• The Masked Rider

  • Cycling in West Africa
  • By: Neil Peart
  • Narrated by: Brian Sutherland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (451 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dysentery, drunken soldiers, and corrupt officials provide the background for Neil Peart's physical and spiritual cycling journey through West Africa. 

The prolific drummer for the rock band Rush travels through African villages, both large and small, and relates his story through journal entries and tales of adventure, while simultaneously addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. Literary and artistic sidekicks such as Aristotle, Dante, and Van Gogh join Peart and his cycling companions, reminding the listener that this is not just another travel book - it is a story of both external and introspective discovery and adventure.

©1996, 2004 Neil Peart (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Masked Rider

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Fascinating Trip Across Cameroon

As part of a college literature assignment before traveling to study in Tanzania I had to read the first chapter of this book. I found that one chapter fascinating then, and I find it even more so now. Having traveled to Africa several times, and having experienced the culture first hand, the author captures in accurate and factual observation the realities of life in Africa, and traveling there. His struggle and dynamic with other riders is also held my interest. Despite the author’s hardship, I kind of want to do a similar trip myself. Well written book with good perspective.

8 people found this helpful

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Downbeat and Disappointed in Cameroon

Most helpful thing I have to say - if you're looking for a great book about travelling through Africa on two wheels - get Sam Manicom's "Into Africa".

My summary of Masked Rider - he didn't enjoy the trip, didn't like Cameroon or it's inhabitants, didn't like his travelling companions. And didn't even manage to get some humour out of it.
Whatever the opposite of inspiring is, this book was it for me.

7 people found this helpful

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Another fantastic book by Mr. Peart

First and foremost, anything that Mr. Peart has produced has been absolutely amazing. All of his writings have been inspiring, thought provoking and insightful. This book is no different.

Secondly, Mr. Peart has selected probably one of the best narrators of audiobooks out there. Mr. Sutherland's narration has the ability to bring out what the author has written in such a way that you would believe your are actually listening to author himself.

Mr. Peart's ability to describe what he is experiencing and feeling in this book, and his others, is amazing enough to bring you into his current environment and have you reacting as he did. That being said, I have no need or want to ever visit the areas of Africa that he had the misfortune of visiting in this book.

Listen to this book first before you listen to his others. There is a purposeful chronological order to them and you will soon find out why. Thankfully, Mr. Sutherland narrates Mr. Peart's books.

5 people found this helpful

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Life Lessons Through Diversity

Interesting story about the villages in Cameroon and insight on a journey through a Third World country without having to be there and experience the hardship on your own. Neil does a great job putting you there with him on the bicycle, interacting with the others on the tour and of course the typical wisdom that he possesses continues to help extrapolate the lessons from the books he reads on the trip and just basically dealing with others on a month long journey. Really enjoyed the book, I have always been a fan of his drumming but as I grow older realize more of the similarities that I have other than just music.

4 people found this helpful

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Overwhelmingly Disappointing

From the opening of this book about bicycling across Cameroon, I inferred that I was going to get to know more about the people of West Africa. After all, the author said that he'd heard you visited East Africa to get to know the wildlife and West Africa to get to know the people. Well, I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but Peart's narrative left a great deal to be desired. Though I was never a Rush fan, I'm sure he was a great musician, respected by many in the business. But I found this book to be condescending, disrespectful, and misogynistic.
The most glaring problem with The Masked Rider was that in contained literally zero (0) meaningful exchanges with West African people. The vast majority of encounters were brief, but negative. Most Africans were portrayed as selfish, ignorant, cruel, or indifferent. A few were kind or helpful, but they were in the minority. However, none were in any way the equals of the author, nor did we learn anything meaningful about any of them.
One surprising aspect of the book was how misogynistic the author was. This was most notable when he encountered a woman whom he assumed (sometimes based on very flimsy evidence) that a woman might be a sex worker. He quickly and unapologetically referred to them as "whore" or "bimbo".
Bizarrely, at one point, Peart felt it necessary to reveal some of his political views when recounting a conversation about big oil between him and his fellow bikers. He was flabbergasted that they were gullible enough to believe that there was some sort of collusion between oil companies and governments to discourage alternative energy sources.
Finally, though the book did not purport to be about the landscape of the places he visited, I think it was a reasonable expectation to have some of it portrayed by a person bicycling through it. There was occasional reference to its ugliness, but not one mention of its beauty.
The narration was at least average, so there was that. But after all's said and done, I would not recommend this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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Rider

great read. if you like Neil Peart, recommend reading this before ghost Rider. This helps the listener understand the character better.

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wonderfully done

Where does The Masked Rider rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best I have listen to. Brian Sutherland does a great job of catching Neil Peart's expressiveness with his reading.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator.

Have you listened to any of Brian Sutherland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listen to Brian's work on other Neil Peart books and he does a great job.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

Very good story and attention keeper. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys adventure traveling. Added to my list for my personal library.

1 person found this helpful

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What a ride

This is not something I would attempt but I'm glad he shared the experience.

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I could visualize the adventure

I could see myself cycling through West Africa along with Neil. Mr. Peart had a way with words with or without a melody.

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  • ahala
  • 11-09-21

neither pleasant story, narrator nor reader

quickly grew to dislike Neil Peart the further I read as they travelled in a poor African country without the two way benefit of sponsoring a local guide and managed to spend a month as a group without being friendly to anyone, nor to have made any local friends, especially considering some of the latter might have helped his many agonies. Mr Peart deserved every night dysentry in an unclean bathroom but was struck by the story of travel through multiple small towns leaving as little money as possible anywhere and eating and sleeping as cheap as possible. Govt of Cameroon should tax such non spending vagabonds

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr D
  • 04-26-21

Surprisingly, I love it.

I've admired Neil Peart as a drummer and song writter for years and love his work with Kevin J Anderson, but I was never sure of him on his home. However, this was a wonderful tale of his travels.
Even though I have no desire to travel to West Africa, I was hooked on his descriptions and experiences. An excellent insight.

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  • Monksie
  • 03-16-21

A travelogue in Cameroon

The late Rush dummer and lyricist's fascinating account of his adventures while mountain biking through Cameroon with five American companions, told and read in an engaging style that involves the listener throughout.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-13-21

Observations on a bicycle, and the human condition

Loved it a travel guide and a observation of people so discriptive and beautiful narrative. It will be re visited again .

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  • Roger Ackland
  • 02-19-21

Biased review by Rush fan

OK, I'm a Rush fan and biased toward them and Neil in particular owing to his passing but as travel books go, I enjoyed the listen. It might be a bit samey to an outsider but I found the parts where Neil talks about philosophy, art, politics and all stations between, interesting. The cycling was good too, how can they keep up such a schedule? It didn't make me want to go but the journey from the armchair was wonderful!