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The Road to McCarthy: Around the World in Search of Ireland    by Pete McCarthy order for
Road to McCarthy
by Pete McCarthy
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I have not read Pete McCarthy's first book McCarthy's Bar, but intend to correct that oversight as soon as possible. The Road to McCarthy is a breath of fresh air, an intriguing travelogue about the search of a McCarthy for his McCarthy roots.

An Englishman of Irish heritage, the author starts his journey in the unlikely spot of Tangiers, Morocco - where he is told he will find the McCarthy clan chief. I laughed out loud at his account of hiring Mohammad as a guide. Pete McCarthy next heads to Rocky Sullivan's bar in New York on St. Patrick's Day. There he celebrates with drunken Scotsmen. In Van Diemen's Land, he delves into the history of English and Irish prisoners sent to this remote spot to serve their sentences for such petty crimes as stealing a handkerchief or a loaf of bread. A McCarthy suffered this fate because of his political leanings. Butte, Montana is rife with Irish stories as is McCarthy, Alaska (in the most remote part of that state). On to the Rock of Cashel in Ireland as well as to the Ring of Kerry.

The Road to McCarthy is an absolute delight, written by a man with a finely tuned sense of humor and a desire to know more about his forebears as well as about himself.

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