The Longest Way Home

The Longest Way Home is actor-turned-writer Andrew McCarthy's memoir of the convoluted travel adventures he took on in a misguided attempt to find comfort in staying home. It's a fascinating character study, offering a glimmer of McCarthy's insight into his own fairly antisocial-by-way-of-overly-sensitive personality issues as they play out across the drama of his relationship and subsequent marriage in Ireland to his current wife, D.

McCarthy made a name for himself as one of the Brat Pack actors in the late 1980s, yet never quite hit it as big in the years to follow. He began writing travel articles for National Geographic, gradually taking on bigger and bigger travel assignments. The travel itself (Kilimanjaro, the Amazon, Costa Rican rain forests) gives McCarthy a way to break free of his social awkwardness and to feel comfortable in his own skin and solitude. Most of the book involves recollections of the series of trips taken just before his marriage, with soul-searching musings on the frisson of his own disconnected solitude and the potential for warm, connected family life.

While much of The Longest Way Home tells an unflattering truth about McCarthy's absentee parenting and lack of potential as an engaged life partner, his journey does end happily. Whether he finds the true solace of staying in one place with one woman or not, the personal journey to the large family wedding in Dublin is well worth reading. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor

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