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Ghost Rider: Travelling on the Healing Road: Travels on the Healing Road Paperback – 1 Nov 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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  • Ghost Rider: Travelling on the Healing Road: Travels on the Healing Road
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  • Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times
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Product details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press,Canada (1 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550225480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550225488
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.8 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, the second motorcycle memoir (following 1996's The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa) from the author best known as drummer and lyricist of the legendary Canadian rock band Rush, chronicles a journey of healing. In the late-90s, Peart suffered a pair of life-changing tragedies: he lost his daughter and his wife of 20 years within a 10 month period. In the autumn of 1998, in an effort to distract himself from grief and re-evaluate his life, he embarked on a trip that took him across Canada and through the US and Mexico. Through diary notes and letters written over the course of 55,000 miles, Peart chronicles his feelings of loss and envy, and the slow rebuilding of his life through the support of friends and family. Ghost Rider is also an alternative travel guide fuelled by the author's detailed descriptions of towns, roads, hotels, restaurants and the people he encounters. "Moab proved to be the perfect small town, at least by the Ghost Rider's exacting criteria," he writes, "those being that a town should have a decent motel, a small museum of local history, a friendly post office and a well-stocked liquor store." Thought-provoking and even humorous at times, Peart reveals in straight-ahead prose the emotional turmoil following such an epic loss--and we ride shotgun as he gradually acquires a renewed sense of purpose. --Eric Wilson, Amazon.ca

Review

"Well-written, harrowing and filled with just-right touches of levity, [this book] is a necessary story about the human condition." -- Altfresh --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Neil Peart is best-known as the drummer and lyricist from the Canadian rock band Rush. But in 1997 he suffered the double tragedy of losing both his teenage daughter and wife (one in a fatal road accident, the other of cancer).

Devastated, alone, and haunted by ghosts, Peart decided to pack up and take to the road on his motorbike--a solitary "ghost rider"--in an effort to find "the healing road". Travelling alone across North America, Peart carries the reader with him as he slowly begins the process of self-healing, gradually taking more and more of an interest in his surroundings, the people he meets and the places he visits.

Literate, lucid, honest and opinionated, Peart is much more than just an observer or guide: he lets the reader into his feelings about his own painful process of recovery, as well as his reactions to the people he meets on his aimless trek. In physical terms, his journey is a "road to nowhere", but emotionally it really is the healing road.

Thankfully because Peart is by nature a logical, rational sceptic, there is little that comes across as sentimental here -- instead Peart's honest empiricism and dogged will to keep on going, somehow, sustain both him and the reader.

The only caveat with this book is the second half feels rushed and incomplete: understandably so, perhaps, as it was written while the band were recording their "Vapor Trails" album. Still, the first half or so is worth the price alone. This is Peart's best work -- far, far more compelling than his later and rather dull travel books, "Travelling Music" and "Roadshow", both of which focus on a frankly rather bored and somewhat self-important rockstar who apparently hits the road for no better reasons than (a) to relieve his boredom and (b) to make notes on mileage and what he had for dinner to fill out his next travel book.
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Format: Paperback
Compelling, heart-breaking, fascinating. A gritty account of how a normal guy deals with an unimaginable double tradegy. Neil is an eloquent lyricist and his skill transfers seemlessly to book form. It's amazing to read how this man who we all know (some of us, anyway) as a rock star is so totally brought down to earth by his grief (as we all would be). He presents himself believably as a simple man who takes to the road to drive away from his grief. No matter how far he travels, he can never escape his pain and agonising memories yet on the way he learns to change and adapt. Never one to shirk his emotions, Neil tells us of his many ups and downs and how the simplest of things can elate him and and at the same time send him spiralling into a bleak depression. A great musician , a caring man, this book is "a secret touch on the heart"
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As a Rush fan since 1978 I was already well aware of Neil Peart's talent with the English language (as well as being the best drummer in the world). I had also been shocked and saddened to hear of his devastating losses in 1997/98. I was therefore pleased when this book appeared on Amazon, his previous work "Masked Rider" being pretty much unavailable in this country.
"Ghost Rider" is an almost unbearably moving account of Neil's motorcycle odyssey following the loss of his wife and daughter, trying to find some meaning in life through perpetual motion. As the book progresses the reader steadily forgets that he is a famous figure and he becomes someone you feel you know intimately, like an old friend.
Despite the grim subject matter the book is full of wonderful moments and subtle observances; his interest in literature and nature make this a great travel book in it's own right. The brilliance of Neil's writing though leaves you with a haunting feeling that only the very best books do.
If you are not a Rush fan or haven't heard of Neil Peart, don't be put off. This is a magnificent if upsetting read which deserves to find a wider audience than just us Rush fans!!
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Neil Peart is a walking anomaly in that he is a very private person that exists in the high profile music industry . Reading the lyrics to the old Rush song " Limelight " makes you aware that here is a person who wants to put up a barrier against the intrusions of fame - a stranger is a long awaited friend indeed . So even more remarkable then that Neil bares his soul to the outside world through the pages of this book as he recounts the pain and anguish of his twin loss of only daughter and wife within months of each other and his epic motorcycle journey around North America to find some glimmer of inspiration to carry on living . There is a happy ending - indeed if there can be in these tragic circumstances - that he does find inspiration on his travels and eventually meets a new soul mate and gets married .
I bought the book for an insight to Neil Peart the man , and found that he is just an ordinary person who finds recognition and intrusion a very uncomfortable experience . He is obviously a naturally shy person and you can tell that he prefers reading and observing rather than participating . So from that point of view I found the book a marvellous testimony to the man and the incredible misfortune he had to endure . At times it was a difficult read when his early dark moods made it heavy going . But then he tells it like it really was - and life wasn't pretty at that stage .
I found the travelog style a bit unrewarding as it was written in a diary and letter writing prose ( to Brutus , one of his mates put to prison for " herbal " importing ) and to be honest was not all that exciting .
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