5.0 out of 5 stars This was purchased for a gift
I have read all of Neil Pearts books and would recommend all of them. Combinations of world travel, music and motorcycles.
Published 4 months ago by roberta fitzgerald
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This road gets a little long...
As a long time Rush/Neil Peart fan I may not be the most objective reviewer of this book as I tore through its pages with the mindset of a fan and not as a casual reader. Being a Rush fan and a motorcyclist, I'm probably as captive a reader as any author could hope for, so perhaps I grant this book some liberties where others may feel it falls a little short.
Published on June 30 2004 by Steven M SCHMITT
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This road gets a little long...,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)As a long time Rush/Neil Peart fan I may not be the most objective reviewer of this book as I tore through its pages with the mindset of a fan and not as a casual reader. Being a Rush fan and a motorcyclist, I'm probably as captive a reader as any author could hope for, so perhaps I grant this book some liberties where others may feel it falls a little short.
The passing of Peart's daughter and wife starts the book on it's haunting footing as the author takes you on a two wheel ride over miles and miles of road while simultaneously allowing you to feel his pain, recount his memories, think his thoughts, and bask in his ultimate healing. All while the odometer keeps clicking away.
What is immediately striking is the author's raw emotional openness - as though his motorcycle were the couch and the reader the psychologist listening to him poor it all out. The down side of this is that in his honesty you see him as not always being the most sympathetic of characters - often he comes across being uptight, anal, and often self indulged. Rather than recounting memories of his lost loved ones, allowing his devastation to be more concrete and real for the reader he regales in story after story of past motorcycle trips with his best friend Brutus. By the end of the book you know more about Brutus than the loved ones he lost.
The beauty of this book is experiencing the world as viewed through the eyes of a well-read, thoughtful artist. He has such a poetic sensibility about the world that the sights, sounds and smells of the passing countryside take on a fresh life. Throughout the book he is searching, but never out of control - he grieves as you would expect, but not driven by his emotions - instead he rides and thinks.
5.0 out of 5 stars This was purchased for a gift,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)I have read all of Neil Pearts books and would recommend all of them. Combinations of world travel, music and motorcycles.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insight,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)In a way, I can relate to what Neil Peart has gone through. The pain of losing two loved ones is unbearable.
As the drummer for Rush, Peart is often the forgotten -or quiet- one. Thus we know very little about him and his propensity for reading. We often overlook the fact that he his educated, articulate and that he apparently has a bit of a dark sense of humor. The book conveys his pain and his efforts to try and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
While some will characterize Peart as self-indulgent and often mean in his life story, the fact remains that when you lose a loved one in tragic circumstances, you tend to ignore other people's problems and concentrate mostly on your own.Very little else exists outside of your own pain. Trust me on this, my family and I go through it every single day.
I highly recommend this book to those who have lost a loved one. I know it helped me quite a lot.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Loved the Ghost Rider!,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)This book was an excellent read. It is a book about Neil Peart, his life, his struggle, his tragedies. When his daughter and wife passed on, in sudden fashion (within 10 months of one another), he was basically left with nothing. He felt sitting around and thinking about it all would lead him to a dark place, and feared it may be un-recoverable. Instead he decides that if he kept moving, time would heal ...just keep busy. This book tells the journey he took on the healing road, and how he survived a horrific reality. This book may inspire, but it's not meant as a self help book, or written to please the masses. It's a book about a personal life, with well deserved, and a right of personal thoughts/feelings. Great read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and Engaging Book,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Kindle Edition)I enjoy travel stories but this one was more. It was deeply engaging and I could relate to the lonely road stories as I have done them over the years. I sometimes think exploring alone gives you different insights to the world around you but not always. It is good to see that his new wife has pulled him through his darkness hours although one never forgets. People matter. A challenging and wonderfully written book. As a Rush fan I enjoyed it even more. May Neil and his new family live a blessed life together.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, for the RUSH fan in your life!,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)Bought this for my hubby to read on our vacation. Couldn't put it down! I think I may read it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for the dedicated,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)As a fan of Rush and Neil Peart for 20+ years, I was hoping this book would reveal more about Neil's human side and the tragedies he faced and overcame. It did, but not the way I expected. I was about 100 pages in when I realized the book is written for Neil himself, not for the reader. The author often seems not to know or care that a reader exists and wants to understand and empathize with his journey. He logs hundreds of pages of detail of his aimless wanderings, often interspersed with his own feelings of grief, but the few real insights are fragmented without any real coherence. In fact, some of them are probably unintentional; he seems as unaware of his own disdain towards most other people he meets, as he is of the reader himself. This becomes painfully obvious in the "Letters to Brutus" section, pages upon pages of correspondence that, while surely significant to Neil and his close friends, are mostly fragmented and irrelevant to anyone else. After 450 pages of material, through which we desperately want Neil to overcome his pain, the story of his recovery is tacked on in literally a single sentence, followed by 6 pages of epilogue.
My sense is that this book was written not for the reader, but for Neil to bring closure to his own grieving process, which is understandable given the terrible tragedies that the author experienced. The reader should approach it in that context, understanding that the process of grief necessarily makes a person very focused on the self to the exclusion of almost all else.
I'd recommend the book only to dedicated fans of Neil's work, with the caveat that this particular work is really written for Neil himself. All the band members have consistently said they feel they owe their followers their best possible performance in exchange for the CD price or ticket charge; for the $20 price of this book, this is the first work I've seen by any of them that falls far short of that standard.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The road that heals could be ridden by anyone,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)Although this book can be found in the Music section in stores, it should be allowed to occupy a space in the therapeutic section as well. Not just for the Rush fan, this book could have be written by anyone whose circumstances were, unfortunately, similar to Peart's. We are allowed to travel with Peart's "little baby soul" and see how it's possible to let our hearts, bit by bit, recover from trauma.
Do not let the idea that this is a constantly depressing book, keep it from being read. It is a wonderful trip across America on a motorcycle but we never forget why the road is traveled.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Book, Too,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Hardcover)Knowing Neil Peart's skill with lyrics and wanting to experience his wordsmithery unencumbered by rhyme and meter, I bought this book eagerly. Reading it, I was astounded... astounded at its utter lack of depth.
The book has neither storyline nor point. This is not, as the title might suggest, a sharing of insights received through enduring hardship, from which others may benefit. Half the book is an iteration of Mr. Peart's meanderings, the other half a collection of letters to his friends, mostly about matters of importance only to those friends.
The Limelight can be deceiving, but Mr. Peart does reveal a lot about himself here--not flatteringly. Bigotry rears its ugly head; he seems incapable of saying "American" without "fat", and jokes that the main thing wrong with Mexico is its proximity to the USA. [...]
It was eye-opening to learn that the author of the words,
He's got a problem with his poisons
Throughout the book, the author routinely reveals by illustration or discussion how little regard he has for the rest of humanity. The reader's initial assumption that this springs from his loss and suffering is dispelled by a deadpan declaration toward the end of the book and well on the way down his "healing road", of his steadily diminishing respect for humans individually and as a whole. Nowhere is this more evident than in his treatment of the reader.
He attempts to relate an early venture into the dating game, but never fleshes out the woman enough for us to get to know her. When things don't go smoothly between them, he takes to referring to her in his writings as "that woman", but doesn't explain why; and we haven't seen enough of her to guess; so we're left to watch him from a distance, unable to relate and wondering, "Why's he doing that?".
At length it comes time to end the book so it can get out on the store shelves; and in a final quickie chapter the loose ends of the non-story are tidied up movie-style: "Brutus got probation. I met a nice girl and got married. Deb couldn't handle it. Oh, well..."
To judge from his lyrics, Mr. Peart seems to have insight and a solid grasp of what's important in life; yet here he comes off as startlingly shallow and in serious need of some personal work. This book gives nothing to the reader. If there is any reason for reading it, it is that those who know Mr. Peart only from his musical career may get this closer, clearer look at the human behind that figure in the Limelight. On reflection, it hardly seems worth the effort.
5.0 out of 5 stars I feel the soft ground under my feet; and I am moved.,
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Hardcover)"Living in a fisheye lens, caught in the camera eye,
I have no heart to lie,
I can't pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend."
And who can blame you? Who will judge you? Lost your life, your family, your love, your child, your spirit ! O cruel world ! You turned in your ambition for a cold dark hostile ride through infinite space and endless pavement. But you do have love. You do have light. You gave so much to the world in your youth. You were our only voice. You taught us all a philosophy that we knew before we became wealthy and learned in philosophy. You were our only philosopher; the greatest of all philosophers. Your gift was not only the gift of words of enlightenment, but was the gift of energy: adrenalin flowing. You gave the world truth: the rarest of all precious stones. Thank you. You are loved by millions. And many more will be born to discover your genius. Music is timeless. Perhaps we are all strangers to you, but you should know that we, your audience, all hold you close to our hearts. And in this that we all share, we are not strangers, but very close friends.
"Ghost Rider" takes us into the soul of Neil Peart, percussionist, composer, and lyricist and poet of the combined genius known as Rush. It is a mystery why he opened his soul in this text, but he did. It's true: we cannot know another unless we walk in their shoes. But we can share it all with each other. Neil pours it out. How you see it, how it affects you, is all up to you, the reader.
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Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart (Paperback - July 1 2002)
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