Book Review: Walking with Sam by Andrew McCarthy

June 13, 2023


Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain by Andrew McCarthy is a travelogue of the author and his son walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Mr. McCarthy is a best-selling author, director, and actor.

  • 256 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Grand Central Publishing
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1538709201

Book Review: Walking with Sam by Andrew McCarthy
My rating for Walking with Sam – 5
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In the summer of 2021, the author and his son embarked on a 800-kilometer pilgrimage. Father and son, embarked on a life-changing experience that neither will ever forget.

I’ve read several travelogues of pilgrims who walked this route, but never with their son, and never the author’s second time. This, of course, allows Walking with Sam by Andrew McCarthy to compare his own pilgrimage against his son’s, each coming into adulthood, and as is tradition, each thinking they’re already adults.

One of the reasons I loved this book is that Sam reminds me of my own son, which made this book, written by someone I’ve never met, a bit more personal. I hope that Sam will be able to read this book in a few decades and realize what an amazing experience he had with his father. I look at my own travels when I was in my mid-20s, and realize I didn’t appreciate them as I should have.

As every traveler knows, one of the greatest things about going place is the people you meet. Mr. McCarthy describes the people they met on the trail, those they kept meeting over and over which fosters a sense of community among those who suffered together. At some point, Sam admonishes other pilgrims who are just walking the last 100 kilometers, which really shows the mindset of those walking across Spain.

The book follows the path of the Camino, each chapter is a day or so over the five weeks. This creates a nice rhythm not only of the narrative but of the trial as well. Along the way, we got some history lessons as well, but that’s not really the focus of the book. The author ruminates about his failed marriage to Sam’s mother, fatherhood, and his own father.

Mr. McCarthy is a gifted writer; he writes with openness and frankness. Sam, just fresh from a breakup, is still a mystery – but this is not his book and as a father I understand, and approve, of the author’s decision to protect his son’s privacy.

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More Books by Andrew McCarthy*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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