Widely considered one of rock’s best drummers, Neil Peart – who also doubles as the lyricist for Canadian power trio Rush – has written a few books. This one documents a road trip he took while critically listening to some of his favorite music, weaving in his autobiography along the way.

What I Liked

  • We get a glimpse into the personal life of this elusive, private rock star/musician.
  • I learned about some relatively new music that I’ll likely give another listen to, while also hearing the esteemed musician’s influences from unlikely sources. Most revealing -  his fondness for Frank Sinatra and The Who.
  • There are a few behind-the-scenes details about Rush, since this is not about the band – although his next book may be. Full disclosure, I’m a huge fan.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The detail. Goodness gracious, it is clear he is taking copious notes as he travels, but there is supporting descriptive information that is far more in-depth than is needed. Simply ponderous at times.
  • As a fan, it is disappointing to learn even more of his aversion to meeting his adoring public and it simply doesn’t sit right. Let’s face it, this book will be primarily purchased and read by his fans, so to know he’d rather be left alone than hear how important his music is to me leaves a bad taste. In the unlikely event I bump into him, the only acceptable praise seems to be “I love your work”.

    As an LOL spoiler, I do like his retort of “I get that a lot” (neither confirming or denying) when approached with “Are you him?”

Overall Grade: B

The book is the first and probably last by Neil that I’ll read, although a bio of Rush maybe hard to resist. The discussion at Amazon.com in the comments area also reminds me that the Africa bike tour seems tacked-on, and it struck me while reading it that the inclusion of the editing process of this book was probably a way to fill out a page count requirement.  Nothing about the typesetting and page margin decisions?