on July 22, 2008
I grew up to these guys and still play them every other day if not every day. I first acquired this book thinking it would be a good piece of memorabillia but as I started reading it I realized that I was getting the inside story about all of these amazing men from the beginning of their band to the present. What a remarkably well written account and how fortunate that a U2 fan is given such wonderful insight from the horses mouth. I laughed out loud many times at the cheekiness of a few of these guys, to the point where my husband was like "what is so funny" of course its mostly "Bono" and his great sense of description. If you like this band, you should buy this book and cherish it.
Because or in spite of them, U2 has become synonymous in the rock world with terms like "integrity", "passion", "poetry", and of course, "big business". This autobiography of the band certainly seems to give the perspective that very few aspects of the band's success have been planned - certainly, there are enough faux pas that makes this believable. There is also enough going on around the band (revealed in the book, but also in other sources) to suggest that several people have had their say in the band's success. This is a very nice story, first told around their personal lives and the early beginnings of their work together as young men from Belfast, then around the events that unfolded around their different albums and shows (remember "Band Aid"?). Each member of U2 tells part of their story and here, really, you get a glimpse of what it is like to be a normal human being struggling with superstardom - perhaps something none of us are really able to manage very well. Each member also recounts their takes on songs, albums, events that led to different lyrics in songs. The book provides a bit of the biographical information that the songs communicate.
I was surprised by some of the band members' candour. Difficult relationships, personal problems and of course, at a time when it is definitely uncool to hold Christian convictions, descriptions of their struggle to make sense of faith. There is also an interesting inside look at the beginnings of the band, at how confused and perhaps unprofessional things were at the start of their success. And of course, some discussion regarding how to manage all the fallout from Bono's other work...
If you are a fan, this is a great read. If you are curious about the band that has probably drawn the most attention since the rock revolution of the '60s, this will open some windows of thought for you. If you want to read about how four boys had their teenage dream come true, and about how they make it into more than that, this is where you should begin.