The Longest Road Home by Andrew McCarthy (4 out of 5)



Again, I seem to have a hard time the last couple of days and continue to upload monumentally large images. Due to the abscessed tooth that is currently making sleep unavailable to me unless it’s for short periods of time, I am sleep deprived and image size-clueless. Not sleeping well has meant that I do have more time to sit around and rather than bitch about how crappy I feel, I’ve managed to get a few books read the last three days. This is the latest.

I should mention that out of all of the Brat Pat alumni associated with the 1980’s, I was never a huge fan of Andrew McCarthy. And by saying that, I must clarify. I didn’t dislike him intensely, either. He was just there, in the background, doing his thing. He never really had a role where he had the reins; except for Pretty in Pink, and I really detested the character of Blaine, so that’s not a good comparison in the context of this review. He was and has been prolific in his acting choices throughout the years, just not in the forefront of the media at any given moment. I was surprised when his book came out last year and was a bestseller. I think I was surprised that he not only managed to find time to still do acting every year (up until 2011, when he hopefully took a well deserved, well, vacation) and travel as well, and then write a book about it. I think I may have joked that it was coming out too close to Rob Lowe’s book and maybe the Brat Packers were trying to branch out into new careers (Molly Ringwald has had several books. I’m waiting for Judd Nelson’s book myself. No joke.) to stay relevant. I am happy to say that my initial reluctance was erased by this great read.

Andrew McCarthy’s been in the public eye since the 1980’s, but it’s the personal side of his life you witness here. You get some background into his career, but it’s not that ride he’s here to recount for you. The book begins with Andrew and his fiancee, D, deciding to marry after being engaged for four years. For Andrew, it’s beyond a big step. He’s been solitaire for quite a while, and terrified of commitment. To do this, he needs a big mental push and self-confidence boosters. He does the same thing he’s done his whole life when confronted with challenges- he goes travelling. He brings D along with him, so we get a chance to know her before the big day occurs. 

Where do Andrew and D go? The more pertinent question would be “Where Don’t They Go?”.  They start in New York, head to Patagonia, the Amazon, Costa Rica, Vienna, Baltimore, Kilimanjaro, and end up in Dublin, Ireland, where the wedding is set to take place. That’s a lot of traveling and a lot of thinking time. It also makes for an incredible read, especially for someone like myself who will probably never see anything beyond the shed in my yard. Many adventures are had, many truths are confirmed, and Andrew’s doubts vanish when spending even more quality time in the world with the one he loves. 

There isn’t a lot of things with this book that I didn’t like. I wish it had gone on longer. The 1980’s kid who craves all from that decade hopes for more dirt on the Brat Pack days, and while you are granted a small tidbit or two, he doesn’t much gloss over the glory days. Then again, there may be another book down the road, or he has moved on past the woebegone days and now this is his next step onto the ladder of life. Conquering his fears of commitment while traveling the world and finding peace with his new life, doesn’t sound like too bad of a time. I’m glad he shared it with all of us. 

~ by generationgbooks on August 20, 2013.

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