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The International Writers Magazine: Memoir gets an 'A'

The Longest Way Home : One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down by Andrew McCarthy
• John M Edwards review
"Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel.”

From Bratpack to Backpack, “Pretty in Pink”-star Andrew McCarthy is the second film star to become a real travel writer, much like Michael Palin of the Monty Python films and Around-the-World documentaries. McCarthy’s spiritually fantastic book “The Longest Way Home” very recently won a NATJA Award for Best Travel Book. No cant, just candor.

The Longest Way

Still, McCarthy’s eyes blaze with St. Elmo’s Fire, and we feel like we know him personally. Open and honest, he obviously is. He realizes most readers are lacking umph or economic wherewithal, so he does our dream trips for us, whether it is boating on the Amazon or getting lost in Costa Rica, hiking along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela In Spain or taking an energetic stroll around Mt. Kilimanjaro in . . . . Where is that again?
At first an alpha-male antidote to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love,” McCarthy’s prose soon progresses the book into an instant classic, more Newby than newbie. No freshman sensation now, McCarthy, a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler, has worked hard for over a decade honing his travel writing skills.

We end up agreeing with him that it is better and cheaper to travel about the world than stay home and pay bills. However, unlike some plugged-in literary travelers, McCarthy isn’t looking for romance on the road: instead he frequently calls his sweetheart via cell phone and e-mails from Internet cafes. . . .

© John M. Edwards, March 2013

BIO: John M. Edwards, an award-winning travel writer and has written for such magazines as CNN Traveler,, Islands, Hackwriters and North American Review and winner of 5 NATJA awards

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