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15 June 2005

Bono, in Conversation...

...with Michka Assayas

From the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County catalog: "In a series of intimate conversations, Bono reflects on his transformation from the extrovert singer of a small Irish post-punk band into one of the most famous individuals in the world, and from an international celebrity to an influential spokesperson for the Third World."

For the obvious reason that I love all things U2, this was an interesting read for me. Anyone who does not like Bono or particularly care what he has to say, it would be a tedious, pretentious bore. Such is the nature of (auto)biography. Bono is a superstar, a poet, a religious man, an activist, an arrogant SOB, a quick study, and a dedicated father and husband. Some of the most memorable passages were the tales of his childhood: how his grandfather put lead in his shoes so his employers wouldn't know he was dying of TB when they weighed their employees each day, or when he and his friends made a conscious decision not to use alcohol because sobriety was the only way to escape the grinding despair of Dublin in the 1970s.

Nothing in this book made me think any less of Bono - this wicked personality, shining voice and champion activist. If anything, it revealed his complexity, his motivations, his values, and why "rock star" is not a sufficient job description to encompass what he does. And I'm impressed that this is the first non-fiction book I have read in ages!

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