Having just travelled the same parts of Ireland that Mr. McCarthy writes about, I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the beautiful scenery and the magical west coast of Ireland. Lots of things I didn't know about and very funny.
I loved this book! McCarthy's sense of humor is evident on every page. His account of "finding his place" in Ireland is filled with laughs and some really sweet moments as well. Just his telling of encountering Americans in Ireland is enough to read this book!
Awesome book for anyone that is thinking of traveling to Ireland or just searching their Irish roots. It won't help you find family members but does tell about the land and the culture.
This was a great book-- was fun to 'revisit' some of the places we had seen when in Ireland. He describes the Irish well and some of his observations of Americans were spot-on.
Born in Warrington, Pete McCarthy decides to go back to rural Ireland, to rediscover his Irishness. The feeling that you have heard this sort of thing all before doesn't last for long. There is a serious writer struggling to make himself heard above the many excellent jokes and this is what makes McCarthy's book so distinctive. Although he can crack Brysonesque quips with the best of them ("I've often wondered how businessmen used to cope before [mobile phones] were invented. How did they tell their wives they were on the train?"), and take us through hilarious and largely drunken set-pieces, McCarthy is equally at home discussing Celtic standing stones and the potato famine.
The resulting book is a wonderful debut. By the end, we, too, would like to move to Ireland. You sense that McCarthy has such a genuine feeling for Ireland, Irishness and Irish history that he can only temper his writing with side-splitting humour. In this way, his first book successfully embodies much of what it is to be Irish.