In less than a year, Neil Peart lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. Faced with overwhelming sadness and isolated from the world in his home on the lake, Peart was left without direction. That lack of direction lead him on a 55,000 mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again. He had needed to get away, but he had not really needed a destination. His personal odyssey is chronicled with his travel adventures, meeting up with friends and family, and the grieving, thinking, crying, and storytelling of life as he rides. Along the way, he plays music from his internal jukebox, yet nothing seems to let him find peace. And without peace, all he could do was keep riding until he found it.
©2002 Neil Peart (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I was expecting an interesting travelogue and a story of a man overcoming hardship. Instead what I got was a rich man moping and feeling sorry for himself. His travelogue is mostly a list of the birds he saw, the motels he stayed in, what he ate and what he drank. Mostly he complains and complains. I recognize that he had some very rough stuff happen to him, but f*cking come on already. Until that point he had led an incredibly charmed life, the sort of life that anybody would dream of. He seems to have no sense of perspective or awareness of that, just a brooding self-pity that goes on forever.
The second half of the book is apparently just letters to acquaintances, still brooding and complaining about snowshoeing and x-country skiing and hiking around on his woodland estate. I have about 5 hours of this book left and will not finish it.
I have heard that his earlier books are good. There are a lot of books out there though, and I doubt I'll come back for more of this.
He has some good descriptions of interesting places at the very beginning, when he was still in the Yukon and Alaska.
The last 3/4 of the book.
I realize I am probably being hard on this book. The narration is good and really captures the self-pitying tone of the book and in fact may have magnified it. I really think this book was for Neal to work through his own grieving process and can't imagine why anybody else would want to read it.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
I thought I could relate to Neil. He lost his wife to cancer and his daughter to a traffic accident. I think losing a child is the worst possible thing anyone can go through. I too have lost many people I loved, but my modest travels have been fun and eye opening through Asia. Neil may be a great rock star, but this comes across as the random thoughts of a sad person who doesn't seem to want to talk to anyone about his problems, but Brutus, a friend of his who goes to jail part way through the book. Insert yourself anywhere in the book and this foreboding melancholy is there like some looming cloud blackening even a shred of hope. We are treated to such things as what he had for dinner each night, the names of hotels and places and the coup de grace, names of potentially interesting people, who are trivially passed over. This is 15 hours of blather. Neil may be an avid reader, but a writer he is not. I would have liked to hear more about the young man who was also into drumming. In the end of the book, he somehow manages to find a new wife. I have only bought a couple of bad books at Audible. This one had a great title, but didn't deliver redemption, inspiration or even arouse curiosity. Give this one a pass. The empty sky on the cover is as empty as the content inside. I am around the same age, I don't have a motorcycle and I have much less money. Maybe being a star is a recipe for whining.
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