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Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road Paperback – September 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550225480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550225488
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Peart’s story reminded me of Theodore Roosevelt’s travel West to overcome the sorrow of losing his wife and mother..." -- Mike Fink, CNN Headline News

About the Author

Neil Peart is the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush and the author of Masked Rider. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

Any fan of RUSH or the lyrics of Neil Peart should read this book.
Daniel Madore
To someone that has suffered loss, this book gives a feeling of someone saying, "I've been there too, and believe it or not, it can get better."
Kevin M. Kohnke
I have to comment on one last thing: the incessant "Letters to Brutus" that make up far too much of this book.
Bob Neubauer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 184 people found the following review helpful By K. Shanklin on January 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I find it interesting and sad how many people read this book looking for a story and insight about RUSH. I personally was deeply saddened after the Test for Echo tour to have heard about Neil's tragic losses, then just recently in December of 2002, a week before Christmas, I lost my 32 year old wife to cancer, and immediately have been thrust into a fraternity that nobody should have to join.
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 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.
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120 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Alderdice on August 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the interest of full disclosure, I admit to being a long-time Rush fan, which by extension makes me a long-time fan of Neil Peart, the author of this work and drummer and lyricist for Rush. I had been aware of the tragedies that he and his family had experienced, and knew that it was the reason behind the several-year gap between albums (Test for Echo released in 1996. Rush's next album, Vapor Trails, would not release until 2002.). However, I didn't know the story of what brought Neil back to Rush, and thus Rush back to the world until I picked up this book at a concert in July of 2002.
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.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Foolish_Mortal on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear Diary... and Brutus.

Let me start off by saying that I was not a Rush fan when I purchased this book. I simply went through a remarkably similar tragedy as Mr. Peart did, and a friend of mine who was a fan of Rush noticed the book (although he didn't read it) and mentioned it to me shortly I experienced my losses. My friend explained that Peart was the drummer and lyricist for Rush, and that Peart's talent's in those fields were unmatched, "deep" in his opinion, and that maybe Peart's experiences would help me deal with mine.

I picked up the book with very few expectations, as I never knew the man, and began to read it.

My first impression was "It sure must be nice to be wealthy enough to take a few years off to mourn such a loss". Most people can't just pick up and abandon much of their "old world" like Peart did. I felt that his hard work over the years afforded him such a "luxury", if picking up the pieces of a tragic puzzle and reassembling something completely new out of them can be called that. I felt confident, since he had so much free time to reflect while experiencing the world in which he chose to travel, that I would gain much insight from his times of solitude and reflection. I did not have that kind of free time, as I had to work mere hours after my losses, and I was looking forward to the insights that Peart had in his years of reflection.

I was unfortunately wrong in my assumptions. While I can personally understand the depths of sorrow, loneliness, confusion, and despair that fate chose to place as an anchor upon Peart's heart, I also was struck by the impression of him as a self-absorbed millionaire who showed great disdain for the very people whose hard earned money made him so successful.
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