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The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Downby Andrew Mccarthy
Synopses & Reviews
WITH AN IRREPRESSIBLE TASTE for adventure, candor, and a vivid sense of place, award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the worlds most evocative locales.
Unable to commit to his fiancée of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of whats 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 worlds 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.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy delivers a revealing and insightful memoir about how travel helped him become the man he wanted to be, helping him overcome life-long fears and confront his resistance to commitment.
From time immemorial, travel has been a pursuit of passion—from adventurers of old seeking gold or new lands, to today’s spiritual and pleasure seekers who follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Gilbert. Some see travel as a form of light-hearted escapism while others believe it has the power to open your mind, forcing you to confront your demons, and discover your true self.
Andrew McCarthy belongs to this second category of traveler. The Longest Way Home follows his excursions to Patagonia, the Amazon, Costa Rica, Baltimore, Vienna, Kilimanjaro, Dublin, and beyond. He uses his wanderlust to examine his motives and desires, and explore his ambivalence about commitment. He ponders his personal life, his acting career, and his impulse to leave home, all building toward one of the most significant moments of his life: his wedding day.
Genuine and spirited, McCarthy’s message about the transformative power of travel is universal, and his exploration of the nature and passion of relationships, both fleeting and enduring, will strike a chord with every man and woman who has ever wondered at the vicissitudes of the human heart.
About the Author
Andrew McCarthy has been a fixture on screen, television, and stage since making his debut at age nineteen in Class. He has appeared in such films as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Less Than Zero. For the last ten years, he has been a prolific and successful travel writer, publishing with National Geographic Traveler Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Travel + Leisure, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He has won the Lowell Thomas Award twice, including being named Travel Journalist of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers, and has been cited twice for “notable” work in the Best American Travel Series. He lives in New York.
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