The Longest Way Home

The Longest Way Home

One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy delivers a revealing and insightful memoir about how travel helped him become the man he wanted to be, helping him overcome life-long fears and confront his resistance to commitment.

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.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9781451667486
Characteristics: v, 273 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill., ports. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 15, 2019

First travel memoir I've ever read with a whole chapter devoted to Baltimore. lol. Quick, enjoyable read with his attempt to settle into his upcoming marriage and new family life. Really enjoyed his delivery / story-telling of travels to Patagonia, the Amazon, Costa Rica and others.

Feb 11, 2016

Surprisingly insightful memoir.

MedinaReads Apr 16, 2015

Actor Andrew McCarthy, best known for his roles in 1990s Brat Pack films, has also made a name for himself as a travel writer for National Geographic. All of his life, McCarthy struggled with a preference for being alone and a haunting feeling that he never quite fit in. Travel offered him immense pleasure as he explored the world on his own terms. But after meeting his future wife on a trip to Ireland, and having a child with her, McCarthy realized he needed to address and understand his preference for solitude before he could properly commit. Off he went to Patagonia, the Amazon, and Mount Kilimanjaro, making brief but powerful connections with his fellow travelers and ruminating about past mistakes and the kind of future his fiance and children wanted from him. McCarthy's travel writing is lush and detailed, with many moments of humor, raw emotion, and revelation mixed in. I found this book incredibly charming, and I appreciated his honesty when writing about his experiences around the world and how they ultimately led him home, to a wife and family. Recommended by Mary Olson, RA Librarian, MCDL

MaxineML Feb 02, 2015

A surprisingly authentic memoir. Perhaps I was underestimating McCarthy when I picked this up, but I truly enjoyed this travelogue. He delves into his own psyche just enough to keep you interested, but not exhausted, while also describing the places he is in wonderful and precise detail.

Recommended for those who like to read travel memoirs, and also those who remember McCarthy from movies like Pretty in Pink or St. Elmo's Fire.

wendybird Feb 25, 2013

Confession #1: I loved this book, couldn't put it down, stole time away from other stuff to finish. Confession #2 :I still have no idea why I found it so darn compelling! It is decently written, serviceable rather than literary...a bit self indulgent (exactly WHY would we want to follow this actor-come travel writer to the ends of the earth, both physically & metaphorically, while he tries to figure out whether to get married again?).... and yet.... I enjoyed every minute of it. Perhaps it's some lingering devotion to "Pretty In Pink", and other Brat Pack oeuvre? At the heart of it, the story feels straight : a clearly written look at one man's hard work to make some of life's hardest decisions. It would be interesting to know what male readers think!

Oct 19, 2012

Touchingly honest, never gets precious. His wife must really love him ......

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top