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Thread: Re-reading Ghost Rider

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    Re-reading Ghost Rider

    Just because I have the time, and because I love reading more than almost anything else, and because my local library is closed … I picked up my dog-eared and heavily underlined copy of Neil Peart's Ghost Rider the other day and began to read it again. For about the third time. What a wonderful book! Every time I read it I pick up some detail that I did not remember from an earlier reading. The guy was more than a gifted musician, he was a gifted writer as well. RIP Neil.

    And, after hundred of thousands of my own miles, and several of my own trips back and forth across the US, I enjoy his comments about the same roads, the same places, the same thoughts, that I have ridden, seen and thought.

    This is a wonderful way to spend some coronavirus-free hours.
    Last edited by royce; 04-26-2020 at 05:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    I was a Rush fan and Neil as a drummer from Moving Pictures forward. I still enjoy the music immensely but I think his books are the better legacy.


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    I read it and enjoyed most of it, but in the end I couldn't get through it and read about 3/4ths of it. I can't explain it, maybe too much, too wordy.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismcp View Post
    I was a Rush fan and Neil as a drummer from Moving Pictures forward. I still enjoy the music immensely but I think his books are the better legacy.


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    I have said this before (maybe even on this forum?), but when I read his book the first time I had never even heard of Rush or Neil Peart. I am not a music guy (elevator is my favorite genre) but someone told me about "this neat book about motorcycle touring" and I found a copy in the library. As quickly as I could, I bought a copy. I plan to get around to reading more of his books soon.
    Royce
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    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    I read it and enjoyed most of it, but in the end I couldn't get through it and read about 3/4ths of it. I can't explain it, maybe too much, too wordy.
    I'm with you. Started it, couldn't bring myself to finish it, c'est la vie.
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    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandhumphreyme View Post
    I'm with you. Started it, couldn't bring myself to finish it, c'est la vie.
    Well it's about his recovery, so parts of it are a bit heavy. I found myself speed reading through the conversations with the personas he created.

    But I'm going to read it again.
    Rinty

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    I somehow lived through the time of Rush without being aware of the group. My non-riding son-in-law, a fan of Rush, recommended the book to me as a rider's book that I might be interested in reading. I did enjoy Ghost Rider and also read his next book. After reading,I borrowed about a dozen Rush CDs from the library. Listened to every track and have never listened to any Rush music since. I failed to understand the reason for their success. I am also puzzled by the success of the Tragically Hip (at least here in Canada).

    I did enjoy Ghost Rider and realized it was the story of his recovery from the death of the two people for whom he most cared and that he was terribly depressed. However I was disappointed with his character when at one point at the end of a day's riding, he was approached at supper by a couple who were fans of Rush, who asked for an autograph. He blew them off telling them he didn't do autographs. I was taken back as throughout his ride, for the most part, he stayed in first rate accommodations and ate extremely well each evening. It seemed that his ride was financed by the sales of the group's music to their fans. In that one instance I thought that he was quite unnecessarily callous.

    It was not until a bit later in Ghost Rider that he was informed that his finances were becoming precarious.
    Last edited by Paul_F; 04-27-2020 at 07:24 PM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Just because I have the time, and because I love reading more than almost anything else, and because my local library is closed I picked up my dog-eared and heavily underlined copy of Neil Peart's Ghost Rider the other day and began to read it again. For about the third time. What a wonderful book! Every time I read it I pick up some detail that I did not remember from an earlier reading. The guy was more than a gifted musician, he was a gifted writer as well. RIP Neil.

    And, after hundred of thousands of my own miles, and several of my own trips back and forth across the US, I enjoy his comments about the same roads, the same places, the same thoughts, that I have ridden, seen and thought.

    This is a wonderful way to spend some coronavirus-free hours.
    I really liked the book, and with your inspiration I will likely read it again. During part of his ride he came through my town and the detail and accuracy of his description of where he stayed and had dinner was uncanny. Made his descriptions of all the other areas he traveled through all the more intriguing. There are a number of "motorcycle riding as therapy" books, but this is my favorite.
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    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the book recommendation. I thought about buying it on Amazon, but found that I could get it through my local library through the Hoopla app. So far, very interesting. Thanks again.
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    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    I borrowed about a dozen Rush CDs from the library. Listened to every track and have never listened to any Rush music since. I failed to understand the reason for their success.... ).
    Rush has always had, simultaneously, the most ardent, hard core, fans, and the harshest critics of any of the rock groups. Some people go nuts when they hear Geddy Lee's voice.

    And then their musical style changed a number of times, over the years.
    Rinty

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    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    I was never a huge Rush fan but I did enjoy the book for the most part. I certainly never knowingly ran into him on his trips too Newfoundland.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    I did enjoy Ghost Rider and realized it was the story of his recovery from the death of the two people for whom he most cared and that he was terribly depressed. However I was disappointed with his character when at one point at the end of a day's riding, he was approached at supper by a couple who were fans of Rush, who asked for an autograph. He blew them off telling them he didn't do autographs. I was taken back as throughout his ride, for the most part, he stayed in first rate accommodations and ate extremely well each evening. It seemed that his ride was financed by the sales of the group's music to their fans. In that one instance I thought that he was quite unnecessarily callous
    Actually I gave Neil kudos for that, and other uh-PC behavior in the book. Plus I sorta admired him for having the guts to write about it for the world to read. Although I am usually a pretty nice guy, there have certainly been instances when I have acted like a jerk because maybe I was angry or depressed or simply distracted at that moment. I would not have dared put them in a book, or online, for folks to read.

    BTW, I have frequently, on a cross-country m/c trip, chosen to stay in the nicest hotel I could find and eat the best meal in a restaurant. I always knew that the next night might find me in a dump and eating wilted salad. Never pass up an opportunity to be comfortable and pampered. Oh, and always eat dessert first.
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  13. #13
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    I've been thinking for a few weeks about reading it again. I've only read it once when it was new. I do remember at the time liking it overall but thinking that ther 'letters to Brutus' sections were achingly dull and tedious. I wonder what I'll think this time.

    As for Neil dealing with the public, he has never liked to do so. He didn't avoid the public out of any urge to be a jerk, but rather because he was enough of an introvert to find adulation and being the center of attention rather embarrassing, as it made him extremely self-conscious. He was always very grateful for the fans, but preferred to keep his distance and hoped that they'd understand and allow him some space. The song Limelight touches on this a little. Add the state he was in during the long journey and I think his action was eminently forgivable.
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    To all who responded to this thread: Thank you for the thoughts and comments. Mostly, I agree with each and every one.

    And now, because this COVID-19 lockdown has gone on waaaay too long, I have just re-read another m/c-related book. This one is NOT one of my favorites at all, but here goes: Freedom-Credos From the Road, by Sonny Barger.

    Barger, of course, is synonymous with The Hell's Angels and the book is his third (or fourth) to write about his life, the 1% group, and what he thinks about modern American life (not much). I found lots in the book to cringe at, but also--surprisingly--I found some things I sorta admired in his thinking.

    Anyone else read Barger's stuff?
    Royce
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinty View Post
    Well it's about his recovery, so parts of it are a bit heavy. I found myself speed reading through the conversations with the personas he created.

    But I'm going to read it again.
    I never took issue with the story and his "recovery". I just thought he spent too much time a subject or event that took place. It made the book a slow read and tough to keep my attention.

    I feel sorry and envy the man. To lose his wife and daughter so close together, but then have the time and money to just go ride.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

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