JesRed's Reviews > Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference? by Mitchell Phillips McCrady
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Recommended to JesRed by: Jim McCrady
Recommended for: Everyone

Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

An avid supporter of art, music, and other creative endeavors in the local South Florida scene and known to be an avid reader, I was approached by a dear friend of mine and longtime local, Lifeguard Jim McCrady. Jim asked if I would read a book written by his brother, Mitch McCrady, (officially Mitchell Phillips McCrady), and if liking could lend my support through word of mouth, a review, or any other promotional opportunity that came my way. And so it was that “Pittsburgh to Cadiz, What’s the Difference, Part I” crossed my path. Groaning inside (oh God please don’t let this be a piece of shit writing I have to slog through), I promised to read it. Honestly a few months went by, but I said I would read it and you do for your good friends as promised. So hoping for the best, I finally started the book. I did have some curiosity and excitement about “Pittsburgh to Cadiz” knowing Mitch McCrady and myself had tread some of the same turf, our hometown sandy beaches, and the excitement and rumble on the rim of a frenzied “Load” mosh pit at their live jammed packed shows on a South Florida night! So, after some delay, intrigue and curiosity overruled and with a promise to be fulfilled, I began “Pittsburgh to Cadiz, What’s the Difference, Part I.”

In no time I was totally immersed and transported! This book captured me! McCrady has crafted this thought provoking, layered, often raw to the bone, tremendously touching, funny, hysterical, and hysterically-funny, auto-biographical account of his travels and a young man’s breaking away from home. Launched from the sandy beaches of Fort Lauderdale he trades in on the party life to see the world on a self-exploratory road which leads him far away to cold, dark, and hard places. A coming of age journey, as much as a journey across continents and cultures. A personal, physical, and mental journey through a most unusual and not often traveled part of the world.

McCrady brings a true story. The mistakes and blunders, the painful and the triumphant. Expressed well, his feelings are sown deep touching the most tender part of the heart and pain in growing, all is laid bare. As a writer, McCrady is fearless. Multi-layered in atmosphere, in emotion, the characters varied and real come alive through great dialogue written in a brogue easily read with your eyes and heard in your ears. That technique takes you right there with him through the wilds of Scotland and the cold and damp of England, the temptations off Amsterdam. This is not the glamorous life. Its the reality of working your way, hard labor style through in an often dangerous existence, living the life of the locals of far away, learning their customs side by side in a cold hard wilderness. McCrady’s odyssey to the dark and exotic wilds of Scotland unfolds. He finds himself a part of the life of the hard working north men in the land of wind and snow whipped mountains of Cadiz. So much more than the story of a young man and his travels. Much more than a “travel” book. “Pittsburgh to Cadiz” becomes a journey and so much more than I ever expected.

McCrady embraces a young man's angst, wanderlust, anger, love, alone-ness and oneness as he exposes the existence of the "the Outlier." The story progresses and takes an even deeper hold of you. Rough, tender and thoughtful, sometimes startlingly brilliant. You take front seat along on this unforgettable journey crafted so well you don’t just read it – you ride shotgun, breath held, as this new writer finds his Old Soul and allows it its first peek out at us. I relished it and I devoured it!

A gift is at work here as you’re transported through the topography of continents, as well as of the mind and heart. Emotion rarely revealed so pure and raw as in “Pittsburgh to Cadiz”. A young man's journey becomes its own song. And my bet - the journey of a soon to be highly acclaimed American Writer.

Delighted to find so much in these pages, the unexpected depth in the writing itself, the interesting characters, the humor, unimaginable events and the journey itself leading to fascinating lands and a look at the inner life of others and their existence. A really great read I highly recommend. Still savoring the taste and pondering the first leg of McCrady’s journey while waiting impatiently for the next leg! McCrady take us further down the road!

Jessica Kross

Note to Reader:
After reading “Pittsburgh to Cadiz” I jumped at the chance to meet the Author. I met with Mitch McCrady at a favorite Fort Lauderdale eatery Hot ‘N Soul. I wanted a signed copy of the First Edition of his book for myself and the chance to interview him as a writer. Also I was picking up a signed copy of the book which he donated to a fund raiser for a musician friend fighting Cancer. I was aware the book was printed on 100% Hemp. I was looking at it as he signed it and thinking – this is the Hard cover copy? It looked too soft too…. floppy to be a hard copy! I asked him about it as he handed the book to me and I immediately noted the book itself feels amazing and appears most beautiful like a fine linen or the very highest quality business card material. McCrady told me how this is the first publication of a book done on 100% Hemp in about 100 Years! ASTOUNDING. Let's hope that Mitchell Phillips McCrady not only continues to write with his unique and outstanding individual style, but that this becomes a PRECEDENT for the publishing of all books! That it took a "beach bum" punk loving, hard partying, green-minded, Pittsburgh born to Fort Lauderdale resident and Life Guard and inner circle member of the "LOAD" family to finally do this! I have commend Mitchell and wish I could buy an ad on the front page of wherever this could reach the most people in the world! Amazon, Kindle, everyone, spread the word here, not only is the writing ground breaking, so is the COMMON SENSE and environmentally sound printing of "Pittsburgh to Cadiz, What's the Difference, Part I" on 100% HEMP!! Thank you Mitch for meeting with me and bringing your lovely family and for the donation of your book to a charitable cause! In addition, Mitch McCrady’s photographs which appear in the novel are displayed at Hot ‘N Soul and they are really something to see – and can be purchased if you want an original!

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Quotes JesRed Liked

“We had a jam space in the garage, an inside bar with its own full-sized refrigerator and electric grill, seven couches to crash on, pot growing in the closet, a rooftop lounge … So we threw giant parties with the best rock bands. LOAD, Quit, One Eyed Kings, stage diving from the roof, good drugs and endless beer, the greatest personalities …”
Mitchell Phillips McCrady, Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

“I pass the question with a joint to the front seat.”
Mitchell Phillips McCrady, Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

“More alone than apart, and never really belonging, I guess I’m an outlier.”
Mitchell Phillips McCrady, Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

“You just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan and I think you’re gonna finally understand. —Charlie Daniels Band”
Mitchell Phillips McCrady, Pittsburgh to Cadiz - What's the Difference?

Reading Progress

January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 28, 2017 – Shelved
October 21, 2017 – Started Reading
November 2, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 15, 2020 – Shelved as: favorites

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