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McCarthy's Bar : A Journey of Discovery in…
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McCarthy's Bar : A Journey of Discovery in Ireland (A Lir Book) (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Pete McCarthy (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2242910,458 (3.74)27
Pete McCarthy's tale of his hilarious trip around Ireland has gained thousands of fans all over the world. Pete was born in Warrington to an Irish mother and an English father and spent happy summer holidays in Cork. Years later, reflecting on the many places he has visited as a travel broadcaster, Pete admits that he feels more at home in Ireland than anywhere. To find out whether this is due to rose-coloured spectacles or to a deeper tie with the country of his ancestors, Pete sets off on a trip around Ireland and discovers that it has changed in surprising ways. Firstly obeying the rule 'never pass a pub with your name on it', he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, and meets English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many others. A funny, affectionate look at one of the most popular countries in the world.… (more)
Member:portlaoisecbs
Title:McCarthy's Bar : A Journey of Discovery in Ireland (A Lir Book)
Authors:Pete McCarthy (Author)
Info:Hodder & Stoughton (2001), Edition: New Ed, 384 pages
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McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy (2000)

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» See also 27 mentions

English (28)  French (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Excerpts from my original GR review (Aug 2009):
- More than a pub-hopping journal of western Ireland. Loads of history, consistent humor, seat-of-pants touring advice. Overlaying all this is McCarthy's sense of pilgrimage, of finding the Irishness in himself, as well as in the many foreign visitors immersing in the culture.
- McCarthy had a real social eye. Odd characters are related here with a kind of admiration. (I read a couple chapters at the local Waffle House, perhaps the most affable representation of Ireland I could find close at hand) His ultimate sense of belonging to the land of his forbears comes through, concealed a bit in his comical bent.
- Anyone of Irish descent or with interest in Ireland should enjoy this. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Sep 5, 2018 |
Travel Book
  NdunaGirls | Oct 8, 2017 |
This is Pete McCarthy's travelogue and spiritual quest for his roots in Ireland. His observations are wry and telling. His misadventures with old Volvos, German tourists and Irish cows will have you laughing. You don't have to be Irish to enjoy, but everyone is a little bit Irish. ( )
  varielle | Jun 23, 2017 |
An introspective book about one man's search for meaning and roots in an increasingly disconnected world. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
The late Pete McCarthy was a staple of TV and radio comedy throughout the 80's and 90's but it was with this travel book that he finally found real fame. A chronicle of his travels around Ireland in search of.....well he's not really sure himself. A sense of belonging? A search for his Irish roots? Whatever it is, he tells the tale with great good humour and a fine eye for the absurdities of Irish life.

Travelling around in an old blue Volvo with no real plan other than to sample Singapore noodles in as many Irish towns as possible, McCarthy encounters a strange mix of the old Ireland and the new Celtic Tiger Ireland (this was published in 2000, before it all went tits up). He paints a picture of an Ireland adjusting itself to a greater influx of tourists from all over the world. A land of stunning landscapes and unpredictable weather. And a people with their own unique attitude to life and how it should be lived (which boils down to "what's the rush?").

His prose is witty, warm and extremely readable. There is a great deal of affection for the country his parents came from, but he's still the Englishman outsider and it's that distance that makes his observations ring true.

This book really does have some laugh out loud moments, so if you're reading it in public, be prepared for some strange looks. I really enjoyed it. ( )
1 vote David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
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To Irene, Alice, Isabella and Coral
and to Margaret and Ken
for taking me there.
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The harp player had just fallen off the stage and cracked his head on an Italian tourist's pint.
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