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Title/Author

McCarthy's Bar

Pete McCarthy

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 2000

Copyright : Pete McCarthy 2000

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-76605-0
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-76605-7

Publisher's Write-Up

This is a tale of Pete McCarthy's trip around Ireland. He discovers that it has changed in many ways. Obeying the rule to "never pass a pub with your name on it", McCarthy encounters English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many other oddities journeying up and down the land.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (080103) Rating (9/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 9/10
McCarthy's Bar is a story about Pete, born in England to an Irish mother and a English father, trying to rediscover his roots by travelling to Ireland where he spent some of his younger life surrounding by the typical large Irish family.

What follows is Pete travelling the west coast meeting all manner of strange Irish people and tourists who'd come to Ireland to see what all the craic was about :). Never pass a bar that has your name on it, says the eighth rule of travel. With a name like McCarthy I'm surprised he was sober enough to get more than a few miles. From the price of Chinese noodles, to little old ladies that appear with a mountain of sandwiches when you least expect it, to spending 3 days punishing yourself in bare feet saying millions of prayers with no sleep on a little island off the coast, you can't help but admire Pete's idea of 'going to work'.

I'd heard of this book (which is odd for me) and decided that I'd give it a go. And I'm glad I did. Pete McCarthy is a very funny man.

His style of writing and the little details of Irish life that he picks up had me laughing soon into the first couple of pages. Being Irish myself I could relate to much of the small stories of Christian brothers, bars, people chatting to you for no reason and before you know it you are telling them your life story. The Irish people he portrays here are what I remember of being in Ireland when I was young and to be honest anyone who has travelled the southwest and western side of Ireland, far away from the bustle of Dublin, could relate to it just as much.

What he also does well is mix humour with a history lesson on the life, places and hardships of Ireland over the last 800 years. If you are not sniggering by the 20th page then you've had a sense-of-humour bypass.

This book is three years old and if you don't own a copy, go out and get one now. It's an essential read.
Ray (8th January 2003)

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