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The Road to McCarthy: Around the World in Search of Ireland

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,020 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Pete McCarthy established one cardinal rule of travel in hisbestselling debut, McCarthy's Bar: "Never pass a bar withyour name on it." In this equally wry and insightful follow-up,his characteristic good humor, curiosity, and thirst for adventuretake him on a fantastic jaunt around the world in search of hisIrish roots -- from Morocco, where he tracks down the unlikelychie ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anne Sharkey
May 07, 2016 Anne Sharkey rated it liked it
I was biased in favor of this piece of writing before I had even read the first page. Like many sequels though, it paled in comparison to its predecessor [McCarthys Bar] ~ don't get me wrong. It was still full of wit and hilarious description. It was more of an editorial problem with a tendency to go off on tangents and a rambling style of writing. I am still, and always will be a fan of the late great Pete McCarthy. Who else would come up with gold like this: [pg369] The cook working at the gri ...more
Ryan
Jun 13, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
I savored this because there isn't another one.

McCarthy is back on the road, searching for his Irishness or Ireland, or just a great pub. I love his travel methodology and wish I could be as relaxed in my approach to life. He followed the Irish diaspora to Van Dieman's Land, Montana, Monserratt, and even ventured to Alaska. I love most his enjoyment of the unexpected. He heads out to see or do one thing, but the real delight of the journey is all the stuff that he wasn't expecting.

This tale is
...more
James Lang
Apr 01, 2016 James Lang rated it really liked it
Picked this up in a bookstore in Galway and it kept me thinking of Ireland for a while after my journey. If you like drinking, travel writing, and humor, then you will enjoy this book. The sequel to McCarthy's Bar, a hilarious travelogue in which the author vows never to pass a bar with his name on the front, this one involves McCarthy following the trail of Irish immigrants around the world. from Tasmania to Montana. It's a fun and funny book--the only flaw is that it's too long. 450+ pages run ...more
Alan Michael Wilt
Nov 10, 2012 Alan Michael Wilt rated it really liked it
This review applies to both of the late Pete McCarthy's books, McCarthy's Bar and The Road to McCarthy.

“If you travel in hope rather than with certain knowledge,” writes Pete McCarthy, “something interesting usually happens.” On the evidence of his first two books, McCarthy is an infinitely hopeful traveler; wherever he goes -- a pub in a small Irish town, an Irish bar in a big American city, or a sparsely populated Alaskan burg that bears his name -- something interesting indeed happens. And Mc
...more
Bex Godfrey
Like listening to your grandad tell you his stories this is an affable, aimiable, easy read with no real reason for existing except to make you smile occasions. McCarthy takes you round the world looking at the history and the people behind his surname but with no locgic to the tale he seems to follow the path he was led to one drunken St Patrick 's night and he does it well.
Sorenconard
Aug 26, 2009 Sorenconard rated it it was amazing
This book has all my favorite qualitites. Travel, humor, reflection, and completely random facts. Pete's time as a travel memoir writer was short but his legacy is lasting.

I gave this 5 stars becuase I found this book even better then his first one. I recommend it to people who enjoyed McCarthy's Bar or enjoys humorus memiors along the lines of Bill Bryson and A.J Jacobs, have in interest in irish or cultural history, enjoy humorus books, among other qualities.

If you are looking for a book that
...more
Neil
I rarely give five stars. I'd have given this six.
This is beyond doubt one of the funniest travel books I've ever read, but it's also packed with glorious trivia, and the guy has that rare gift of being able to have you laughing out loud with a sentence, and gulping with emotion the next.
I now really NEED to visit Tasmania and Montserrat, with a possible side-trip to Tangier, before the bucket-list is complete. GREAT book!

p.s. I just found out that Pete died eight years ago, and way too young. P
...more
zespri
Aug 25, 2009 zespri rated it really liked it
Did you know that the island of Montserrat is the only country in the world apart from Ireland that has a public holiday on St Patrick's day? Neither did I! This and all sorts of other interesting and unusual bits and pieces have found their way into this very amusing book by Pete Mccarthy. The premise of the book is his search for the hereditary Gaelic chief of the McCarthy clan, this takes him to various different countries and into many hilarious adventures. I loved his quirky observational s ...more
Christopher Fox
Sep 10, 2015 Christopher Fox rated it it was amazing
In visiting various parts of the world (Tangiers, New York City, Tasmania, Montana, Montserrat) in a semi-serious quest to seek out the Irish whence they flew (usually involuntarily) from the Emerald Isle, McCarthy has crafted one of the funniest, perceptive, sympathetic travel books I've read (of the 5 places, I know Tasmania and Montana). A keen and sensitive observer of his surroundings and the humanity who people it, like P.J. O'Rourke and Bill Bryson, he brings a stylish diction, a mirthful ...more
Andrew
Aug 11, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
McCarthy has the luck of the Irish - must be his mother's side - at least when it came to finding interesting people and getting a good story out of them. No doubt his self-effacing attitude and sense of humor help. They certainly shine through in this book as his travels ranges from Ireland to Alaska, Morocco to Tasmania - just about anywhere, in short, that you can find the name McCarthy. It's a dangerous book to read right before a trip (or anytime at all, come to think of it) because it make ...more
Heather
Feb 11, 2016 Heather rated it liked it


It all starts when the author hears that there is still a king of the McCarthy clan. Not everyone agrees that this is a legitimate title but he wants to meet him. The king is hard to find - enemies probably - and lives in Morocco. From there, Pete McCarthy is off to follow the Irish diaspora. He is half-Irish and half-English and grew up in England. His English accent is sometimes a problem in discussions in the most Irish of strongholds.

After Tangiers he travels to New York and attempts to cra
...more
Kiera Healy
Dec 25, 2013 Kiera Healy rated it it was ok
This was a bit of a disappointment for two reasons: there's no purpose, and it's in desperate need of editing. Pete McCarthy - an author with evident talent and, at times, a great comic gift - travels around the world going to places with...er...vague and unconnected links to Ireland. So he visits his controversial "clan chief" in Tangier, then goes to Tasmania to see a historic prison, then to Montserrat because they stamp passports with a harp...there's no logic or unifying thread to his story ...more
Ian Crook
Feb 05, 2013 Ian Crook rated it liked it
Having read McCarthy's bar sometime ago and enjoyed it I was looking forward to this. Pete McCarthy writes a wry set of observations on people and places and when his focus was set on the bars of Ireland it worked well. This book however was larger and more sprawling and, I think as a result, lost some focus.

It took quite a while to gain a vague inkling as to what his theme was, that of tracing the spread of the Irish people across the globe. But this was mixed in with the search for the McCarth
...more
Sergio GRANDE films
I enjoyed this book more than I liked it. Much, much more.

Peter McCarthy wrote with a combination of wit and candour few writers can master. If I were to count, I'm sure he averaged one self-deprecating, hilarious, and often poignant, observation per page. Hilarious does not do full justice.

The book deals with Pete McCarthy's travels on a quest to retrace the roots of the McCarthy clan or Ireland's history, or something, I think. I'm not sure. He starts off in Tangier and (I have the suspicion h
...more
Jan
May 01, 2011 Jan rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Honestly, when I first started this book, I didn't really like it. I thought the whole entire first section on Morocco was incredibly dull. In fact, I'm fairly certain I would have just tossed this book aside if not for the fact that I was in the middle of a long vacation, had already finished two of the other books I'd brought, and that the other book I had is a bit on the somber side. Hurray for lack of options!

I think the main problem with this book is that the author didn't seem to really kn
...more
Simon
Mar 14, 2013 Simon rated it really liked it
A real loss to British humourous journalism and travel writing. On a par with Bryson in most respects but someone you'd probably enjoy sharing a pint with more than the American. Even though I'd be quite happy to yarn away with the thunderbolt kid. A great loss to us all. This is the better of the two McCarthy books he wrote and it's laugh out loud good. He slips the knife in so neatly on the very deserving if less aware. Don't get this book on Audible though. I'd enjoyed reading it so much I th ...more
Ralph Lavelle
Enjoyable enough, but too long, and some of the chapters had little bearing on the overall theme. The one set in Tasmania, for example. It needs a good going over by an editor because there's simply too much filler to sustain it over that length.

And Jesus, he probably should have slowed down with the drink - maybe he'd still be alive.
Louis
Jul 08, 2007 Louis rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Travelers, the Irish Diaspora
After reading McCarthy's Bar, I couldn't pick this book up quick enough. Pete McCarthy had kept me entertained in that book, and I expected the great writing to continue into this next work. I was not disappointed. The same charm is evident in this book, though it dips into the darker corners of the history of the Irish in Austrailia. All around, it is a very entertaining book.

In this book, McCarthy begins a journey to seek out the head of the McCarthy clan, who surprisingly lives in Morocco. Fr
...more
Dustin
Aug 19, 2014 Dustin rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the second funniest book ever written (the first was his other book of course)
Diane Anderson
Feb 17, 2016 Diane Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, but McCarthy's Bar is more hilarious!
Elizabeth Quinn
Sep 02, 2009 Elizabeth Quinn rated it really liked it
Another hilarious outing by the late Pete McCarthy, whose McCarthy's Bar was a great find on our trip to Ireland. In this book, rather than making sure to enter every bar with his name on it in Ireland, McCarthy travels around the globe to visit locations with his name on them, including Tangier, New York City, Tasmania, Montserrat, Montana, and Alaska among others. McCarthy is a very funny writer and a charming travel companion who provides much interesting historical perspective and detail of ...more
Laura
Aug 15, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
This second novel and answer to McCarthy's Bar is not quite as brilliant it is still a highly enjoyable read. If you enjoy sarcastic, honest and insightful travel stories then you will enjoy this book. McCarthy travels all over the globe to various locales and inspires the reader to do the same. Certain sections of the book dragged for me and weren't as resonant but I still enjoyed reading this book. It is tragic that McCarthy passed away before gifting us with more stories of his travels.
Audra
May 10, 2014 Audra rated it did not like it
I nearly stopped reading this book several times, which I never do. I persevered only because it was for our book club. There were a million typos. I thought the majority of this book was absolutely pointless. You could skip the entire first half of this book and miss nothing. The second half was mildly better. My take: skip it.
Colleen McCarthy
Dec 29, 2009 Colleen McCarthy rated it liked it
Funny although not the most hilarious book I've ever read. Since I share last names with the author and know very little about the McCarthy side of the family, it was well worth the read and I would recommend for other McCarthys. Also interesting insight into where all the Irish went after leaving Ireland - including some not so obvious places such as Montana. Some good stories about how England used Australia as a penal colony...
Janelle
Feb 17, 2016 Janelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, travel
The sequel to McCarthy's Bar, this is the author's tale of his search around the world for Ireland. It takes him to North Africa and the Caribbean and everywhere in between with his usual sharp and hilarious take on the people around him.
Danielle
Mar 10, 2009 Danielle rated it really liked it
Part history, part travel writing memoir. The author travels around to various parts of the world where Irish emigrants have settled. His travels take him to places like Tasmania, Tangiers, New York City, Montana, and Alaska. An interesting book with wry humor. Fans of Bill Bryson's books or 'Round Ireland with a Fridge would enjoy this book. I plan to go back and read McCarthy's first book, McCarthy's Bar.
Wallyeast
May 20, 2016 Wallyeast rated it it was amazing
This was the second time that I read this book. I enjoyed it even more this time.

The author does a great job of describing the mood in each place but most especially in Tasmania. The way he talks about the melancholy and foreboding feeling in the place, even before getting to the prisons there, was interesting, even intriguing. Combined with the place's physical beauty, it made me want to visit.

Nathan
A mildly witty romp through Ireland and global (mis)conceptions of Irish culture. The biggest problem is that McCarthy can't decide whether he wants to write a travelogue or an inquiry into his family history. This had next to no structure, and the jokes wear very thin very quickly. McCarthy ought to have made this an article, not a book.
Jeannette
Jun 16, 2009 Jeannette rated it liked it
Definitely not as great as his first book, McCarthy's Bar but it still has his great humor. I almost tend to think that the scope of the journey was a bit too big for one book. I was sad to hear that Pete McCarthy had passed away after his second book came out, he was one of the best travel narrative authors I have come across.
Diane
Aug 01, 2012 Diane rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
If you like Bill Bryson, you will like Pete McCarthy.

I don't like Bill Bryson.

I feel bad about not liking this book and not even being able to finish reading it (I got to page 140 so I tried). I really like the person/people who recommended it.
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