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Posted May 5, 2008
This is the latest installment of Neil Peart¿s books that catalogue not only his physical journey across the landscape, but also a personal journey into his thoughts, memories, and feelings. For fans of his previous books 'The Masked Rider, Ghost Rider, and Traveling Music', this book shows an increasingly tight stylistic development. There is less time spent on wandering themes or the inclusion of letters from Peart to his friends 'as there was in Ghost Rider'. Instead, Peart deftly sections the book into two different themes. Again, Peart describes his motorcycle journeys between concert stops¿this time on Rush¿s R30 World Tour in North America and Europe. While once again the primary vehicle for Peart¿s details are his motorcycle, less time is spent calculating the actual mileage and routes as was seen in his previous books. His attention now turns towards the people and the challenges of traveling across the globe, all while trying to get as many ¿passport stamps¿ from different national parks as he can. He constantly refers to the problems caused by his GPS unit 'that he nicknamed Doofus' at getting his traveling partner and him around the back roads. Peart gives extra time to capturing glimpses of the variety of lifestyles. Perhaps one of the most poignant examples is a contrast that Peart describes between two very different experiences. He describes driving through Czechoslovakian border towns where he notes what he calls the ¿darker side of the fall of Communism¿ as evidenced by the brothels that populate the roadside. This is a stark difference to his description of Skibo Castle and the Carnegie Club in Scotland, where he stayed two nights at a posh hotel complete with its own private library, scotch tastings, and gourmet dinners. The reader comes away from Peart¿s many descriptions not only with a sense of what he has seen, but also knowing that it has also been retold by someone with a keen sense of observation and a passion for translating that ability into the written word. The second theme of the book focuses mostly on the nuances of touring. Peart writes at length about his traveling arrangements, the pressures of friends and family on the road, and the routine of preparing to play night after night. He describes his feelings from each show, noting how well he thinks it went based on his satisfaction by how he feels in the tour bus after the show. With each stop, Peart throws a little jab at the big business of rock concerts. Never once does he actually call the venue by its name instead, he refers to the area by a clever nickname meant to expose the greed of mega-corporations as venue sponsors 'for example, instead of calling the arena the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, he calls it the ¿Cellular Telephone Network Amphitheater¿'. Never at any time do the details become repetitive or mundane Peart varies them enough to keep the reader interested. With each stop on the tour, Peart reveals another aspect of life as a successful working musician 'some of them are quirky like when a mysterious fan left him a bottle of his favorite scotch outside his hotel room, and some of them are more serious like when a determined fan showed up on his tour bus after a concert without being invited'. Anyone who wants a complete look inside the touring life of one of rock music¿s most talented and well-respected musicians should read this book. Not only do you learn about what it takes to be a successful musician, but Peart teaches you about the fascinating people he has met and the places he has been.
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Posted July 6, 2011
Drummer to travel guide
Truly enjoyed the book. I have read all of Neil's book. This is my favorite. Neil thanks for sharing the music,travel and red apples. Cheers !
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Posted August 27, 2007
Enjoyable on every level...
...although I may be a bit biased. I am a drummer and avid motorcyclist myself. Mind you, I have not enjoyed either activity to the lengths that Neil has. Unlike the other reviewer, I do not believe that this book is rife with negativity. Neil writes directly from the heart, and inevitably at times, negative emotions will flow. I believe Neil writes more for himself than for anyone else. Sort of his own form of therapy. He obviously doesn't need to sell books, as the success of Rush has long ago cemented his financial future. I believe he simply wants to share his adventures honestly through his own eyes for those that may be interested. If Neil were to set out on this type of journey and write specifically what he thought people would like to read, then it would not come across as genuine emotion. Thankfully, he sticks to writing directly from the gut, which I find quite refreshing in a day and age where so much of what is created seems so contrived and redundant. I found the book interesting, amusing, thought provoking, and inspiring. I believe, as with anything really, that this is all relative of course. Someone who is really into music, perhaps a musician themselves, and has some understanding or experience traveling by motorcycle will most likely enjoy this book the more than others. One final note- Most modern definitions of prayer include a description of prayer as being a plea/comment to a non-specific deity. There are many people who would consider themselves spiritual, without claiming a specific denomination. Many people simply pray to themselves as a motivational lift. Prayer does not have to mean that one is attempting to communicate with a God, so to speak.
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Posted July 19, 2011
I read it for a school project!!!!<3
In school we had to pick an interesting famous person to present to the class. I chose Neil Peart because I am in love with the band rush. I bought this book and others writen by him but i liked this one the best. I finished the book about four days after buying it. The quickest I have ever read a book. It really was great and I do recomend it to anyone who loves thee band and drummer as much as I do. :PWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2012
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