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Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas [Paperback]

Michka Assayas
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Oct 2010

Bono is one of the most influential musicians at work today. Over the past twenty-five years his band, U2, have sold a staggering 130 million albums and collected 14 Grammys. Their success has made Bono one of the most recognisable faces in the world.

Here, in a series of conversations with his friend, the music journalist, Michka Assayas, Bono reflects on his transformation from extrovert singer of a small, Irish, post-punk band into an international rock star. Along the way he speaks candidly about his childhood, about his mother's death, about his Christian faith and about his difficult relationship with his father, who died recently. Bono also speaks passionately about how he has used his fame as a platform to campaign fervently on a range of global issues, and why these issues - which include the IRA ceasefire, Third World debt and, most recently, the growing AIDS crisis in Africa - are so important to each of us.

Intimate, humorous, and fiercely opinionated, BONO ON BONO is Bono's story in his own words. It will fascinate and challenge fans of U2 and general readers alike.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (12 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340832770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340832776
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Witty and entertaining ... [Bono's] heart is warm, his mind is sharp, and his conversation a rich, unstoppable noise. (The Sunday Times)

'Surprisingly candid ... BONO ON BONO is not only for die-hard U2 fans; it's also an uplifting and entertaining exploration of belief and the ability to question' (Sunday Times (South Africa))

Book Description

In this Sunday Times bestseller Bono - the biggest rock star in the world - tells his life story, and speaks passionately about his hopes for the future.

Paperback edition contains a new chapter covering LIVE8, G8 and U2's massive Vertigo Tour.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
By A. Watson VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
War was the first album I bought when I was about 12. I have always found Bono to be a fascinating character, full of passion and contradictions. Also, as a Christian, I have been intrigued and challanged by his often confusing professions of faith, both in the music and in the press.
This book answers so many questions, and raises many more. The book is in the form of an extended interview over a couple of years (2002-2004) by a French journalist/friend. In it Bono, sometimes reluctantly, usually candidly, discusses faith, family, celebrity, politics, aids, africa, the band, influences, aging, and so much more. I found myself completely engrossed, stirred, challanged and maybe even changed by this book.
Does it reveal the 'real' Bono? Who is the real Bono? I didn't come away with all the answers, but with a renewed respect for a man comfortable with himself, but restless to do more, be more and mean more in this life, while looking forward to the next.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, funny, well put together 14 April 2006
Format:Paperback
Whatever you think of the man, Bono is something else. Here we get some genuine insight into what makes this extraordinary individual tick. The series of dialogues between the Irish singer and old friend French writer Michka Assayas covers just about everything you can think of with intelligence and humour. At one point they discuss that these conversations themselves may be some kind of therapy for Bono since the relatively recent death of his father.

From his troubled adolescence and the death of his mother, to his recent first-hand experiences of international economics and politics, to his relationship with God and Christianity, Bono reveals all. Meetings with the Pope, George W. Bush, President Gorbacev calls round for Sunday lunch, there are some fascinating bits and pieces! Just as he appears on the point of pomposity or pretentiousness, out comes a quote from Monty Python, or a self-deprecating U2 story.

For a millionaire rock star, Bono comes across as remarkably in touch with reality and with his feet firmly on the ground. In fact it is astonishing that he appears to be so in touch with so many different realities, and still have a healthy sense of perspective. One senses a clear-headed ambition to achieve an ongoing balance between idealism and realism.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because Grace makes beauty Out of ugly things 7 May 2010
Format:Hardcover
Bono: rock star, activist, peacenik, poet, artist, frivolous, megalomaniac, messiah, pompous, pretentious, annoying git, fame crazed fame junkie, serious, name dropper, ridiculous, man of principle, wearer of shades, man of God, man who'll sup with the Devil to save an African child's life, modest. The only man to have been nominated for a Noble Peace prize, a Grammy and an Oscar. So they say.

This autobiography takes the form of interviews which Assayas conducts with Bono. Assayas proves to be a good sparring partner and gets Bono to lower his guard (or perhaps penetrates it would be closer). He gets Bono to open up about some things he hasn't before. At other times they go over familiar territory such as the early death of his mother and the troubled relationship with his father. Aid, politics, economics, philanthropy, God, hypocrisy all get a mention. Anecdotes of the rich, and the famous; the good and ugly are here too (inviting Gorbachov to lunch and forgetting to tell his wife. Fantastic!). The interesting discussions centre on such ideas as grace over karma, the nature and virtue of celebrity and of course family and friends. And the songs; mustn't forget the songs.

Given all this it is remarkable the man isn't thoroughly autocratic or utterly delusional. Folk have gone over the top for less. A fascinating insightful read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The real Bono 11 Jan 2014
By C. Kidd
Format:Paperback
Recently I have been reading Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas. Michka Assayas is a music journalist and novelist who lives and works in Paris. He met Bono in London in 1980, and was the first journalist to champion US outside Ireland and the United Kingdom. Bono and Michka spent two years putting the book together through telephone calls and meetings in Dublin, Paris, Bologna and on the French Riviera.

I've been a U2 fan for many years enjoying the depth and variety of their music - the way they share timeless truths in such current ways, so I was intrigued to read this book. The book covers much of what has been written about before, but it brings it all into one place, and adds a new dimension or layer to some of the stories as Bono opens up under Michka's questioning.

Included in the book is Bono's mother's death, his troubled upbringing, the start of U2, what each of the band would do if they weren't in the band. The usual topics of international aid and politics (although interestingly much less on the turmoil and politics of Ireland), economics, philanthropy, Bono's Christian faith and his views on God are all spoken and written about. But we also get to hear of some great anecdotes including sleeping in Brezhnev's bed, having Gorbachov turn up for Sunday lunch (having forgotten he was coming and having not told his wife!), been chastised by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, giving sunglasses to the Pope and more.

Throughout the book Bono comes across as deeply rooted in his Christian faith, and it is that that he believes has helped to keep him grounded. He is clearly a man with many ambitions, and has already had a lasting impact not just on the music industry, but also the way the Western world engages in international aid and brings poverty relief.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A MAN !!!
I loved every minute of this book...he is an inspiration a real hero and very witty a must read for all ages.
Published 16 months ago by Emma Grigg
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a many-sided character
As one who has never taken much interest in rock or pop, and knew virtually nothing about Bono or U2, I bought this book purely because of a rather intriguing quotation I came... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by Ray V
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
Bono on Bono is just what you would expect; a pop millionaire looking to make himself relevant OUTSIDE the music industry, and failing. Read more
Published on 16 May 2009 by PCM
3.0 out of 5 stars Sean on Bono.....
Bono is a character of depth, a man of many principles, and a man of many words. His ability to engage his audience and captivate his fans, and the ears of the stranger, is an... Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2006 by Mr. Sean Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel numb
Having followed U2 since the very early 80's and read literally all books written about them, I was left feeling a bit flat after reading Bono on Bono. Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2006 by M. A. Hampton
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read
This is the best book I have ever read.You laugh and cry and it you think. I found this book to have an effect on me after I read it. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2005 by R Dobson
5.0 out of 5 stars Frenchman Drills for Irish Gold
Bono admits that he thinks best under the pressure of combative minds. Michka Assayas provides the foil for the intelligent and insightful musician. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2005 by R. Cross
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