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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,346 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Pete McCarthy established one cardinal rule of travel in his bestselling debut, McCarthy's Bar: "Never pass a bar with your name on it." In this equally wry and insightful follow-up,his characteristic good humor, curiosity, and thirst for adventure take him on a fantastic jaunt around the world in search of his Irish roots -- from Morocco, where he tracks down the unlikely chi ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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May 31, 2012 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
James Lang
Apr 01, 2016 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
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 a
Alan Michael Wilt
Nov 10, 2012 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 McCar
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I drive out to Allihies, through the village, past the signs saying 'Caution - Old Mineshaft,' and sit on the hilltop above the last of the stone and brick ruins that are all that remain of the mines, temples to copper on an island of saints. I try and imagine how it must have been when this empty mountainside, swaying today with wildflowers, was teeming with industrial life; but I can't. It hardly seems possible. So instead I turn my gaze on the Atlantic, a glacial shade of turquoise-meets-eme ...more
Rich Meyrick
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books ever. I actually finished it (the first time) in McCarthy!
Anne Sharkey
Sep 02, 2014 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
Aug 16, 2009 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
Aug 19, 2009 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
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Candace Rollins
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
While enjoying 'McCarthy's Bar' I ordered ' The Road to McCarthy', because I just could not get enough of Pete McCarthy's wit and tales. In this book he expands on the stories he heard in McCarthy pubs in Ireland and traces his clan near and far around the world, from Morocco, to Alaska to an Australian penal colony to visiting the ' Unrepentant Fenian Bastards' in none other then NYC. I learned Butte, Montana at one time had the highest (by percent) Irish immigrants in the country. New Yorkers ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The late, great Pete McCarthy went searching for his Irish/McCarthy roots in the unlikeliest of places. On the road to McCarthy, Pete delved into the cultures in Morocco, New York City, Tasmania, the Caribbean, Butte, Montana and McCarthy, Alaska. He mixed his travel observations with generous helpings of history, the kind you'll never find in a history book. But Pete's real genius was the humor he could find in any situation; it's there on every page. And unlike some other travelers, he wrote a ...more
Cheryl Schibley
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful, fun book to read. Pete takes us all over the world searching for the McCarthy clan name. Great insights into historical sites. I also recommend all his other books about the McCarthy name and Ireland, all written with great humor. Sadly, Pete died of cancer in 2004. Still his wonderful writings live on.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgious book to read! Its both very interesting and so soo hillarious at the same time, the man was a master and must have been a very special person to talk to. Sad to know he died so young but greatful for all the information and the laughs... it was like joining him on his strange encounters across the globe. X
Ray Richard
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
McCarthy's prose reads like Mark Twain's on his best day. I enjoyed this travel adventure full of Irish with. I'd read McCarthy's Bar first as some of the story melds with this book. A shame Peter died so young.
Chris Bloom
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Very funny in places, I was crying tears of laughter several times. Overall though I felt the dialogue was a bit cluttered and disjointed, i often had to reread paragraphs to reaffirm my bearings.
May 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Turns out I only liked this guy’s other book because it was set in Ireland. He’s just so smug! The superior traveler to everyone- I don’t buy it.
Jan 31, 2016 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 an
May 01, 2011 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
Kiera Healy
Dec 25, 2013 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 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
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christopher Fox
Sep 10, 2015 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
Aug 09, 2014 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
Ian Crook
Nov 23, 2012 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
Sep 28, 2012 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
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author embarked on a search for both his Irish clan, as well as the diaspora of the Irish in general. His research took him to Morocco, Tasmania, Alaska, Montserrat, Montana, and NYC. Hilarious! I wish I could write travelogues this well. I learned a lot, too. Like how the Irish were sold into slavery to work the plantations in the Caribbean, and transported to Tasmanian prison camps for little sins like taking a handkerchief. I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of the visits to NYC duri ...more
Jul 08, 2007 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 Mor
Michael Bartlett
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Quinn
Sep 02, 2009 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
Feb 19, 2009 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.
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Fortune teller in Montserrat 1 8 Apr 19, 2012 01:37PM  

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