Raymond Fiore
February 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

After trekking across the Celtic countryside in the playful pub crawl ”McCarthy’s Bar,” Anglo-Irishman Pete McCarthy takes his acerbic wit on a world tour with The Road to McCarthy. He sets out to visit similarly surnamed ”kin” in far-flung locales like Morocco, Tasmania, and New York.

Upon arriving in remote McCarthy, Alaska, his foremost concern, inevitably, is booze. ”First impressions of a bar are crucial. It’s like buying a house, only more important,” he writes. ”And if you’re going to spend a week in a place…you’ve got high hopes riding on the only bar in town.” With such discriminating criteria propelling our pint-guzzling guide, the result is a travelogue that’s as hilariously gratifying as it is entertaining.

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