Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider

Travels on the Healing Road

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
8
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A bold narrative written by a man trying to stay alive by staying on the move. Within a ten-month period, Neil Peart suffered family losses so devastating that they left him a ghost -- physically a man but with nothing inside: no hope, meaning, faith, or desire to keep living. One year after the first tragedy, Neil was choosing between life and his own death. Finally, all he could decide was motion. He got on his BMW R1100GS motorcycle, and over the next 14 months, rode 55,000 miles, in search of a reason to live. On a journey of escape, exile, and exploration, he travelled from Quebec to Alaska, down the Canadian and American coasts and western regions, to Mexico and Belize, and finally back to Quebec. While riding "the Healing Road," Neil recorded in his journals his progress and setbacks in the grieving/healing process, and the pain of constantly reliving his losses. He also recorded with dazzling, colourful, entertaining, and moving artistry, the enormous range of his travel adventures, from the mountains to the sea, from the deserts to Arctic ice, and the dozens of memorable people, characters, friends, and relatives he met along the way, and who increasingly contributed to his healing and sense of meaning and purpose. He begins the journey with nothing, "the Ghost Rider." What he finally attains is joy, love, and indelible memories of the most extraordinary journey of his life. Ghost Rider is a bold, brilliantly written, intense, exciting, and ultimately triumphant narrative memoir from a gifted writer and musician, who started out as a man reduced to trying to stay alive by staying on the move. 2002 Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize finalist. Over 80,000 copies sold. Globe & Mail and Amazon.com bestseller.
Publisher: Toronto : ECW Press, c2002
ISBN: 9781550225464
1550225464
Branch Call Number: 917.04539 Pea
Characteristics: 460 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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p
PapaL
Jun 09, 2016

Some pretty harsh comments here, most dealing with Mr. Peart's ability to take off for 2 years. Well he worked damn hard to be able to afford it and regardless, it was his time and money and he was and still is free to do with it as he wishes. He puts himself out there; take it or leave it. What's missing in the criticisms is this: he is still alive. He did what he did to process the feelings of having no reason to keep living, and it worked: he's still here. May none of us have such a tragedy to deal with.

u
uzebdrumz
Oct 21, 2011

How do we deal with the untimely death of close family members? Motorcycle road trip, alcohol, smokes, many letters with our convicted friend, and a new girlfriend/wife. That's the whole book in a nutshell.

I don't want to bash the process of grieving, but this book is an unedited diary that needs amendment, focus, and revision to bring purpose to its publishing. To be harsh, everyone has to deal with death and dying & many people suffer emotional trauma everyday - just turn on the news - if it bleeds, it leads, but very few of us can take off on a motorbike for upwards of two years to process our feelings and "little baby soul." Four hundred and sixty pages offers many opportunities for psychological sublimation, if only to impart some positive behaviour and thoughts to the reader if they happen to be dealing with trauma, but this book is not a self-help dialectic, nor does it ingratiate sympathy for the writer as he, and his various alter egos, smear almost everything that falls outside his close circle of companionship and prized geography.

This stream of consciousness search for meaning feels written in real time with repetition and mundane details that indicate a proofreading failure. My suggestion is to read chapter 1, then cut to the chase and read chapter 18 (the epilogue).

r
readingchef
Aug 05, 2011

Although most people can't just hop on a motorcycle and take off for 6 months touring the country it certainly encourages finding lost passion ,faith or hope it is a must read for anyone coping with any sort of loss.Neil Peart is a great writer and adventurer looking forward to reading about more of his adventures.

s
shaner007
Aug 14, 2010

Brilliant! Touching and revealing of the human condition after loss. Something that all of us can relate to. Check it out.

f
fishbat
Mar 27, 2010

Very good book, Peart's notes were very good.

s
skiier55
Jan 10, 2010

I do not know why but this book has, for some reason, stuck in my mind. Though tedious and repetitive, and I am sure some will argue immature, Peart has captured and expressed the true essence of loss. This is a sincere book and quite the opposite of what one would expect from the steriotype of a drummer in a rock and roll band. If you want to know what the loss of a loved one is like this book will give you a pretty good idea.

t
tauseef365
Dec 12, 2009

This is a disappointment. Even withthe backdrop of the author's unbelievably brutal tragedy, he manages to alienate the reader by creating a maddeningly contradictory work: a travelogue without the personal touch, a spiritual journey with very little spiritual insight, and a journal that repeats itself in letters to his friends.
We all suffer loss, but few of us have the luxury of this level of self-indulgence, or the choice to accept or ignore the help of a significant support system - his grandfather is still around, for pete's sake. The irony of this story is that he feels the loss of his family so strongly, but it doesn't seem to make him very interested in his own parents, or extended family, he's just in a state of constant escape.
I gave up reading this 2/3 of the way through. I feel for the man, but he can keep his thoughts to himself, as far as I'm interested.
This book should be called "Bike, Hike, Birdwatch, Mope."

d
drumming
Nov 28, 2009

ghost rider.as peart embarks on a life changing adventure to recover from devastating loss, he communicates in the form of letters and journals.honest, touching, and a journey for both reader and author.

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