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Far and Wide: Bring That Horizon to Me! Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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No surprise about Neil being a gifted writer after all the amazing Rush lyrics that he’s written, but the pictures really put his books on the must have’ list.” WNCX Cleveland
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS WORKS
"He has a keen eye for the physical beauty of the different landscapes he encounters . . . For rock fans and readers who enjoy a good road epic, this work will have great appeal." ― Booklist on Far and Near
"One does not need to be a Rush fan to appreciate Peart's story telling. It's a beautiful text, rife with interesting photos, anecdotes, and factoids" ― The Huffington Post on Far and Near
"Experience the sheer joy Peart takes in life and his passion for sharing it with others. Far less scandalous than 'rock drummer writes book' might suggest but far more interesting, too." ― Kirkus Reviews on Far and Near
"This is a fine travelogue that fans and general readers alike should enjoy." ― Publishers Weekly on Far and Near
"The reader is riding shotgun as Peart provides an intimate narrative of the places he's seen and the strangers he's met." ― Toronto Star on Far and Near
"With captivating illustrations by [Nick] Robles, it is easy to imagine the backdrop of the lives Miranda (and the reader) collects. Fantasy fans will be captivated by this steampunk version of The Canterbury Tales." ― Library Journal, starred review of Clockwork Lives
From the Inside Flap
In May 2015, the veteran Canadian rock trio Rush embarked on their 40th anniversary tour, R40. For the band and their fans, R40 was a celebration and, perhaps, a farewell. But for Neil Peart, each tour is more than just a string of concerts, it’s an opportunity to explore backroads near and far on his BMW motorcycle. So if this was to be the last tour and the last great adventure, he decided it would have to be the best one, onstage and off.
This third volume in Peart’s illustrated travel series shares all-new tales that transport the reader across North America and through memories of 50 years of playing drums. From the scenic grandeur of the American West to a peaceful lake in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains to the mean streets of Midtown Los Angeles, each story is shared in an intimate narrative voice that has won the hearts of many readers.
Richly illustrated, thoughtful, and ever-engaging, Far and Wide is an elegant scrapbook of people and places, music and laughter, from a fascinating road and a remarkable life.
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Top customer reviews
The book is certainly a masterpiece of both design and writing, and is a crowning jewel in the king's crown (to further use the Farewell to Kings theme). In his previous blog-to-book efforts, Neil would take his blog posts, tweak them, and republish them in coffee-table format. Certainly not a bad thing, but it was a little weird to think "hey, I could read these exact same stories on-line..." Nonetheless, I bought the books, but that thought did cross my mind. It didn't cheapen the experience, but it did diluted it just a bit. With Far and Wide, only a few of the stories were distributed on his blog and greatly benefit from being interwoven together much more effectively (vs. being discrete stories) where the narrative of one story leads into the other. By the end of the book, you see why the life he has lead is so rich, and his achievements so fantastic, that you understand why "pulling out of the game" now is a worthy decision. At a certain point, with all the impact of age, hearing loss, physical stress, etc.. you have to ask "Rush are in their top form now - where else can this go but down?" Many entertainers, like cheese that has been left on the counter too long, become moldy parodies of themselves if they stay in the game past their prime.
Anytime I read a Peart book (or lyrics), I get that much more motivated to be excellent and achieve all that I can within the scope of my life and to be that much more observant and curious. That is, and has been, Peart's influence on me since I was about 14 years old! What a fantastic thing that I have been lucky enough to have a "hero" who professed that it was OK to think for yourself, that it was ok to be driven and to rise above the norm (especially in a time when music (and art in general) was steadily turning more plastic and shallow.)
So, this is a touching (often funny and always insightful) look into Neil's life, this last tour, the miles of travel to all kinds of interesting places and human interactions that go with that travel. It is a look at what drives (rewards and frustrations) someone who has accomplished so much and is surprisingly open in its observations inward and outward.
From the very bottom of my heart, I am grateful for the inspiration he has given to me (and a whole generation) and thanks for this "going away" gift to readers, explorers and fans.
Picturesque stories between destinations, music and laughter, the joy of motorcycling and the freedom of riding are felt throughout this book. Neil's introspection is conveyed in intimate fashion onto the proverbial papyrus. Ever the shy guy who wanted to be "hidden in the background", his talent of writing, in both lyric form and these books have enriched our lives in so many rewarding ways. Whether it's a story about a particular venue, a ride on a certain backroad or pensiveness in Bubba's Garage, Neil has the gift of immersing the reader in the story being told. There were several points in this book that made me just not want to put it down.
The hardcover version of this book is a coffee table masterpiece, illustrated with lots of memorable pictures to go along with the stories. It is the crescendo of a remarkable musical career that is the envy and admiration of thousands of musicians and hundreds of thousands of fans. As Neil describes the last concerts on the tour and other noteworthy musicians waiting to celebrate Neil's career after the last show, I felt the excitement from the reader's perspective, of one journey ending for Neil and another beginning. At this point in the career of Rush, as is the career of Neil Peart, nothing is owed to the fans. The sacrifices that Lee/Lifeson/Peart have made in the 40 years of music, physical/mental/personal, are immeasurable and a well-deserved retirement seems sensible at this point.
I won't taint this review with the minor points of repetitiveness in this book, e.g. faith-bashing and avoiding fan contact. Sad that Neil feels the need to satirize and/or criticize those who practice religion in every book. Should we learn to laugh at it by now? In this instance, characterizing yarmulkes as "Jewish beanies" may be funny to some; offensive to others. Neil preaches (sorry, no pun intended) about tolerance and respect, yet he can sometimes only personally agree to the tolerance part of it and not always the respect. To me, that's just part of Neil's attempt at "amateur philosophy" regarding such matters. Hence, I apply the converse of Christopher Hutchens' formulation which translates as "What can be dismissed without evidence, can be asserted without evidence".
I totally enjoy reading Mr. Peart's journals and philosophic musings threaded together by his touring with my all time favorite band Rush.
Knowing this would be the 'last one' on multiple levels I wanted to 'dose' my reading just to postpone that 'final page' as long as possible. Well I finally finished it and I feel grateful to have glimpsed such a great part of his career and his private life that he has shared on the written level.
Neil's books are not so much about Rush but about one of the driving forces of Rush as an artist on many different levels. And for people who would love to travel the states and parts of Europe his last three books even offer a lot of adventurous incentive to 'take the roads less travelled', the dotted lines on the map :-)
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoy reading along with your rides, keep writing.