Bono - Surender

Book Description (Audiobook)

Narrated by the author, Surrender is an intimate, immersive listening experience, telling stories from Bono’s early days in Dublin to joining a band and playing sold-out stadiums worldwide with U2, plus his more than 20 years of activism. 

Throughout his remarkable life, music has always been a constant for Bono. In the audiobook, his distinctive voice is interwoven with a very personal soundtrack adding atmosphere and texture to every scene. From moments of classic U2 hits to snippets by The Clash, Patti Smith, Verdi, Johnny Cash, and Mozart, Surrender also exclusively features clips of newly recorded reimagined versions of U2 songs, including ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday,’ ‘With Or Without You,’ ‘One,’ ‘Beautiful Day’ and more, glimpsed for the first time on Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.

About the author:

Bono—artist, activist, and the lead singer of Irish rock band U2—has written a memoir: honest and irreverent, intimate and profound, Surrender is the Story of the remarkable life he’s lived, the challenges he’s faced, and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him.

Book review: What we think about Surrender

Like Bono’s lyrics, the writing is filled with beautiful passages, personal perspectives, and poignant experiences. While his ego comes through, and he acknowledges this, I was struck by his self-reflective and humble nature.

Bono structures the book uniquely, using a song title as a theme for each chapter and filling it with deep feelings, anecdotes, and stories from his life and the band’s past.

The man has experienced different phases of life in the public eye, and he reminds us that the truth behind it is often more intriguing. Moreover, he shows reflection, offering profound insights into what these stories mean for him and the people in his life.

You’ll find music and deep explorations of family relationships, politics, charity, business, Ireland, friendship, and reflections on life and success. It also touches on topics such as drug problems and more. This isn’t just the autobiography of a singer involved in worthy causes but a comprehensive exploration of an exceptional individual’s life.

The book follows his deep love and connection with his family, band, and God. His concept of God is one of activism, and he unapologetically uses his rock star status to make the world better. This doesn’t come off as condescending or preachy. He readily admits to mistakes, naivety, and manipulation by powerful political forces.

I enjoyed the book way more than I expected, especially in its audio version, narrated by the man himself. It gave me a glimpse into the man behind the public image, and I liked him even more. It also renewed my interest in U2’s music, as the book puts the 40 selected and referenced songs into the context of Bono and U2’s experiences and growth.

I did grow up with U2, but you don’t have to be a U2 fan to appreciate the book and Bono’s writing style, as it contains many personal struggles and initiatives he has undertaken. His style naturally evokes empathy from the reader.

The chapters fly by, keeping the reader engaged. I highly recommend “Surrender” to anyone who enjoys rock music or wants to read about a man who overcame obstacles in life. It also offers a glimpse into the sensitivity of a man who, alongside his wife, devotes significant time and effort to various causes.