Unable to commit to his fiancee of nearly four years--and with no clear understanding of what's holding him back--Andrew McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Read more...
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Unable to commit to his fiancee of nearly four years--and with no clear understanding of what's holding him back--Andrew McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Something in his character has kept him always at a distance, preventing him from giving himself wholeheartedly to the woman he loves and from becoming the father that he knows his children deserve. So before he loses everything he cares about, Andrew sets out to look for answers.
Hobbling up the treacherous slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, dodging gregarious passengers aboard an Amazonian riverboat, and trudging through dense Costa Rican rain forests--Andrew takes us on exotic trips to some of the world's most beautiful places, but his real journey is one of the spirit.
On his soul-searching voyages, Andrew traces the path from his New Jersey roots, where acting saved his life--and early fame almost took it away--to his transformation into a leading travel writer. He faces the real costs of his early success and lays bare the evolving nature of his relationships with women. He explores a strained bond with his father, and how this complex dynamic shapes his own identity as a parent. Andrew charts his journey from ambivalence to confidence, from infidelity and recklessness to acceptance and a deeper understanding of the internal conflicts of his life.
A gifted writer with an unsparing eye, Andrew relishes bizarre encounters with the characters whom he encounters, allowing them to challenge him in unexpected ways. He gets into peculiar, even dangerous situations that put him to the test--with mixed results. Disarmingly likable, Andrew is open, honest, and authentic on every page, and what emerges is an intimate memoir of self-discovery and an unforgettable love song to the woman who would be his wife.
- ISBN-13: 9781451667486
- ISBN-10: 1451667485
- Publisher: Free Press
- Publish Date: September 2012
- Page Count: 273
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-25
- Reviewer: Staff
In this carefully modulated record of self-discovery, actor turned travel writer McCarthy finds in far-flung, solitary sojourns from Patagonia to Kilimanjaro a way finally to commit to marrying his longtime Irish girlfriend. Having stumbled into fame as a 19-year-old NYU student playing the “vulnerable and sensitive” male lead roles in films such as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire, McCarthy falls into drinking as a way of wrestling with his emotional ambivalence and self-reservations. Travel allows him the freedom of anonymity, forcing him “to rely on instinct and intuition” rather than vanity, and now sober in middle age, he finds new motivation in pursuing stories for National Geographic Travel. Tidily divided into trips he pursued around the world, and framed around amorphous plans for his marriage with D in Dublin after a four-year-engagement and raising their five-year-old daughter, this rather bland memoir tries to confront the author’s relentless need to shy and duck. Impressionistic moments such as venturing out onto the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, riding down the Amazon, mingling among other “escapees” in the gold-mining Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, and riding the clamor of a family outing in Vienna help release, if reluctantly bit by bit, his solitariness. Remote and diffident, McCarthy confronts very real male fears of being stifled and restrained. (Sept.)
Gifts for the travel lover
Robert Reid is the U.S. Travel Editor for Lonely Planet. In a column written exclusively for BookPage, he highlights terrific travel books, both old and new. This month, he selects some of the best books to give to family and friends this holiday season.
Travel often begins in an armchair—sitting back and poring over atlases, photo books and travelogues of journeys past and present. And dreaming. I used to spend hours poking at maps and plotting out road trips to towns with funny names, or flicking through National Geographic and dreaming of experiencing those places myself. The good news is that 2012 has been a great year for holiday gift fodder for the budding traveler or world-wise reader.
The Longest Way Home, the first book by Brat Pack actor-turned-travel writer Andrew McCarthy, does double duty, sharing both the behind-the-scenes reality of a writer on the road while also showing how the Pretty in Pink actor comes to terms with his notion of “home” in the weeks before his Irish wedding. It’s quite a read, particularly as the insular McCarthy opens up to expats, travelers and locals in some of the world’s most varied destinations (including Baltimore), and, most importantly, to his readers.
Those observers who lament the disappearance of the “pilgrimage” in travel in recent years will treasure Gideon Lewis-Kraus’ A Sense of Direction. This engaging and often funny travelogue follows three historic pilgrimage routes: the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 900-mile temple-hopping trek in pure solitude in Japan and a journey with his dad and brother to visit the tomb of a Hasidic mystic in Ukraine.
I’ve always wanted to see more competition between destinations. That’s one of the reasons I responded to the playful, artistic showdown between the world’s two greatest cities in Vahram Muratyan’s Paris Versus New York with 50 side-by-side visual comparisons (e.g., baguette or bagel). In addition to the original book, there’s also a fun postcard version. New York? Paris? Can there be a tie?
Sometimes it’s the photos that transport a reader. Lonely Planet released several new photo-filled coffee table books this year. My favorite—and the one with the most “Really?” moments—is Great Adventures, which offers lore and logistics as well as stunning images of the world’s greatest journeys. Trek up Chile’s Torres del Paine, raft the Nile, go baboon-spotting in Ethiopia—all from your armchair (if you can restrain yourself).