Around the World in Search of Ireland
In a world that lives increasingly in the moment, it’s important to remember where we’ve come from, or we may wake up one morning unable to remember who we are (pg 4).
Pete McCarthy can be summed up in two words: fantastically witty. This book chronicles his travels to Morocco, Montserrat, Australia, New York City, Montana, Alaska, and Ireland in a hilarious journey to discover Irish dispersal around the world, and more importantly to him, the dispersal of the McCarthy clan.
Born in England to an English father and Irish mother, Pete grew up learning about both worlds. However, like many people of Irish decent living outside Ireland, he felt a strong urge to learn about his Irish roots.
Though I still live in England, where family and circumstance and work have kept me, the ties pulling me back across the Irish Sea have never loosened. Those childhood visits have meant that today, when I visit, I feel in many ways more at ease, more at home, than I do in my country of my birth. In recent years I found myself wondering whether there was such a thing as genetic memory. Was it possible truly to belong in a country where I had never lived but my ancestors had? Or am I just a nostalgic fool, wallowing in the sentimentality of childhood memory, seduced by the romance of irish music, literature and history, and wanting my own part in it? (pg 3-4)
Pete McCarthy was a broadcaster on the BBC and also several radio shows. I’ve never had a chance to watch/listen to any of these programs. I found this book at a huge book sale. I was drawn to the cover and the paragraph on the dust jacket sounded great. Unfortunately, like most books I own, it sat on my bookshelf for a few years before I got around to reading it. I picked this book off the shelf as air plane reading on a recent trip I made to Florida. I was pleasantly surprised. A book on travels doesn’t get much more relevant then when the reader is traveling them self.
Pete McCarthy was an incredibly funny and clever man. This book seriously made me laugh out loud. Tragically, Pete died in 2004 from cancer, he was only diagnosed a few months prior. This was a rather sad ending for a really funny man. Such is life.
Here is Pete McCarthy’s official website. In the future I hope to read his first book, McCarthy’s Bar, which is said to be just as funny.