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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

book review

Neil Peart - Ghost Rider (Travels on the healing read) - 2002

I enjoyed “Vapor Trails”, but the most interesting thing that the Rush environment had to offer this year is this wonderful book, which I absolutely recommend from every point of view. I mean, it’s brilliantly written (mixing autobiography, novel and letter tales), with rich prose, sense of humor, tragic moments and a hopeful ending...

And it’s author is Neil Peart, percussion master, brilliant lyricist and, from now on, a great writer. Is true that he published “Masked Rider” before, another detailed travel chronicle, but it lacked the tremendous load of emotions and inner thoughts that this getaway tale carries, a trip of thousands of miles through Canada and the States (from Alaska to Las Vegas) to forget the tremendous tragedy that cursed Peart (as many of you know, he lost his daughter and wife within a year); the search for some meaning of life of someone that lost everything; the portrait of the deepest America...

Everything is explained with rich detail by Peart, who analyses the people around him, the unknown faces that go with him in his loneliness (there are moments in which he falls prey of desperation, and shows some kind of hate to people that are happy with their lives), the desolated landscapes where he rides his motorbike, the roughness of weather (blizzards, mud swamps, deserts)... Neil describes his relationships with friends and relatives (including Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Hugh Syme; even his mother, his lovely 95 year old grandpa, his best friend Brutus...), and has no trouble about describing his problems to accept others’ help (this shows his introspective and individualistic character), or even the hard acceptance of his new sentimental life, now married with Carrie, a young photographer.

Nor he forgets that good whiskey (specially, the MacAllan), cigarettes and tablets were his shelter in such hard times. There lies what’s truly fascinating in the book; Peart’s absolute sincerity, the complete description of his feelings, his doubts, his optimistic moments and the depressive ones...

Until now, we knew a great musician. Now, thanks to “Ghost Rider” (also a Rush song, related to the book), we know a great man.

Héctor Gómez - November 2002.
No rating - ECW Press


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