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Publisher's Summary

Thirty five concerts. Seventeen thousand motorcycle miles. Three months. One lifetime. 

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 travel series shares all-new tales that transport the listener 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 listeners. 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.

©2016 Neal Peart (P)2016 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Far and Wide

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  • Overall
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Great Writing, Great Narrator, But Not In Tandem.

Once again, great book by Neil Peart, even though these stories are on his personal website it still makes an interesting read/listen. It really telling on why he doesn't want to tour anymore and not in a snobby way... Though that's where my issues with this audiobook lie.

Previously, Neil's book were read by Brian Sutherland who has a slightly higher pitched version of Neil's voice, but Brian's voice is still sombre and invites you in on the journey and he doesn't seem to force an attitude to the reader.

Now with this audiobook there is a different narrator. He still has an inviting tone, but it unintentionally feels pompous and snobby. I don't think it has to do with the narrator, but more so the narrator and Peart's words, he uses alot of "big words" and has certain observations that, in tandem with the narrators voice, bring out those snobby and pretentious undertones, which in turn gave me a less than enjoyable listening experience.

I must repeat, it's not the book or the narrator alone, it's them in tandem.

7 people found this helpful

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a great rock and roll road trip

Having been a long time fan of Rush it was a great pleasure although Bittersweet to hear about a farewell to a road trip that Neil did. Hearing all the stories of Backroads small towns out of the way restaurants culminating with a final shows in Los Angeles. Not just a book for Rush rock and roll fans but just a pleasure to hear of a fun road trip with a guy who really appreciate living.

2 people found this helpful

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sometimes 1 + 1 is less than 2

Would you try another book from Neil Peart and/or Paul Hecht?

i have listened to all of Peart's books and they are fine ... I would only listen to Hecht if the work was an epic tale of old ... for example, i could imagine him reading Tolkein to good effect.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Far and Wide?

when the tale of the lost baggage (from a previous book) was unexpectedly resolved

Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Hecht’s performances?

perhaps

Do you think Far and Wide needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no - this is the last travelog of Peart's that i ever need to read now that he has retired from Touring with Rush

Any additional comments?

good enough book - fine reader .. but the reader didnt fit the book ... very much too bad that Peart wouldnt read them himself ... absent him, the reader of all the other travelogs wouldve been better

2 people found this helpful

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just love his writing....

I didn't like the audio book reader at first, I was used to Brian who did all the other books, but he grew on me. His writings suit my ADD brain.

2 people found this helpful

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Not Neil Peart's Best Book

I have read all of Neil Peart's books and this one just isn't my favorite. Plus, I really dislike the narration. His other books, especially Roadshow and Ghost Rider are just way better. This one is just more of the same but without the behind the scenes Rush stuff that's in Roadshow and without the emotion of Ghost Rider. Still... It's not a bad book. Just not my favorite by him

1 person found this helpful

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Very Good

Every Rush fan should read this. He explains why he retired decisively. However, he does leave room for his mind changing. If this is the end, it's acceptable on all fronts. But, in my opinion, we'll get one more album and show.

1 person found this helpful

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Great,just great

Loved the story and history. Also very thought provoking., for this long time fan. Must read.

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Bitter Sweet

Great book didn't want it to end. Really got to know Mr. Peart and his love of the road his family and of course RUSH

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A classic tale by a classic guy

I started listening to Neil’s books a few years ago and it’s been a great discovery to hear all his stories. The only wish I have would be that he would have read them. And I’m lucky, my next book is going to be clockwork angels the novel. I’m looking forward to hearing Neil read that book.

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Stranger who wondered

Never was a big Rush fan, but they were and still are the favorite band of my former college roommate. Since graduation we have built lives back in our hometowns but stay in touch and hang out when we can. He bought me a ticket to the Portland R40 show, and I was not disappointed.
When Neil died, audible offered his books for free and I am in love! What an author, teaching me more about America than I knew... wishing I had had the opportunity to meet him as Bubba and spent the evening learning about his travels only to later learn of his “work”.
I am inspired and hope to someday ride along some of the same roads he so vividly describes.
I’m headed into my next title now!

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  • PH
  • 11-06-19

Nobody's hero

Neil would hate this but he's always been a hero of mine. I've been a Rush fan for far too many years than I'd care to admit, Neil's drumming a massive part of that. Although I've perhaps listened to this first when in fact I'd probably should have gone to Ghost Rider I don't think it mattered that much. It's also given me a new view point on the later Rush albums, a revitalised interest. Hoping that one day that one more tour will happen..

My only ctritism is the reader, I really wish it had been Mr Peart himself, there are times where there are sentences/quotes that I felt lacked the inflection intended, feeling read rather than spoken? Overall though still brilliant

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  • Bill
  • 01-08-18

Brings closure to the Rush story

I must admit, I hated Neil at the time for calling time on Rush , who decreed it's All or not at all..

This book brought the necessary closure, explaining why retirement was necessary, and for that I thank him.

The closing line of "The Garden" has backed up my understanding of its message, Neil Peart had planned this at the time of writing "Clockwork Angels" , the message was there, cryptic but as clear as day.

Thank you for the memories, and the lifetime I have been one of Rush's adoring fans.

Excellent narration, could easily have been Neil Peart, maybe we will find out in a couple of years.

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  • Colin
  • 03-28-17

A slow burner, but worth sticking with...

As a drummer myself, I am well aware of Neil Peart’s status as one of the most talented players around, respected by both fans and peers around the world. So you can imagine my reaction when I saw the cover of this title; A lonely desert road stretching to the horizon, a powerful motorbike and a drummer on his way to play a gig with one of the most successful and loudest rock bands around. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, quite a lot, actually. I am aware that my illusion that this book would be all “rock ‘n roll and lock up your daughters” was mine and mine alone, and bearing in mind the members of his band Rush are all well established family men, there was always a chance that this may not be the walk on the wild side I was anticipating. But all the same, he doesn’t actually get on the bike until Chapter 9! The first 8 chapters are used up with background information and meandering observations on the environment in general and the author’s in particular, with long sections talking of the little island he owns in a lake in Quebec, and how enjoys the peace and solitude there. That’s all fine and dandy, but I personally have a taste for some road stories.

Finally, at Chapter 10 they saddle up, and the whole book shifts to, for me, a more engaging and entertaining gear.

Neil has a real taste for going off the beaten track, and during his long trip planning sessions he does extensive research to ensure he and his biking buddies get the most from each leg of their cross-country rides. And it’s fair to say that when Neil does go off the paved highway he doesn’t do so by halves. Winding gravel roads give way to deeply rutted muddy tracks and, in one case, no actual road at all when a sink-hole removes the actual pavement of the road and Neil and his biking wingman on that day have to edge their bikes gently around a very precarious drop. The fact that this hazard was marked by a large road sign some miles earlier which Neil chose to ignore just adds to the occasion.

Interspersed with tales of adventures and obstacles on the road, Neil also shares his observations on the vast land known as the USA; the farms, the small towns, abandoned factories and welcome diners along the way. As a Canadian who only recently took American citizenship he has an interesting view of the people and events that impact the country during his ride, and is repeatedly surprised and yet touched by the simple kindness of strangers. On one occasion he discovers that one of his saddlebags has fallen off the bike, containing a very expensive watch, his wedding ring and other personal items. He places an ad in the local paper and receives a voice message from a person saying they found it. Unfortunately, Neil then accidently erases the message and the caller never calls again. Almost ten years later, with the event all but forgotten, he receives a message from a person who heard him tell the tell as part of a book launch, and they’ve still got the saddlebag, its contents intact, and soon they are returned at last to their very grateful owner.

There are a couple of places where I laughed out loud as Neil recounts, with not a little self-deprecation, tales of his well-known reputation as not exactly being ‘Mr Sunshine’. This disposition has not mellowed as he entered his 60s, and his consequent run-ins with photographers, selfie-hunting fans and local law enforcement in the deepest heart of the country are brilliantly told and highly entertaining.

Narration by Paul Hecht is engaging throughout, his rich delivery putting you right on the saddle of the bike with Neil.

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