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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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  • ASIN: B00FPAW1W0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Mr. McCarthy has a pretty good way about making you feel that you are in the story and that you can see and feel what he does.
Amazon Customer
Andrew McCarthy writes about his travels and his struggle to commit to a woman he's clearly in love with in this travel memoir/psychological examination of self.
Rita Arens
That melodrama aside, this is an insightful, enjoyable book that makes you see travel, and why people do it, in a very different way.
Larry Hoffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Casee Clow on 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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nora lynch on 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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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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lori on September 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim after seeing Andrew McCarthy on the Today Show. I hadn't seen him since the 1980s and had no idea that he had taken up as a writer. But regardless, I find him totally charming, and once I saw his smile on screen, I immediately picked up my Kindle. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much more from his book than a way to pass the time during a 4-hour train ride later that day. To my surprise, I am completely engrossed in his stories, moved by them, and even connecting to them on so many levels. Whether it is the world traveler in me who relates to his tale, or the thirtysomething New Yorker who is at a crossroads, it doesn't really matter. By the end, I was rooting for him, for D, and for myself. Any fan of travel writing or memoirs, and anyone who has ever been lost, literally or figuratively, should not be disappointed here.
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