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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who has grown up listening to U2
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...
Published on 12 May 2005 by A. Watson

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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. There was very little in here that I didn't already know and a huge chunk of the dialogue concentrates on Bono's work for Africa. Yes - an extremely important subject area and one that we are all greatly...
Published on 24 Jan 2006 by M. A. Hampton


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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who has grown up listening to U2, 12 May 2005
By 
A. Watson (Christchurch, NZ) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (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
By 
Tim Burness (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
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
By 
Oliveman (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (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 (Dibden, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frenchman Drills for Irish Gold, 21 Sep 2005
By 
R. Cross (Brussels, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (Hardcover)
Bono admits that he thinks best under the pressure of combative minds. Michka Assayas provides the foil for the intelligent and insightful musician. Despite having known U2 since 1980, Assayas is no sycophant and takes pleasure from pushing Bono into self analysis and revelation. What emerges is not your common autobiography but a deep and intimate portrait of the legend that is the U2 frontman, written in conversational and accessible style.
My impression is that Bono's life has already contained 100 times as much as a normal person's, despite having only inhabited the planet for 44 years. He's slept in Brezhnev's bed, enjoyed cigars with Clinton, had Gorbachov turn up for Sunday lunch (and forgotten he was coming!), been chastised by Tutu, given sunglasses to the Pope, hung out with DJ'ing supermodels, taken advice from Johnny Cash and addressed the US Senate on perhaps the biggest issue of this century. Not bad for someone who doesn't take himself too seriously.
The man is an impressive human being who oozes a deep rooted spirituality, yet admits that very religious people make him shudder. He seems to know his way around family life, good wine, real politik, music and art. What's not to like about him?! To read about his life, his energy, his desires and his humility will probably challenge you in at least seven different directions all at the same time. Even if you don't care for his music, any person who most admires grace as a characteristic, is probably going to be worth finding out more about. I felt uplifted by this book and I hope you do too.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel numb, 24 Jan 2006
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This review is from: Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (Hardcover)
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. There was very little in here that I didn't already know and a huge chunk of the dialogue concentrates on Bono's work for Africa. Yes - an extremely important subject area and one that we are all greatly interested in - but to fill so much of the book with this topic created an imbalance of subject matter. I wasn't looking for tabloid style journalism here - simply a greater insight into the bands early days, struggles, achievements, personalities, relationships and so on. It doesn't really go there in any great depth which left me feeling a bit numb and unfulfilled.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A MAN !!!, 22 Feb 2013
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I loved every minute of this book...he is an inspiration a real hero and very witty a must read for all ages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a many-sided character, 9 Mar 2012
By 
Ray V (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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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 across concerning the difference between 'karma' and 'grace'. I found it to be a fascinating insight into a deep thinking man with a religious faith that is not over-dogmatic or over-pious, and a very bold and practical concern for justice in the world. I'm glad to have got to know you, Bono, and in the process to have got to know a bit more about your music.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 16 May 2009
Bono on Bono is just what you would expect; a pop millionaire looking to make himself relevant OUTSIDE the music industry, and failing. There's a classic photo in the book; Bono with George W Bush: Bono in the foreground giving the Victory sign, and a taller, canny looking GW behind Bono, giving his presidential wave. But you can almost see the Private Eye type dialogue-bubble coming from GW's mouth saying something like: "Well thank goodness we've got this schmuck onside". One day Bono will wake up and realise he's been had. His false modesty is also unbecoming for a man who is very clearly so in love with himself.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sean on Bono....., 30 Jun 2006
By 
Mr. Sean Harris "The H" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas (Hardcover)
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 inspiring gift.

This book, however, doesn't give as much of the legend that is Bono in the way that perhaps is hinted at an initial glance at the book. In deed the book reads as an informal conversation between Bono and the reader at times, but it's almost as if the author / commentator only scratches the surface of a character with so much more depth. I was left wanting more (perhaps a good thing) and I agree with earlier reviwers that the book doesn't tend to convey anything afresh in terms of a fans' understanding or glimpse of Bono.

Perhaps bo book could really communicate the above?! I guess my overall feeling though was that if Bono had of written the whole commentary himself, (i.e. done just an up to date mono-biography), then perhaps I would have enjoyed or retained more from this read. It's worth a read if you're a fan of U2, Bono or the issues that seem to evidently fill Bono's mindset; but I think there are better options if you are planning on gaining further insight into the 'Mysterious Ways' of the 'One' they call Bono.
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Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas
Bono on Bono: Conversations with Michka Assayas by Michka Assayas (Hardcover - 6 Jun 2005)
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