laugh-out-loud funny. Sensitive, lyrical, funny, stubborn, impetuous, McCourt writes with a steady hand, a joyful heart, and an Irishman's sense of life's absurdities.