Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (ISBN 1-550-22548-0) is a 2002 memoir by Neil Peart, the drummer and main lyricist for the Canadian progressive rock band Rush. It chronicled Peart's motorcycle trips throughout North America in the late 1990s, as he contemplated his life and came to terms with his grief over the deaths of his only daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie in 1997 and 1998, respectively. It was published by ECW Press.
Neil begins his story with explaining the beginning of his travels from his home in Quebec
to Telegraph Creek, British Columbia
. In reality he has no schedule, no restriction in time, or life for that matter. In time he finds himself traveling from Canada to Alaska, and then ultimately down south through the United States to Mexico then to Belize. Eventually he travels (by plane) back to his home in Canada where he writes a series of letters to his friend Brutus (note that he has written many letters, to Brutus and to others, throughout his journey). He then continues his journey, which ultimately ends at his home.
In this memoir
, Neil shares much of his philosophical beliefs, even down to the "nitty-gritty" dealings with life. For example, in a restaurant near the beginning of the book Neil sees a young waiter being hassled by a woman who has been drinking too much wine and when the same waiter comes to serve him, he tells him that he shouldn't be worried about her attitude. Overall it's a simple message, but expresses Neil's understanding with those who care about others, or rather deal
The epilogue of Ghost Rider
ends with Neil summing up what has recently happened with him and his band Rush
. He explains his new love for life (including his new wife Carrie) and how he has almost had a revelation of some sort and ultimately found a reason to live. He explains that he found a will to continue his career with Rush in Chicago as well.
An excerpt from chapters 1, 4, and 6 was published in the Art section of Toronto Star
on July 27, 2002. The Library Journal
review called the writing lyrical and the story poignant as a travel adventure and as a memoir.