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'm just a big kid.
I was vaguely aware of the existence of a band called 'Rush', but I couldn't recall hearing any of their music, my tastes in music go in a different direction.
I was unaware of this Neil Peart person. I've since learned he is considered a Living God by many people, including members of my own family.
The two things I do have in common with Mr Peart is that we were both born in 1952 and we both like to take a long motorcycle ride when we feel the need to clear our head. It was motorcycles, not music, that attracted me to this book.
This isn't a particularly happy book, but it is a fascinating one. It's a good motorcycle travelogue. It's an interesting look behind the scenes of the life a famous musician. And it's a tragic story of a man dealing with what has to be about the worst loss one can imagine.
Mr Peart doesn't always come across as particularly warm or tolerant. He does come across as brutally honest with himself and his readers.
The narration and production values are excellent, the story is compelling.
I can't say I 'enjoyed' this book, the central tragedy precludes that adjective.
I am glad I read it.
Yes. I have always been very interested in Mr. Peart - so it was for me... although, at times the "letters to Bruno" format was tiring.
More log entries and less letters - I didn't care for the balance between the two as presented, but it was still enjoyable.
He has a similar voice to Neil's so that was a definite plus - although a tad monotone at times... then again, with the subject matter, its understandable.
More details regarding drumming in general - and his new relationship with Carrie Nuttall. I felt the last chapter was too much of a whirlwind - i.e., lets wrap this thing up quickly...
All in all - a good read for the determined fan. Casual listeners will tire after about 3 hours.. I enjoyed the first 1/3 and last 1/3 the most... It seems that he was more philosophical in the beginning and then simply gave way to letter writing as opposed to journalizing in the middle... I wanted more of the Broken Man to New Found Life conversion details... although - its very possible there were none and it was simply the "time that did its healing".
Definitely reads more as a travelogue than a introspective view into his life. The introspection is there, but at times it gets tedious waiting for the details..
At this point, I want to address folks who are trying to decide if they should get this book and may have formed a negative view based on other reviews..I've read many Amazon reviews that are quite negative regarding Mr. Peart's attitude and the appearance of "Self centered narcissism of a rich man". I think this is absolutely untrue. Yes - he is in a different place in his life than most of us, but he also has a job that is MUCH more demanding than many people would ever dare to take on. He is travelling away from family and home most of the year and had to scratch and claw his way in the early years when they got literally NO radioplay. It was NOT an easy road - but his persistence paid of and he now has the comfort that so many people give him a hard time for.
Also - regarding his "attitude" toward others in the book - calling them "fat, obese, etc"... How about we try and be a bit empathetic for a minute - you just lost your entire family - and have nothing to look forward to - you are near the point of cashing it in and just eating a bullet as it were... and you expect him to be anything except apathetic, withdrawn and downright cynical? Please... he gave us a raw look at how he felt - and then people want to sit back on their laurels and criticize. Get back to me when you deal with such tragedy in your life and let me know how it went.
I applaud Neil for giving us this insight - and I hope my review is not overly critical - because I do believe that it is important to be critical if one is to gain insight and grow. So - here's to looking forward to another installment in the "Life and times of Elwood".
A true story about tragedy, travel and relationships.
The contrasting and easy to imagine scenery intermingling with the authors rich and enviable life.
Both , sometimes in the same minute.
I strongly recommend this book. Particularly for anyone who has an interest in motorcycling, Canada or rock music !
This book by Neil Peart the drummer for the band RUSH tells the story of how even the "Rich and Famous" are affected by the loss of those you love. The opening chapters are riveting as he lights the fuse of his journey rocket. The feelings and emotions are raw, real and, let's face it quite sad.
Neil's only recourse..... "Keep moving"
It's important to note that this story didn't start out to be a book. Like many books it was a personal collection of his thoughts and feelings in the form of a journal. It wasn't until sometime after he collected this thoughts and put them in the form of a book.
So the story begins, with lost love and his journey to accepting "what is" his chosen method is the Motorcycle. His bike becomes a metaphor for his personal, emotional, and spiritual survival. As long as he keeps moving, his mind remains occupied.
The early parts of the book were great. His travels across Canada, to Alaska, and the Arctic circle. His trip continues back through Alaska, and into Washington, California and then the deserts of the Midwest, then to Mexico. Each of these "mini trips" told with great detail. Detail so clear you can almost be riding with him...
For me as the story continued it started to become ... Bla Bla Bla... His letters to his best friend Brutus seemed to be a crutch for actual writing a book. Perhaps because it wasn't a book originally...
Towards the end, Neil takes you at times on what seems like a day by day account of his life in the late 1990's both on and off his bike. Life as a famous drummer, Friend and human. Then he kind of skips a few years, says he got re-married and they live happily ever after..
I was left with a WTH just happened moment. In my mind he kind of "punted" the ending... After a long journey you often look back, and after the Ghost Rider journey I looked back and could easily see the wake of the writing.
Phase 1 A lot of detail, feelings emotions, and suffering
Phase 2 I'm getting board now but I have to make more pages
Phase 3 Page count hit... We all lived happily ever after
In short, it is a good enough book that I gave it 4 stars across the board. I'm glad I listened to it, but it is not one I'd listen to a second time.
loved hearing about this adventurous and sometimes hard story from one of my favorite drummers of all time. Definitely a great read. And the narration was fun to listen to.
Absolutely worth listening to. Understand that this is less about the ride than it is about the healing he was undertaking. While he did describe the riding and the traveling, he offered the listener more insight into what he was going through. Emotional story and once again, the motorcycle comes to the rescue. But again, it's not about the bike and the road as much as it is about the ride.
His trip into the Arctic Circle. Amazing.
He did a good job, a "good" job. If I were to give one criticism it would be that his narration was bland and sometimes monotone. When he did attempt to add some inflection or affect on his voice it lacked a feeling of genuine and seemed forced.
Duh, "Travels on the Healing Road"
As an adventure traveler myself, the concept of the book was immediately appealing to me. However, were it only a recounting of places traveled and sights seen, it would have been a cold and soulless work. There are so many relatable aspects of Neil's journey along the healing road. This book had me in tears one minute, and laughing out loud the next. Faithful sidekick Brutus becomes Neil's Man Friday, a voiceless yet prominent daily cathartic outlet of letter-writing along his travels.
This is my second time through the book, the first being in print. This one I take with me on my BMW 1200 GS and listen through my SENA headset. I've come to value Neil far more as a writer than as a drummer, though obviously he is gifted at both. In summary, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Yes, I have recommended it, as it was recommended to me. it a an enjoyable travel story. There is enough about his motorbike travels to keep it interesting.
The least favorite was his "little baby soul." He can be very, very precious. Also, the too-chummy letters to his best friend (not a charming character) are a bit tedious.
The open road and his adventures with his bike are really fun. Plus it's fun hearing his take on places that I have been. it is interesting that he is traveling with a no-limit credit card and people to watch over his finances, his mail and his house. He does not apologize that he has money and is not afraid to spend it. I liked that.
When he was traveling solo on the open road and speaking to the reader, not inserting letters to his friend, were the best parts. His family story and love life were not very interesting to me, nor was his house in Canada or his career as a drummer. In fact, I would like the version that starts when he mounts his bike and ends with his last trip, with one-sentence transitions between trips. I would like more info about what was done when he took the bike in for maintenance and repairs, what surprised him or the mechanics., what he wished was different about his bike. Did he lust for other bikes in the shops?
The narrator is kind of wimpy. It might have been a lot better with another narrator. I don't know what Neil's speaking voice is like, but I don't care if the narrator sounds like him. It negatively affected the experience.
Neil has a nice way with words. I especially liked the "Shar-Pei hills of California." I appreciated his many insights. I do wish it was more about his travels and less navel-gazing. I understand that he had terrible experiences that set him off on his travels, and that he is a sensitive guy. I just did not want to hear so much about it.
I am an avid motorcyclist and could relate to a lot of the story, but about halfway through, it turned into sharing letters written to various people. To me that took away from the book. Overall it was still good though
"Epic Motorcycle Journey to heal a broken heart"
If you'd been through what Neil Pearl had been through you might be tempted to throw in the towel. Instead he gets the urge to go - somewhere, anywhere on his bike a day ends up travelling thousands of miles up and down Canada, USA and South America. The book comprises his attempts to come to terms with his new situation whilst recounting his adventures on "the healing Road."
I loved the book, though some of the description gets a bit long. I'm not normally Into travel writing but this is exceptional Disclosure: I am a massive Rush and Neil Pearl fan.
"Well delivered twaddle"
10/10 for the narrator who absolutely nailed the delivery of this egocentric, altogether far too long piece of twaddle. The only reason I listened until the very end was to make sure I hadn't actually missed the point. Spoiler alert - there isn't one.
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