My point is that Blane, aka Andrew McCarthy, is no longer doing much Blaneing and is, instead, a fabulous travel writer who carries an Editor-at-Large title at National Geographic Traveler and a resume chock full of real-deal credentials. What can I say? The guy not only knows how to pose broodingly on film; he can write.
Check out his most recent piece on finding the perfect cup of tea in Darjeeling or this one on haggling on Marrakech, which I've read multiple times while planning my next trip.
But this Book Report isn't about McCarthy's chops as a magazine writer; it's about his full-length travel memoir The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down. The book was published in 2012, so why am I only picking it up now, you ask? Because Mannequin was on TV the other week and I thought to Google my '80s boyfriend, that's why.
The Long Road Home chronicles McCarthy's worldwide travels--to Patagonia, the Amazon, Kilimanjaro, and beyond--as he more or less searches for himself. Or, more specifically, the reason he freaks out and runs away every time his long-term finance brings up marriage. The book starts out somewhat slowly, and it feels like we're spending more time in McCarthy's mixed-up manhead than in the locations he's writing about. But by the end, he's picked up steam, interspersing self-reflection with compelling sidekicks as well as a sly sense of humor, two things I value pretty highly in terms of travel memoirs. (Seriously, Eat, Pray, Love. Not funny.)
While I was a little "meh" on it in the beginning, I certainly came around to McCarthy and his plight by the end, and enjoyed the little insights into the various and sundry cultures he was exploring as a means to get to the bottom of his "issues." While I'm not giving it my strongest recommendation, consider checking out this way more compelling book talk with McCarthy on the subject and find out if it might be for you!
What travel books are next on your list?