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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The road that heals could be ridden by anyone
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...
Published on April 19 2004 by Tamirra C Stewart

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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...
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...
Published on June 30 2004 by Kindle Customer


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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..., June 30 2004
By 
Kindle Customer (SAINT PAUL, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The road that heals could be ridden by anyone, April 19 2004
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The uncomfortable rock star takes an uncomfortable journey., May 5 2004
By 
Jared D Ladish (Watertown, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)
Both physically and emotionally. Mr. Peart writes what must have been a most difficult book about recent tragedies he's suffered and the "healing road" he's taken to escape and embrace them. The book at times is gripping and insightful. However...he can also be hypocritical and abrasive. He longs for more open mindedness from people but those who may disagree with his point of view receives his derision. He and his band are staunch anti music trading and the illegalities of it while he financially and morally supports a non remorseful drug dealer. Placing the blame for his friend legal woes squarely on a constrictive government rather than on the man who has made the choice of pursuing this type of illicit career. But you do not have to agree with a writer nesscessarily to enjoy his writing. Mr. Peart is and engaging and concise writer. At times the book reads as a letter from a troubled friend. Admittedly aloof due to a lifetime of living in the spotlight. He finds more comfort in the words of a book than with many of the people he encounters. Those that are privy to his good nature are rewarded with lively conversation those that are not receive a cold reception unbefitting a man of his history. The book is a good read and the author capable. However, the book not only confronts the author but the reader. I found his previous book more enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional - especially if you've suffered sudden loss...., Dec 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)
Having grown up listening to Rush, I was curious to read this book. Knowing what had happened in Neils life, I bought it and put it on the shelf, thinking that I would read it "someday" whenever I had to deal with loss in my own life...
Well, six months after that, I did...not the same kind of loss (not nearly as tragic), but loss nevertheless. Although my loss was different, it was sudden...and eventually I picked up "Ghost Rider."
Neil has always come across as somewhat mysterious to me, but in this book he really puts his raw emotions out on the table for everyone to read. I enjoyed very much reading of his travels, but what he was able to articulate about what he was having to go though emotionally was something that I really connected with. In dealing with my own situation, it was a great comfort to read about somebody else who was also suffering the pain of loss. I could relate. This book helped me through some dark times.
My only criticism of it would be.....his sense of humor. Throughout the book Neil includes letters that he wrote to a specific friend of his...those letters are filled with Neils unique sense of humor....which happens not to resonate with me.
But his emotions did. I read this book at the right time in my own life. And I applaud Neil for so bravely exposing himself in such a bold way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Closer to the heart...., Sept. 29 2003
By A Customer
I am not a musician or a drummer and only a casual RUSH fan and I enjoyed this book tremendously. I wrote that disclaimer because I think this is a book for everyone - you don't have to be a music fan or even going through a loss of your own. This book is honest and fresh and reveals an intimate side of an intensely private man who deals with his devastating losses - it could have been written by anyone and for anyone.
Personally I was impressed with the intelligence of the author and his normalacy and down-to-earth lifestyle despite the fact he is a 'rock drummer' and is idolized by drummers all over the world. How many big time rock stars would stay at a Super 8 and admit they are avid bird watchers?
Kudos to Neil for his superb writing and giving hope to others going through similar situations. I loved this book so much I bought copies for friends so they could enjoy it as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for the dedicated, July 3 2004
By 
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I feel the soft ground under my feet; and I am moved., July 16 2004
"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."
-- Limelight
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.
MR
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3.0 out of 5 stars I must have had the wrong expectations, Dec 27 2003
By 
Lawrence Chi (Shanghai China) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)
Knowing that Neil Peart is insightful and so good with the written word, I was expecting a lot of tidbits and profound insights into life and how he was dealing with the tragic deaths of his daughter and wife.
For many parts of this book, I did get that but quite frankly, the letters to Brutus and others - I could have done without. They were just babbling about what he did today and didn't bring much insight. Having been out of North America for ten years, I did appreciate the description of what it's like to live and travel in Canada again -
I felt that the ending was a little abrupt - while he had alluded to getting back to himself, he didn't really go into that process. His introduction to Carrie was only in the last few pages from "hey I'm dating this woman" to "hey we're getting married in California" - wot?!
I guess I may have had the wrong expectations for this book which is of no fault of the author. I was expecting to learn more about the thinking of an obviously brilliant lyricist and drummer...what I got was more random thoughts and a stream of consciousness
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff chef Ellwood, Oct. 20 2003
By 
Ben Agata "Ben Agata" (Rego Park, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)
I must agree with a lot of Martin Gregory's arguement about the shortfalls of this book. I give it a higher rating because I was a bit more compelled by Neil Peart's journey. I think its important to note that the man is a unique character. I have been a fan of his for many years, and have read and heard many interviews with him. I think the timeline of this book shows him embracing many emotions for the first time.
I am very thankful that he was candid about his experience, eventhough he might be less candid than the average person. I will just reempathize that he is a very private person. I thought that the last chapter was way to short, and the two preceeding it were kind of useless. I say they are useless because they merely rehash the experience of the beggining of his journey, which were rather interesting the first time around, but lost something the second time. I'm not sure what he could of done to expand on his rebirth as a person, but after greiving with him through the majority of the book, the reader wants to feel some of the good stuff too. I'm hoping that he will write another book about his touring experience, and his new life. I think it would make a worthy sequel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Conflict between a travel book and an insightful journey, Oct. 14 2003
By 
Mark Larson (Draper, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (Paperback)
My reasons for purchasing this book were two-fold: One, to get a glimpse into the mind of a reclusive man that has left an indelible mark on me through his lyrics with Rush; and two, to see how someone faced with emotionally exhasting tragedies was able to recover.
What I found was an interesting journey that led me to feel I understood him a little bit more and at the same time frustrated that the way the story is told is unresolved.
I found following the journey from Canada to Mexico fascinating in and of itself. Mr. Peart handles the description of his journey extremely well...the first time around. I found the second trip left me anxious to get past it. I had heard it before and wasn't interested in following another adventure of that sort.
I was also surprised at how much of the story-telling was left to his letters, which at times became reduntant from what he just wrote. In fact, the middle of the book almost exclusively contains a constant stream of letters to his friend Brutus. This became very tedious and a bit irritating in the vein of trying to understand a telephone conversation listening solely on one end. It also interrupted the normal prose of the rest of the story. His prose is well done, so the letters were an annoyance. I would have rather had him describe his feelings rather than dictate a letter.
It is surprising how quickly he wraps up his struggle in a very short epilogue. It is strange to battle through 400 pages of grief and distress only to come to a few paragraphs that say "oh, and now I'm fine." I am not saying that Mr. Peart needed to or was obliged to explain his full recovery; however, considering how intimite he was with the tragedies, it felt normal to have a little more explanation to the recovery.
In short, during his travels he didn't explain enough on his emotional struggles and understanding, and he expected his letters to do too much explaining.
On the whole, though, I found the experience intriguing and insightful. It was a fascinating journey into the mind of a man for whom I have always had professional respect. I felt Mr. Peart's willingness to share his journey to and from the abyss heroic considering his introverted nature and reticence to reach out to those outside of his trusted circle. The shortcomings of this book, I believe, are due to these natural and instinctive urges.
Therefore, it is a worthy read for anyone who understands those aspects of Mr. Peart's nature. One must be willing to give him a wide berth to air out his feelings on a very personal subject. For those not familiar with his personality, or his history even on a small level, may find this to be a meandering story that does not resolve the way they would like.
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Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road
Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart (Paperback - July 1 2002)
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