In a span of 10 months in 1997-1998 Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the Canadian band Rush, lost his only child to a tragic car accident and his wife of 22 years to cancer. In trying to cope with the losses he packed up his BMW and rode 55,000 miles through North and Central America. Ghost Rider: Travels On the Healing Road chronicles his journey over a year and a half through introspection, letters to friends and relatives and with a poetic writing style Peart boldly and honestly tells of his trip.
Part travelogue, part daily diary, Ghost Rider was, for me, one of those books I took a long time to read. I kept it in mysaddlebags for those delicious days when I had to seek shelter from the weather and I could hole up in a coffee shop or roadside diner to read and reflect. I had no idea the author was an avid bicyclist, loved to hike and was such a thoughtful writer so this book was a revelation of sorts for me.
Everyone copes in their own way I guess and Ghost Rider details Peart’s way; by continuing to move for fear of what would happen if he didn’t in the face of such a devastating loss. He rode to save his own life. It also shows how it is possible to put yourself back together and to heal and how that healing can’t be rushed. At times funny, tragic, heartbreaking, informative and frustrating, Ghost Rider is an interesting and one of a kind read that I recommend highly.