Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Far and Away: A Prize Every Time by Neil Peart

Far and Away: A Prize Every Time by Neil Peart

Completion Date: April 23, 2011
Reason for Reading: I loved his previous books.
Following in the tradition of Ghost Rider and Traveling Music, Rush drummer Neil Peart lets us ride with him along the backroads of North America, Europe, and South America, sharing his experiences in personal reflections and full-color photos. Spanning almost four years, these twenty-two stories are open letters that recount adventures both personal and universal—from the challenges and accomplishments in the professional life of an artist to the birth of a child. These popular stories, originally posted on Neil’s website, are now collected and contextualized with a new introduction and conclusion in this beautifully designed collector’s volume.

Fans will discover a more intimate side to Neil’s very private personal life, and will enjoy his observations of natural phenomena. At one point, he anxiously describes the birth of two hummingbirds in his backyard; at the same time, his wife is preparing for the birth of their daughter — a striking synchronicity tenderly related to readers.

A love of drumming, nature, art, and the open road threads through the narrative, as Neil explores new horizons, both physical and spiritual. This is the personal, introspective travelogue of rock’s foremost drummer, enthusiastic biker, and sensitive husband and father. Far and Away is a book to be enjoyed again and again, like letters from a distant friend.
I loved this book! On Saturday, I hid myself away and read this book. I didn't know it was coming out until I accidentally stumbled across it, but I was very excited. A few years ago I didn't even really know who Rush was. Yes, I had heard of them and I suppose I did know a couple of their songs, but I didn't pay a lot of attention to them. Them, I met the cc and he decided to play a Rush CD on a road trip a few summers back. Even then I didn't really listen, but the CD was still in my car the next time I went somewhere and I found myself paying attention. I have come to discover that they may not be a band you love from the very first moment, but if you actually stop and listen you will fall in love. At least, that is what happened with me.

Once he found out that he had recruited me, the cc decided to tell me that the drummer, Neil Peart, was an author. Actually, not only is he an author, but he reads a lot. And, he is the lyricist for Rush. I was intrigued. I went out and bought a copy of Ghost Rider by him and I loved it. It was well-written, enlightening, and a very brave piece of non-fiction. It still remains my favourite Peart book; but I enjoy his other books almost as much. Even though my review of his books have been glowing, I don't think I have managed to convince anyone that they have to read him now. So, maybe it won't work this time either, but I still think you should.

This book is actually a collection of essays. He originally posted them on his website, but decided to release them as a book after he had collected several. Like every other book I have read by him, I have found myself talking about this book a lot. It could be because even though the cc is not a big reader, he does really like this band and enjoys listening to me ramble on about the things that I learned from the book. There is also this incessant noise from someone who thinks someone else should read this book. The noise is currently ahead, but hasn't actually won yet. It is not that the cc doesn't like to read; it is just that he doesn't make time for it.

In this collection, there is a little bit of everything. For some parts of it, he is on tour with Rush, so you gain some insight into that experience. In other parts of it, he talks about his personal life and his own private experiences. There is even a story that combines the birth of a hummingbird with the birth of a child. I was very curious about that story and I think it was done really well. It is more than just about Peart, though. This book looks at the world. He has his opinions, which he expresses, but he will also make you laugh. And, like his previous books it is a bit of a travel memoir. Every time I read a book by him I want to buy a motorcycle and travel around. It sounds like a very worthwhile experience.

Once again Neil has written a book that I loved and enjoyed reading. It is also a very pretty book, I must say. It is more a coffee table book size and includes lots of pictures. I was incredibly happy when I saw the book for the first time. It was well worth buying in hardcover!

This book counts for the Essay Reading Challenge. I signed up to read 10 essays and this book has 22, so I surpassed my goal.

If anyone is interested, here are my reviews of other Peart books:
I never reviewed Traveling Music and I still have Masked Rider to read. I am saving it, I guess.


  1. Congratulations on completing the challenge - and finding such an interesting book! My husband - a huge Rush fan - is even intrigued enough to possibly give essay reading a chance - and that's saying a lot! :)

  2. There's a kid in my class who wants to be Neal Peart. I'll have to tell him about this book! He even went to the Rush concert last week. At nine years old, can you imagine?!

  3. *Carrie: I hope if your husband reads it, he enjoys it!

    *Bellezza: That's cute. :) Rush never comes close enough to me to go to their concerts. :(


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