Bono has been shooting off his eloquent Irish mouth for more than 20 years now; the rock star/activist's views on sex, love, religion, and, most recently, the African AIDS epidemic have been thoroughly documented in song and sound byte, which begs the question, Why this collection of conversations? It must be a remix at best. As hard-core fans will attest, however, Bono still has a lot to answer for, and credit French journalist Assayas-an early supporter of U2 in the 1980s-for putting the screws to him. Topics range from Bono's rocky relationship with his late father to his chemistry with his bandmates to his latest venture as a media businessman. Time and again, Assayas comes back to why the man wants to be so many things to so many people, and though Bono offers an earnest response, it probably won't satiate followers hungry for his first-person chronicles. That said, buy this now to hold them over; U2's North American tour runs through May and returns in the fall, so expect demand.-Heather McCormack, Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
U2 vocalist, celebrity activist and one of the world's most outsized rock stars, Bono symbolically takes off his habitual shades to reveal the relatively normal guy behind the flashy (and occasionally bombastic) public persona in this series of wide-ranging conversations. Readers familiar with the Irish singer won't be surprised that he comes off as both earnest and quick minded, but the book's long-form q&a format also reveals an acerbic sense of humor and genuine humility. Topics shift and flow in a fairly nonlinear fashion; anecdotes jump around from 1979 to 1998, from Dublin to Africa, from music to father-son relationships. Presuming that most readers are intimate with U2's history and discography, interviewer Assayas gives little background information other than the dates and location of each discussion. The lack of context or clear chronology is at times frustrating, but Assayas, a French journalist and longtime friend of the group, compensates by steering the conversations into difficult territory: politics, religion and the personal dynamics of a successful rock band. This is sure to appeal to completists; more casual fans may snap it up after seeing one of U2's forthcoming concerts for their album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Agent, Ed Victor. (Apr. 21) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Even non-fans will find inspiration in Bono's passion for living. ("People") It's refreshing to read a discussion that allows for serious, no-B.S. answers and even entertaining digressions. Assayas's questions are thoughtful ones... ("GQ") A musts-read for the U2 faithful or for anybody interested in the life of a modern, multitasking rabble-rouser. ("Palm Beach Post")