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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 February 2014
I tried to read the book in a railway carriage full of commuters. As I got into the book I began to smile, then chuckle and then laugh uncontrollably. That's why I was embarrassed.

Unlike other books which are difficult to put down this one had to be put down, or I fear I would have been.

I have just ordered McCarthy's Bar.
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on 4 August 2012
McCarthy is a fabulously funny writer and this book is full of laughter, irony, and excellent lessons in antipodean history. A fantastic sequel to his last book "McCarthy's bar" which again was uproariously funny. Buy both of them but read the bar first because it sets the scene for his quest. The delivery from Amazon was very quick - much faster than predicted.
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on 3 December 2007
This is the long and rambling tale of Pete's search to try and trace the McCarthy clan's history to places as remote as Alaska, Montserrat, Morocco & Tasmania.
He does more sitting around in bars drinking and talking nonsense than actually uncovering anything significant, making his quest a very poor excuse for a storyline. But his humourous observances of the everyday and the absurd keep you turning the pages and I would probably read another of his books.
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on 2 April 2013
There is great humour and insight in this book; which is what you'd expect to find. Since Pete is no longer around, his words are even more precious. I love this book and follows on well from its predecessor. His style is artculate, very witty and full of life. It's a great read.
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on 3 July 2013
This book is a fabulous read throughout and shows the true talent of Pete McCarthy. If you are on a plane going anywhere you will empathise with his opening chapter regardless of nationality. The rest of the book just wants to make you re-live his steps.
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on 14 May 2014
This is very thoroughly written book.It is well researched and gives you a great feel of the different places he travels to and the people he encounters,excellant character observations and a good bit of history.Very cleverly written insightful laugh out loud humour.Not as flowing as mcarthys bar the only setback I'd say.Oh and when I get my hands on Shane mcgowan you'll have to read it to find out!A very industrious effort.
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on 24 November 2002
Having recently read McCarthy's Bar and suffered the usual symptoms - laughing out loud in public, inability to put it down or function without it in my hands, a feeling of emptiness in my life once I'd finished it etc., I couldn't wait to get my hands on this.
I deliberately forced myself to read a couple of other books first to refresh myself before reading The Road To McCarthy, rather than carrying straight on from McCarthy's Bar. Alas, for me, the magic of the first either wasn't there or was too patchy to hold me with the second. I felt the overall premise was weak and the wild changes in location were too stark to sustain the narrative. Worse, it really lacked the humour drawn out of his close insights into the Irish of the first book. It was as if he didn't really have the time to fully get under the skins of the places he visited.
There are of course sections which do work, sections which grab you and hold on to you until you've finished them, but then there were long chunks which did little for me, and have been done better by others before. It's been a while since I had to work so hard to finish a book, and as I think back through it (the start seems so long ago now!) it all comes back disjointed. It's like someone said to him 'write a follow-up with the same underlying idea but make it bigger and better'. Alas the idea behind this wasn't as great, and bigger just didn't add up to better.
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on 11 June 2013
This was a great read from cover to cover. Did I think it was as good as his first book ? Not such a compelling read but still well worth the read. Trouble is, his first book was so good and so funny, it would have been difficult to follow. However, taken on its own it was well written, interesting and inspiring.
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on 5 August 2002
This book lacks the focus of McCarthy's Bar, which is itself a pretty undirected ramble. We are promised an incredible adventure, but the reasons why Pete McCarthy goes to the places he goes to are skated over or sometimes just not gone into at all. This gives the whole enterprise a pointless, random feel. It is occasionally enlightening, as in the passages about Alaska and Montserrat in particular, but doesn't deliver enough for my liking. Laugh out loud funny? I don't think so. And there's far too much stuff about him deciding what he wants to eat.
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on 30 June 2004
I remember really enjoying McCarthy's Bar and I think it set a high standard in travel writing but with The Road to McCarthy I felt let down there was no sense of a story just a series of strung together incidents which seemed rushed and/or forced. To be fair there were some brilliant comic moments especially in the Morocco section but I struggled to the end of the book and left it feeling flat and uninspired. Sorry if I'm being hard on you Pete but as a fellow McCarthy I'm pushing you to up the stakes on your next novel. If you want a great follow on to Mccarthy's bar then go for Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure.
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