THE ROAD TO McCARTHY: Around the World in Search of Ireland

Pete McCarthy, Author . Fourth Estate $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-00-716212-3

In the bestselling McCarthy's Bar , McCarthy had one rule: never pass a bar with your name on it. In Road it's: never pass a part of the world with your name in or on it. Thus this genealogist–cum–pint-swilling adventurer embarks on a frolicsome, drunken globe-trot to uncover the roots of all things McCarthy and in the process expose what it means to be a McCarthy and, by extension, to be Irish. It's a lively, lusty quest; McCarthy travels like a Renaissance explorer with a film director's lens. In Tangiers, he finds a Moroccan McCarthy who puts a unique spin on the term "black Irish." He takes in America's premier Irish event, New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade (which he finds more Celtic and American than Irish and not a little Scottish besides). Next stop: Tasmania, the penal colony where so many Irish were sent by the British government. And how could he resist a visit to the town of McCarthy, Alaska, population 18? The ultimate mocking tour guide with acerbic charm, McCarthy delivers scathing critiques of people and places, himself included. His droll and often drunken existentialist view proffers a unique (and distinctly Irish) perspective on the world that is part history, part McCarthy's Law. Some may be put off by his frequent references to drugs, sex and overimbibing, but McCarthy is like a character out of contemporary Irish literature, a traveler on a winding road surrounded by life's imperfections yet finding them beautiful despite it all (especially after a pint or two). Photos, maps. (Feb. 6)

Forecast: A four-city author tour, national broadcast and print media campaign, and a postcard promotion will help target readers, and McCarthy's caustic humor should appeal to fans of David Sedaris and Joe Queenan.

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 02/01/2004
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-202079-6
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-340-76607-1
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-00-716213-0
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