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FAR AND AWAY by Neil Peart


A Prize Every Time

by Neil Peart

Pub Date: May 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-77041-058-9
Publisher: ECW Press

From one of rock’s most revered drummers, ruminations on motorcycling, drumming, the joys of fatherhood and the exquisite pleasure of simply enjoying the journey.

As the lyricist for Canadian progressive hard-rock trio Rush, Peart’s (Roadshow: Landscape with Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle, 2007) inimitable way with words is well-known to the band’s fan base, if occasionally derided by music critics. What many may not know, however, is that the self-described “left-leaning libertarian” is equally adept at translating his philosophy into prose, as evidenced by this book, in which he continues to chronicle his unique method of getting to work—eschewing the company of his band mates in favor of motorcycling between concert venues—as a means of exploring the world around him and his place within it. Despite having experienced tremendous tragedy in recent years (including the deaths of his daughter and first wife), the author evinces such tremendous joy in discovering new off-the-beaten-paths, relishing a second chance at fatherhood, and in the simple act of learning, that it’s easy to forgive some of his more awkward attempts at humor—even those missteps tend to come off as oddly endearing, conveying a rare and unselfconscious genuineness. Perhaps the book’s best and moist poignant chapter is “The Best February Ever,” in which the author describes the bucolic setting surrounding his sanctuary in Quebec. His description of nights spent alone sipping Macallan before a roaring fire while losing himself in great books and days spent cross-country skiing over an unbroken winter landscape while focusing on simply appreciating the heart-breaking majesty of the world around him will instantly transport readers to a more relaxed state of mind—and quite possibly drive hordes of peace seekers northward.

Not without potholes, but a ride well worth taking for those who seek the journey more than the destination.