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Most Helpful Favorable Review
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on November 13, 2006Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on September 23, 2002Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2002
Ghost Book, Too
As a drummer, I am aware of Mr. Peart's impressive musical skill and imagination. I also have long appreciated his considerable talent for condensing abstract concepts into song lyrics clearly and concisely. So it was with eager expectation that I ordered this book, wanting to experience the wordsmithery of Mr. Peart unfettered by rhyme and meter. And in reading it, I was astounded... astounded at its utter lack of depth. This book has no storyline. Nor does it have a point. This is not, as one might reasonably assume from the title, a sharing of insights obtined through hardship and endurance, from which others may gain hope, strength or guidance. Half the book is a dry iteration of Mr. Peart's meanderings. The other half is a collection of letters most of which were written to a beloved former traveling buddy who is in jail facing life in prison after being busted the third time for dealing drugs (oh, the unfairness of it all!). The Limelight can be deceiving to onlookers, but Mr. Peart, apparently inadvertently, reveals a lot about himself in "Ghost Rider"--not flatteringly. Bigotry rears its ugly head; he seems incapable of using "American" in a sentence unaccompanied by "fat", and jokes that the main thing wrong with Mexico is its proximity to the USA (seemingly unable to grasp the significance of the ever-widening stream of humanity stealing north across the Mexico/Texas border). It was eye-opening to learn that the author of the words, He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure considers two cartons of cigarettes a necessity for a bike trip and, by the picture he paints of himself, teeters on the brink of alcoholism while scoffing condescendingly at those in recovery. Nor is accepting personal responsibility a strong suit; his pristine driving record is marred by a ticket due to the "[illegitimate son]" (bn.com won't let me quote the word) highway patrolman who wrote it for 15 miles over the limit; Peart's speeding evidently had nothing to do with it. Throughout the book, the author routinely reveals by illustration or discussion how little regard he has for the rest of humanity. The reader's initial assumption that this springs from his loss and suffering is dispelled by a deadpan declaration, toward the end of the book and well on the way down his "healing road", of his steadily diminishing respect for humans individually and as a whole. It is especially ludicrous to see him returned to his Canadian home and trying to keep busy, wrestling with the tough decision of what to do to ride out the winter. His choices: Go snowshoeing? Skiing? Birdwatching? Practice on the drums? Write some more on this book? Read some classic of great literature? Write another letter to Brutus? (This interspersed with grumblings about how he's living beyond his means and money's getting tight) He tries to tell us about an early venture into the dating game, but never fleshes out the woman enough for us to get to know her. When things don't go smoothly between them, he takes to referring to her in his writings as "that woman". He never explains why, though, and we don't know her well enough to guess; so we're left to watch him from a distance, wondering, "Why's he doing that?". At length it comes time to end the book so it can get out on the store shelves; and in one final quickie chapter some (but not all) of the loose ends of the non-story are tidied up in the style of a b-movie: "Brutus got probation. I met a nice girl and got married. Deb couldn't handle it. Oh, well..." It's eye-opening that one who seems to me, from his lyrics, to have such clearsightedness and a solid grasp of what's important in life, reveals himself here to be startlingly shallow and in serious need of some personal work. If there is any reason for reading this book, it is that those who know Mr. Peart only from his musical career may get this closer, clear
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2006
Don't waste the money
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast hoping for at least a good travel yarn, or if you are a literature enthusiast hoping for a well written memoir, or if you are a real idealist and looking for both in one place, this isn't it. 3 strikes, you're out. Plodding, pedestrian, self-absorbed... what's the point? I wanted to sympathize with the author, but found myself just irritated at his poorly veiled whining. One needn't include one's 'notes' as textual asides when the entire work is so poorly written it might have been just that - a scrawled out journal. About the best I can say is, as a motorcyclist, I'll give him credit for riding a long way in bad weather. I will admit. I quit trying to read it about midway through. I scanned the rest and it didn't get any better. If I can read Gravity's Rainbow and Infinite Jest I ought to be able to slog through this, eh? Not. The author should stick to playing drums. I gave it 1 star because they won't let you post a review without it.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2010
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