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Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road Paperback – September 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
A friend was kind enough to give me the book as a gift, and what a profound gift it was. As a lifelong fan of RUSH, Neil, and being a drummer myself, I took that book everywhere with me...it almost became my security. On planes, in my car, etc...until I finally forced myself to read the book closely.
I feel much closer to Neil and certainly identify with his emotions, his feelings of anger, frustration, self-loathing, his "little baby soul" and everything else. Sure, the book delves too deep into certain things that may come across as "WHO CARES" to the reader, but that's the way grief is. You try to fill as much time with WHO CARES so you don't just sit around and cry and be miserable. I know, because I'm there RIGHT NOW.
At this point, I'm almost feeling an additional loss from having finished the book. I agree that there was unfinished business in this book, but I can't help but feel happy for the guy for getting to the point of moving on. That was bittersweet reading for me and quite hard.
Thanks Neil, for sharing your moving story, and making this reader feel and understand your pain, and through that process, anticipate and justify the feelings that I currently am going through. Well done.
When Neil Peart lost his daughter to a traffic accident in the fall of 1997, and his wife to cancer (though, really, he knew it was a broken heart that took his wife), he was an empty man, a man with no reason to live, and little desire to do so. To save himself from the loneliness and the emptiness of a life alone, Peart took to the roads on his motorcycle on a journey that would cover Canada, much of the western United States, and parts of Central America. As he wrote:
"My little baby soul was not a happy infant, of course, with much to complain about, but as every parent learns, a restless baby often calms down if you take it for a ride. I had learned my squalling spirit could be soothed the same way, by motion, and so I had decided to set off on this journey into the unknown. Take my little baby soul for a ride."
This book is a compelling combination of travelogue, literary journal, sarcastic wit, and honest soul- searching. It provides a number of insights to a complex and intriguing man, one who would be interesting even without his fame. His humor, his pain, his reflections, his irritation, his impatience, his fear... All of it presented for the world to see, and to learn from.
I recommend this book not only to Rush fans, but to anyone interested in seeing how someone survives the losses Peart experienced and emerges a whole person on the other side.
Not surprisingly, Peart's writing on the page-to-page level is witty, literate, and frank. As a travelogue, Ghost Rider is fairly interesting, peppered with details about the various locales he visits and the people who put them on the map, and pithy observations about the local culture. I'm sure he'd do well as a writer at a travel magazine (but being in a successful rock band probably pays better).
As an account of an emotional journey, though, Ghost Rider feels like a journal that was transfered into book form without benefit of a good editing job. It seems like I spent as much time reading about what Neil ate for dinner, what repairs he made to his bike, what (briefly described) old friend he met, etc., than about the process of coming to grips with grief. Understandable that he preferred dealing with day-to-day details to take his mind off the hurt while on the road, but as a final narrative, it gets a bit tedious to the reader who doesn't have much emotional connection to these things, at least not as they're told. Though he clearly misses his wife and daughter, he doesn't say much about them, which makes it hard to empathize with his breakdowns along the way. Flashes into the struggle of the soul are there, but they often get deflected into self-conscious banter which likewise gets a little old.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting read. As a long-time casual Rush fan I had no idea this had happened to Neil. Glad he persevered and achieved some peace and happiness. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Stephen C. Foster
Very strong start. A very public way to share a private journal from a seemingly private person. Sharing these private thoughts with the added context of past lyrics is a reason... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Denise
As a Rush fan it took me quite some time to purchase this book. But after reading the sampler, I had to purchase as it drew me in. Read morePublished 1 month ago by pbass
Was a big Rush fan before reading this book. Havent listened to them since. I actually stopped about halfway through the book as the self absorbed elitist drivel just piled too... Read morePublished 2 months ago by JS
Neal Peart is an excellent writer. This is a tale of healing and his experience of coping with grief and rediscovering meaning in life after his monumental loss. Read morePublished 2 months ago by MCV