McCarthy's Bar

McCarthy's Bar

A Journey of Discovery in the West of Ireland

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
An American chronicles his funny, nostalgic encounter with Ireland as he searches for his roots in the countryside and pubs of this beautiful and deceptively simple country. 12,500 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
"It was half past five in the morning as I lurched through the front door of the B&B. Mrs. O'Sullivan appeared just in time to see me pause to admire the luminous Virgin holy water stand with integral night-light, and knock it off the wall. Politely declining the six rounds of ham sandwiches on the tray she was holding, I edged gingerly along the hallway to the wrong bedroom door and opened it."

Despite the many exotic places Peter McCarthy has visited, he finds that nowhere else can match the particular magic of Ireland, his mother's homeland. In McCarthy's Bar, his journey begins in Cork and continues along the west coast to Donegal in the north. Traveling through spectacular landscapes, but at all times obeying the rule, "never pass a bar that has your name on it," he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, meeting fascinating people before pleading to be let out at four o'clock in the morning.

Through adventures with English hippies who have colonized a desolate mountain; roots-seeking, buffet-devouring American tourists; priests for whom the word "father" has a loaded meaning; enthusiastic Germans who "here since many years holidays are making;" and his fellow barefoot pilgrims on an island called Purgatory, Peter pursues the secrets of Ireland's global popularity and his own confused Irish-Anglo identity.

Written by someone who is at once an insider and an outsider, McCarthy's Bar is a wonderfully funny and affectionate portrait of a rapidly changing country.


Baker
& Taylor

The author chronicles his adventures traveling through the west of Ireland, searching for the secrets of the country's popularity and his own identity while adhering to the rule, "never pass a bar that has your name on it."

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2001, c2000
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312272104
0312272103
Branch Call Number: 941.5 MCC
Characteristics: vii, 338 p. ; 25 cm

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i
IV27HUjg
Mar 20, 2016

One of the funniest books I've ever read. What a sad loss & discovery to know he'll not write more. Laughed a lot.

b
booksgm
Apr 25, 2012

great book i did not want to finish it one of the best i have read

h
Hadley
Apr 01, 2009

McCarthy, born in England to an Irish father and English mother, wrote this travel memoir about exploring his Irish-English roots in Ireland. It might be the funniest book I've ever read. His observations about Ireland, where he's not quite a foreigner but definitely not a local, are both astute and hilarious.

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Hadley
Apr 02, 2009

It was half past five in the morning as I lurched through the front door of the B&B. Mrs O'Sullivan appeared just in time to see me pause to admire the luminous Virgin holy water stand with integral night-light, and knock it off the wall. Politely declining the six rounds of ham sandwiches on the tray she was holding, I edged gingerly along the hallway to the wrong bedroom door and opened it.

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