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.
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 !
I already had a connection with Rush as a young drummer and always wanted to be a drummer like him. Never got close, lol, but loved this unfortunate, yet inspiring story and I find his writing to be superb. started the book, but never had time. audio books rule. Sayin.
Who needs reading?
I enjoyed hearing about places I've been and want to visit, as well as the details of Neil's motorcycle troubles and triumphs. I also enjoyed contrasting his experience of loss, as a wealthy musician with a lot of time on his hands--with those for whom the drudgery of work is a necessity and financial limitations are often severe.
Neil's descriptions of Americans as bovine obese slobs being herded into and out of buses. I have to agree with his assessment, and he did it with a modicum of humor.
If it was by someone I was interested in. I didn't find his narration particularly notable. His way of aspirating consonants caught my attention.
Many of us have lost loved ones either suddenly or after protracted illness, but what would the effect be upon someone with the freedom afforded by great wealth? What if work were unnecessary, and you could simply leave home on an impeccably maintained motorcycle, the way paved by nearly-unlimited funds and spare time--how would you then grieve? Would loss feel the same?
I usually don't think this--but this book could have benefited from concise editing. Peart's whimsical travels here and there became slightly formulaic, following a very similar shape. In fact, the book sounded more like a list than a composed story. Peart was not disingenuous about being wealthy, but he didn't spend enough time (for me at least) thinking about how that level of influence changed his grieving experience. "I wonder how this would have been different if I wasn't Neil Peart?" 99% of his readers will be left wondering.
This is my first audiobook and it was amazing
It was emotional to listen to how Neil dealt with the loss of his wife and daughter.
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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