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U2 at the End of the World Hardcover – 1 Jun 1995

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Delacorte Pr (Jun 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593036263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593036266
  • ASIN: 0385311540
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 15.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 July 2000
Format: Paperback
If you saw Zoo TV, this book will make complete sense to you! If not then you can catch up by reading it now! From the recording of Achtung Baby, right through the conception and realistaion of the Zoo TV tour, to the bitter end! I have often wondered how pop stars cope on the road, and this book brings you from the very highs to the deepest lows (Adam...need I say more). It has Glam and Sham. They are real people with loads of cash who are able to do what they want.
I couldn't put it down. Read it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Flanagan shows an inside look at U2 on the road - direct and personal. He is a very good writer. The way he writes makes you feel very close to 'the circus' that happens when U2 is on tour. There was a lot going on in 1992/1993 - U2 found a new direction and in their personal lives a lot happens too. It all comes together in this personal book. Especially I like his talking with Bono's father - Bob Hewson. Funny and also moving.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 79 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A great rock-n-roll travelogue 10 Jun 2004
By amazonker - Published on
Format: Paperback
Although this is a book about U2, it's such a strange and fascinating tale that it should stand as a classic of rock-n-roll writing as well as the single essential volume for any U2 fan.
The first thing that sets this book apart from the usual rock bio is that it doesn't focus on serving up facts about the band members. There's no "born here, went to school here" at the beginning; instead, we open with Bono, startled into crouching with a hand over his nakedness when a German family comes to reclaim the East Berlin house he's staying in just after the Wall falls. The rest of this tome continues in the same vein, conveying what the band members are like and how they live their rockstar lives by vividly recounting moment-to-moment experiences that the author lived through along with them.
Bill Flanagan was granted unprecedented access to the band member's lives, and throughout the two years he spends touring with him, they treat him as a friend. He makes no pretense of impartiality but rather tells everything from his own point of view, which is much more genuine than any false distance would be and allows you to feel you're there with the band. The length of time and volume of material that result are made more manageable by the fact that Flanagan gives each chapter its own brief coherency, so they can easily be read separately as well as together (and indeed a couple of them were originally published as magazine articles in Musician).
The real reward comes from following the band through to the end of their Zoo TV/Zooropa tour. There's a detachment from reality that Flanagan, the band members, and all the tour crew come to experience as they dedicate themselves to a roaming life, and it's gradually revealed as the band's experiences become more and more strange. Eventually, when you reach the near-insanity of Bono walking and talking and refusing to go to sleep in Japan, it makes a kind of strange sense. Along the way, Adam bottoms out, Edge does 'shrooms and falls in love, and Larry injects himself with bull's blood. It's all good stuff.
If you're really into U2, it would be a crying shame for you to miss out on this book because you'll never understand the band so well any other way. If you've somehow stumbled upon this out of a general interest in rock-n-roll life, it's worth your time to use this book for an insider's view. And if you're looking for some fun nonfiction, it doesn't get any crazier than this.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for U2 fans, and music fans in general. 10 Jan 2000
By Nathan Scoggins - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bill Flanagan's "U2 at the End of the World," is far more appropriately titled, "U2 at the End of the Music Industry As We Know It." The book, which exhaustively charts the world-crossing tours Zoo TV and Zooropa, also functions as a historical document of the music industry on the cutting edge of a major technology surge. It forecasts the eventual rise of MP3s and deals with the copyright issues involved, and the pursuit of art, commerce, and technology, and explores where the worlds converge, and where they are still discordant. It is also a documentary of the craziness involved in tour life -- as Flanagan points out, most rock writers travel for a band with a week, then leave. It is a far far greater thing to spend two years jumping around the world with a band, to the point where tour life feel normal, and everything else is child's play. A book that deals not with the mundane day to day existence of U2's members ("and then Larry came in and said wackily, 'It was the pizzaman after all!' Bono, Edge and Adam laughed at the silly drummer," etc.), but with the deeper issues of what the band is about, what music is, what the business is like, and what it means to attempt to be relevant and reinvent ones'self in the ever-changing face of music. A must-read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A 3-D, technicolor glimpse into U2 complete w/stereo sound. 7 Nov 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is not a biography of facts about the band so if you're looking to find out how old Larry is, or how many kids Edge has, don't be buying this book. Bill Flanagan takes you into the minds of U2 but makes sure he passes their funny bones along the way.
He has the amazing ability of adding his own witty and keen input while at the same time making it seem as if U2 are talking with you personally.
By the end of the book, I was as exhausted and wrung out as if I had really just got back from the three year tour with the band. Though I read the book as a U2 fan, I would now gladly pick up anything else by Flanagan. His deceptively casual style will hook you from the first paragraph with a laugh and keep you up at four in the morning as you seek to discover "the secret of the universe" with Edge.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Just a really, really, F****** brillant read 13 Jun 2004
By C. Blaesing - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had always prided myself as being a u2 fan - I could sing their entire back catalog by heart, but I was aways a bit wary of reading any actual "books" on my fav band as they are often out of date by the time they (the books) hit the self and often show my beloved boys in an unkind light.
I ordered this book on word of mouth and the fact that I am starved for any band info as it has almost been four years since their last masterpiece - I was not disapointed. Flanagan writes this journal of life during the Zoo TV tour as a journalist but also as a fan - the personalities of the members of u2 and their organization are brought to focus in a way that helps the reader identify with Bono, Edge, Larry, Adam, and Paul (if by chance you are wondering who Paul is - please read the book and become a true U2 fan of God's Sake!)
True the events that are described in this book are over ten years old but it is an essential period of u2 and it sets the stage for the cohesive unit that the band has become - last seen during the band's most recent elevation tour.
I read the entire book over two days and Flanagan has done something that I didn't think was possible for a die-hard u2 fan - I fell a bit more in love the members of the band for the separate men they are and for the band they form. Remember - "We're one, but we're not the same, we got to carry each other"
Flanagan shows that u2 stand behind the sentiment in One. A true gift of a book - a must read
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The best you can get! 24 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'll keep it simple. I have over 25 U2 books in my collection. This is the best, and by far. This is not a book where you will find pictures. It's the inside story of the zoo tv tour. The difference with other books is that this one is not written by someone who only thinks he knows what he's talking about. When you read it, you can feel that you do get the real story, with many spicy details that an outsider would not know about... Very well written, with no pretentions or judgments. Just the real story, like a real fan loves it. Trust me on this one.
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