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

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The Longest Way Home is Andrew McCathy's story. Unable to commit to his fiance of nearly four years-and with no clear understanding of what's holding him back-Andrew McCarthy (actor, author) 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.About the Author - Andrew McCarthy is an actor and travel writer. He is very good at both..Author -...

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  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B00FPAW1W0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Casee Clow on September 18, 2012
Color: 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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nora lynch on September 22, 2012
Color: 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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Color: 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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Teacher/Photographer on December 16, 2012
Color: Hardcover
I really, really disliked this book from so many points of view. In fact, it made me downright angry. Andrew McCarthy has divorced his first wife, and his son is being shuffled back and forth between households, constantly sad and unhappy, and Andrew McCarthy cannot understand why, despite his lack of reliable presence in his child's life. Meanwhile, his current partner/fiancee, who is the mother of his daughter, is "jealous" of his ability to get away: yes, get away from life's responsibilities of caring for the ones you love and being present for them, while meanwhile she is stuck taking over those chores and responsibilities from which he flees, on a near-constant basis. Oh, but he misses her and she misses him soooo much... yet he continues to flee-and-return, flee-and-return; and she continues to put up with it. (She is convinced by him that he must get this travel out of his system before he can fully commit to marriage, and I guess she will do whatever it takes). While Mr. McCarthy does get to go to some very amazing and exotic places, his descriptions are pretentious and maudlin or worse, downright boring. I don't get a feel for the places he visits, since it seems that the only thing the author wishes the reader to know his how Mr. McCarthy is feeling at any given moment (hint: conquering fear and being alone are the two biggies, ad nauseum). The end result is a man who refuses to grow up, but not in a whimsical sort of way; rather he is narcissistic and patronizing and oh, so completely selfish. To his long-suffering and ever-accommodating now-spouse, I would hope the next time Mr. McCarthy feels "trapped" by real life, she will kiss him goodbye and then run far, far away. She deserves better. And the readers deserve better than to subsidize his tiresome whining and travels. Sheesh!
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