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4.5 out of 5 stars17
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on 1 November 2013
Like many 80s girls, I grew up with the Brat Pack films: The Breakfast Club, St Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink and all the others captured something for our generation that remains frozen in time and still has a resonance today. Of all the young actors that contributed to the period, Andrew McCarthy was my favourite - in particular I had a huge crush on Kevin Dolenz, his character in St Elmo's Fire. Kevin happened to be an aspiring writer, which takes on a new light when considering the parallel career Andrew McCarthy has carved for himself as an award winning travel writer. When I heard that "Kevin" had written a book for real, I just had to read it.

I wasn't really sure what I would find and I was very pleasantly surprised. McCarthy has obviously worked on his craft in the ten years or so he has been writing for the likes of The National Geographic and The New York Times, among others. He certainly can write and rather well.

The book is half travel log and half memoir. It recalls six journeys to very different destinations - Patagonia, the Amazon in Peru, Costa Rica, Baltimore, Vienna, Kilimanjaro - in the run up to McCarthy's wedding to his second and current wife, culminating with their wedding in Dublin. During his travels, he reflects on his past, present and future and on how he can reconcile his strong sense of independence with his desire to settle into family life. On the way, he encounters places and people he so colourfully describes and skilfully brings to life.

"The Longest Way Home" is an interesting, funny and moving account of a man's experience of himself, his relationship with the people he loves and those with whom he briefly connects during his travels. Recommended.
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on 19 December 2013
A good read,well written account of the author's visits to some interesting locations - the author's tendency to overindulge in his neuroses can get a bit tedious but he remains likeable.
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on 8 November 2012
Recently took this book with me into the Moroccan desert for a 10 day trip and it was the perfect mix of travel story with reflections on life and love. Not heavy at all but the writer just has a very simple storytelling style that manages to have a lot of heart and soul in it, a very truthful way of conveying what goes on at an emotional level and how that can play out in our lives. I took loads of books on my ereader and this was the only one I read as its gave me food for the mind, heart and soul. It is basically the story of his journey to be able to commit to the woman he loves, but also about other Relationships particularly with his son and his own father and he reflects honestly and Interestingly on that father-son dynamic and how to heal it. All of this is done by simply telling his own travel stories and weaving the rest around it so it is done with a very deft touch. A really good writer, I hope he writes more in a similar vein
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on 7 May 2016
Hated this book. A narcissistic journey describing the selfish thoughts of an immature man.
Do not buy
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on 24 January 2013
Decided to buy this book as i had been a fan of Andrew McCarthy's in the 80's when i was a teenager.
I had a look at the sub-title and thought it sounded intriguing, as i'd had no knowledge of the author's personal life. What a journey this book is. The descriptions of all the places the author visits are fabulous, it even made me want to go to those places with the unpronounceable names rather than my usual beach-pool holiday.
This book is well written, has fantastic detail of the places, and the inner struggle the author was having is also detailed well.
Most importantly of all, it has a great ending. Fab.
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on 9 March 2015
Brilliant story, Please write another Andrew McCarthy
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on 14 December 2013
What a fantastic book. Very well written and very descriptive of the places Andrew visited. Makes we feel that I went along for the ride.
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on 2 March 2015
"This kind of aimless drifting has always been at the centre of my travelling. The freedom of being a stranger in a strange place, knowing no one, needing to know no one, with no obligations, elicits deep feelings of liberation, and the further from the beaten path I go, the quicker the attachment to any idea of how I should be treated is discarded - I'm grateful merely that my needs are met. Without an agenda, or company to distract me. I invariably feel a certain hopefulness that can appear contrary to my aimlessness. Perhaps it's just the simple joy of being alive".

Just one of the many rewarding and thought provoking quotes from this nice read. McCarthy proves to be an introspective, deep and reflective character who views his travels with a refreshingly restrained eye.
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on 2 September 2013
I've always been a big fan of Andrew McCarthy since his Pretty in Pink days so couldn't wait to read this book.

A complete surprise to find out all about the real Andrew and his life so far and what led him to be a travel writer and his relationship with his wife.

A great read. Well worth the money.
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on 10 October 2013
Having been a fan of Andrew McCarthy in my teenage years I was interested to discover he has reinvented himself as a travel writer. I was delighted to discover that not only has he visited unusual places but has a real skill in describing them to the reader while telling a very personal story of coming to terms with his need for solitude and space with his journey into marriage. He allows us to join with him in the struggle this brings against the backdrop of various places he visits on his writing travels. I can't recommend this book highly enough, well written, raw and yet tender.
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