McGrath delivers on the amazement and fascination to be found in the details of unfamiliar places, especially when those details are observed through the eyes of a viewer who is as capable of feeling astonishment at the most mundane people and occurrences as he is at the momentous ones ... comes alive with curiosity and compassion...xamining everything from active-shooter drills, to racially charged monuments, to stolen iPhones that mysteriously resurface halfway around the globe ... his talents for examining the minutiae of nonhabitual environments and the effect they can have on the people who visit them are on display once again in this latest offering.
Not all of the pieces quite work ... The occasional misfire notwithstanding, McGrath frames most of his stories so invitingly that one can’t help but read on ... beautifully written is a tour de force exploring a tangled friendship with a homeless Black man, dying of cancer, who ran afoul of the medical orthodoxy, in part by admitting that he would try to find crack upon being released from the hospital ... A mixed bag but with some exceptional, Pushcart-worthy pieces of observation and reportage.
McGrath brings sharp observations and keen curiosity to these globe-trotting essays ... A few pieces lean perilously close to navel-gazing, but for the most part the author’s adept at capturing the world with a buoyant sense of wonder. Armchair travelers will find much to appreciate in these affable, empathetic musings.