Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2008
Recently I picked up all four books by Neil Peart on Amazon.com and plan on reviewing them in the near future. This is the first one.
I spoke with a co-worker who is from West Africa and he concurred with Mr. Peart's portrayal of the harsh living conditions there. The friend tells me, "That is why I am here" [United States].
Peart's book has an excellent quality that I don't see in memoirs today. I love the way he captured his fellow riders' habits, spirit and most importantly, their irritations. In a world that is consumed with finding common ground, often our differences are overlooked. This talented writer illustrates this difficult topic of how we all wear masks and how easily they can fall off in a group dynamic under stress.
As stated above, it gives the reader a clear understanding of life in West Africa. Reading this will take you through villages of the region and you will be captured right in the moment. Whether it is a tribal leader or drunken soldiers, the author takes you on his journey and you will be joining this bicycling tour. Me? I don't plan on going anytime soon - but I love to read about other areas of the world and the subject.
There are other gems in the book - the conversations between the cyclists, loosing passports, having a gun pointed at the author, among others. But, you have to read it yourself to enjoy them.
Lastly, I was impressed with Peart's humbleness. At times, I thought he would dive into his drumming prespective when he encountered African musicians and drums, but rather he simply chooses to report the facts. I appreciated that.
I thought it was a great first effort and I highly recommend the book to fellow travelers, lovers of bicycling, and of course, Rush fans.