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The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down [Kindle Edition]

Andrew McCarthy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.61
You Save: $6.39 (40%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

WITH AN IRREPRESSIBLE TASTE for adventure, candor, and a vivid sense of place, award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales.

Unable to commit to his fiancée of nearly four years—and with no clear understanding of what’s holding him back—Andrew McCarthy finds himself at a crossroads, plagued by doubts that have clung to him for a lifetime. Something in his character has kept him always at a distance, preventing him from giving himself wholeheartedly to the woman he loves and from becoming the father that he knows his children deserve. So before he loses everything he cares about, Andrew sets out to look for answers.

Hobbling up the treacherous slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, dodging gregarious passengers aboard an Amazonian riverboat, and trudging through dense Costa Rican rain forests—Andrew takes us on exotic trips to some of the world’s most beautiful places, but his real journey is one of the spirit.

On his soul-searching voyages, Andrew traces the path from his New Jersey roots, where acting saved his life—and early fame almost took it away—to his transformation into a leading travel writer. He faces the real costs of his early success and lays bare the evolving nature of his relationships with women. He explores a strained bond with his father, and how this complex dynamic shapes his own identity as a parent. Andrew charts his journey from ambivalence to confidence, from infidelity and recklessness to acceptance and a deeper understanding of the internal conflicts of his life.

A gifted writer with an unsparing eye, Andrew relishes bizarre encounters with the characters whom he encounters, allowing them to challenge him in unexpected ways. He gets into peculiar, even dangerous situations that put him to the test—with mixed results. Disarmingly likable, Andrew is open, honest, and authentic on every page, and what emerges is an intimate memoir of self-discovery and an unforgettable love song to the woman who would be his wife.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Who knew that McCarthy, a familiar face on the big screen (St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink) and the small (Law & Order, Monk), is also a noted travel writer! An editor at large for National Geographic Traveler and winner of several awards (including Travel Journalist of the Year), he contributes travel articles to numerous publications, and his work has appeared in the anthology The Best American Travel Writing. This is not some memoir written by an actor who fancies himself a world traveler. McCarthy really is a world traveler—and a damned fine writer, too. The book features eight destinations—New York, Patagonia, the Amazon, the Osa, Vienna, Baltimore, Kilimanjaro, and Dublin—and, along the way, McCarthy explores himself, too, introducing us to a man whose love for life is matched only by his love for the woman he would eventually marry (and whose growing importance to McCarthy is a thread that runs throughout the book). To readers who think, “Andrew McCarthy? Really?” the answer is a resounding and emphatic yes. Really. --David Pitt


"Soulful and searching . . . McCarthy's prose shines with intelligence and intimacy . . . A long, strange trip on the direction of full-throttle love."--Cheryl Strayed "New York Times Book Review "

Product Details

  • File Size: 24606 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451667507
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061OI0VK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,265 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeply personal book for the traveler in all of us September 18, 2012
Color Name:Hardcover
Actor/director Andrew McCarthy may be universally acknowledged as a member of the Brat Pack for roles in such films as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire, but it's his second, less mainstream career as a travel writer that takes the helm of his new memoir, The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. At the book's beginning Andrew and his fiancé, affectionately referred to as D, have finally embarked on the decision to marry after years of courtship. For the solitary, commitment-claustrophobic Andrew this is the sort of gigantic leap that requires a great deal of confidence, and perhaps an even greater deal of anticipatory panic. Having used travel all his life as a means to escape into an anonymous sort of blissful freedom, he embarks on and recounts several journeys that ultimately lead him to his biggest confrontation: his wedding day.

While he occasionally features an anecdote or two from his movie star days - the Brat Pack, he reveals, was never as close-knit of a group as society perpetuated - it's his life as a traveler that takes the spotlight in his memoir. A single comrade on one of his voyages expresses that Andrew's face looks familiar, but otherwise there's no Hollywood glamour to be had, and the book is all the more enriched by its absence. What results is something much more human, much more relatable: the story of a man with fears and the woman, the family, and the destinations who push him out of his comfort zone and into his ultimate happiness. His reflections on his own struggles in life - from the grasping anxiety of turbulence on a plane to the more philosophical issues he's loathe to confront - make for an especially engaging commentary, and result in an emotional evolution that leaves the reader self-aware and inspired.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, moving, and enlightening memoir September 19, 2012
Color Name:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I picked up Andrew McCarthy's latest memoir because I was always a fan of his as an actor (particularly LESS THAN ZERO and ST. ELMO'S FIRE) and director (I'm an unapologetic GOSSIP GIRL fanatic). I had no idea that he was also a world-class writer capable of profound insights and at times harrowing honesty. With unflinching self-examination, McCarthy looks at his own intimacy and commitment issues and makes them universal; no matter where you are in your life or what kind of relationships you've had, you'll find something to relate to here, and you'll be made a better person for having considered the questions McCarthy raises. The author keeps his tale from becoming solipsistic or self-indulgent by placing his emotional journey in the context of a travel book, in which he ponders large questions while traversing the world; the result is a book that is both exciting travel guide and deeply moving memoir, with just enough tidbits about the making of movies like CLASS and PRETTY IN PINK to satisfy movie buffs as well. A must-read.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful deep and satisfying memoir and travel book September 22, 2012
Color Name:Hardcover
The longest way home is fantastic! It is a thought providing work with wonderful travel segments interwoven with Andrew McCarthys internal struggle and life journey. There are many times that one can identify with McCarthy while he travels on his deply personal journey. I found the book to be very moving and inspiring without being remotely self indulgent. The sense of remove and isolation that McCarthy portrays diminishes over the course of his journey with a fitting conclusion on Kilimanjaro. The warmth and love that emanates from a family trip to Vienna reaches out to the reader and covers you like a warm blanket. Patagonia, the amazon, the OSA etc have all come alive for me having read this book. The personal and travel are beautifully enmeshed and of course the recurring theme of journey excites the reader as you want the writer to succeed in his quest for commitment and happiness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Ti
Color Name:Hardcover
Everyone remembers Andrew McCarthy, right? THE 80′s heartthrob we all got to know from such movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire and one of the silliest, yet most entertaining movies ever...Mannequin.

I've always like his work. He has an easy way about him and a likable face. What I didn't know, is that in addition to acting and directing, he's also added travel writer to his list of accomplishments. As an editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler, You'd think I would have noticed his writing since I've read the magazine for years, but maybe I just didn't realize it was the same guy. Needless to say, when this book came up for review, I jumped at the chance to read it.

McCarthy's inability to commit to his long time partner, known as "D" in the book is what sends him into a tailspin. The wedding date has been set, but the details as far as when & where cause him anxiety that can only be controlled by hitting the road. So, that is what he does. He climbs Kilimanjaro, spends some time in Costa Rica, Patagonia and Spain and all the while, D is waiting at home, touching base with him when she can.

As much as I adore McCarthy, I was frustrated with his tendency to flee every time decisions needed to be made. It's a classic case of cold feet but the book promises a "quest" and to me, that means that at some point, you put the hiking boots away and come back as a complete person. I'm not sure that happened here. He does a lot of soul-searching, but I don't feel that he understood himself any better at the end of this adventure, than he did at the beginning.

As for the adventure, McCarthy is kind of a loner so there aren't too many meaningful interactions with the people he encounters. It's mostly him, and what he was thinking at the time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the travel stories and the personal growth aspect
Articulate and insightful , I enjoyed the travel stories and the personal growth aspect. It's a great book in its own right but I must admit I first picked it up to find out what... Read more
Published 18 days ago by dilini n pelpola
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of trip
Now I know why my National Geographic Magazines lay unopened on my coffee table. If you read that sort of thing, the travel descriptions might have some interest for you, but I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. McDowall
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth your time
Good story.... Very interesting to see Andrew McCarthy from a different perspective than acting.
Published 2 months ago by Karen M. Houlihan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stories.
I am the same age as Andrew, wished I could have done the travelling he did. His stories take me there!
Published 2 months ago by Kenneth Newsome
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time...
I pretty much got nothing significant out of this book. I dreaded each chapter up to the end too. There was nothing enlightening that he learned through all his trips. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jean_jerry_©
2.0 out of 5 stars Good effort
Who of our generation hasn't heard of Andrew McCarthy? His early movies and Brat Pack reputation marked him as one of the actors that I'd followed in my teens (Pretty in Pink,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gaby at Starting Fresh blog
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't forse myself to finish.
I love reading about travel. Blogs, books, magazines, amateur or professional it does not matter. This book was awful. The travel writing was a joke. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure how to rate this book
I have never read a book quite like this. Lot of different emotions which I think is a good thing. I was first frustrated because I felt roped into purchasing this because it was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by PittsburghLady
4.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts on the ...
I personally loved it. Bought it originally for the Camino aspect which really wasn't enough for me. Big fan of McCarthy's from way back so that is why I perserved with it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mary Searle
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading for a would be wanderer.
Andrew, known by most of us from his earlier "Brat Pack" Hollywood days, takes us on a journey all over the globe as he seeks to find satisfaction. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mare
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