- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 10 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: May 7, 2013
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00COIYQ1U
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
The direction of the book is much more of an over all experience of the journey and the education received along the way. Cultures, interpersonal relationships, conflict both large and small, sympathetic reactions, tempers and personality conflicts. I was also impressed with the very open and honest comments made throughout (some of which were really surprising coming from such a mild mannered author). Peart is never personal about his criticisms as most of it is internalized....that is to say how he reacts to situations and people along the way. He can be judgmental at times but in his shoes I think anyone would be. He approaches the trip (and prose) as just a guy on a bike and not as a world renowned lyricist and drummer.
As you can well imagine the tour taken here by a small group of strangers was difficult and it tested wills. However, the writing focuses on the authors means of taking it all in, being patient when there was none to spare, being assertive when required and remaining a strong individual as a member of a team. From The Masked Rider you will gain an insight to the author and you will probably think twice about taking such a journey. Mosquitos! Filthy floors! Sketchy toilets! Wonderful people!
A great read for anyone. Well written, open, honest, entertaining and very educational. Kudos to Neil Peart who clearly absorbed much about African culture and history which he shares key portions of to make the book much more internationally engaging. I have read reviews that state he did not enjoy the trip and I disagree. He focuses on the difficulty of many aspects of it yet he never misses a moment to share in the grandeur of Africa and many of the interesting/perplexing/crafty/wise people who call it home. He certainly knew it was going to be a challenge which is why he took the journey to begin with and he got just that.
What makes this a good read is not the "story" itself; the events are mundane despite being transplanted to Africa. The characters involved are interesting, but not fascinating. Rather, it is Peart's style and his unique perspective that bring the same value to this work that his lyrics bring to Rush's music.
I attest that you could take Neil Peart and sit him down in a Barber shop for six hours, tell him to write it up, and you would have a fascinating new book to sell.
There are a couple of standout moments, however. I agree with other reviewers that his description of meeting his wife in Paris is moving, and he conveys the emotional weight of the moment (even a priori if you don't know much about his recent tragedies). The whole scene reminds me of John Barth's TKTTTITT (which I won't spoil for you - go read The Tidewater Tales!). The genius in Peart is that he conveys, with a fairly minor story of taking a bike ride in Africa, the deep-seated impact of experience-as-reward, the point-of-the-journey-is-the-journey, and simultaneously validates Victor Hugo's statement "the answer of he who knows everything is the same as the answer of he who knows nothing: because."
The second moment of impact that I will cite is his near-transcendance at the African convent. It saddens me to no end to reflect on this moment and on Peart's ultimate rejection.
Overall, a satisfying book from an eloquent and prolific mind. A book with much more depth than you might at first realize.