Elizabeth Periale's Reviews > The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down

The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy
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Nov 03, 14

Read in September, 2012

http://xoxoxoe.blogspot.com/2012/09/a...

He takes the reader along with him as he walks the route of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, hikes across a glacier in Patagonia, travels the Amazon via boat, explores Baltimore with a close friend, and climbs Kilimanjaro. Most of McCarthy's traveling is done solo. He doesn't tend to want to share his travel experiences with others — his trips are more personal quests. Most of the time he feels rather separate from the world he is visiting. After strolling by houses in Patagonia with families crowded around the TV or doing some domestic chore he observes:

"I've seen similar scenes in small towns in Brazil and Cambodia and even the American West — lives being lived with unselfconscious deliberateness. There's no desire, or no energy, to pretend anything. I see desperate disappointment and loneliness in such scenes of domesticity and routine. I feel far removed and want no part of them. Yet I can't look away. What hunger of theirs is being fed, when they seem to me instead like scenarios of slow decay? What is it about these scenes that I don't understand?"

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