Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
by Pete McCarthy, St. Martin's Press, 2000
Reviewed by Richard J. McGowan
Planning a trip to Ireland? Don't
read this book until you return. Been to Ireland?
Read McCarthy's Barnow. Its trenchant and hilarious
observations will be accessible and will have you back to the
Emerald Isle, laughing, chatting, and sharing a pint (or
Born in England to an Irish mother, Pete McCarthy set out to
explore the land of his maternal lineage.
Therefore,McCarthy's Baris part travelogue, part self-exploration;
it is aptly subtitled 'A Journey of Discovery in
McCarthy's life in England as travel writer, host of "Travelog"
(a TV show), and comic enabled exploration of the historical and
contemporary Irish character and his own-and his own is very
Here is a description of wild Irish countryside turned to
tourism tawdry: "Ounahincha is in a beautiful setting, with an
expansive beach, dramatic rocks in water, and splendid sloping lush
landscape." But it's become laden with tourist
schlock. "I find myself feeling sorry for people who
voluntarily spend their free time here. Like me, now."
McCarthy's deadpan, incisive observation combined with a comedian's
timing produce laugh-out-loud reading.
Seeking Michael Collins' birthplace, McCarthy encounters Jack
Ryan, an IRA contemporary of Collins as well as Noel Redding, "the
fella out of the Jimi Hendrix Experience." These sorts of
experiences and the author's use of historians as well as other
travelers, e.g., Thackery, interweave Irish history with
McCarthy's Bar, rollicking writing and all,
is at once educational and an immensely enjoyable, journey!
- Richard McGowan is Instructor of Business Ethics at