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Book Title: U2 by U2|
The author of the book: Neil McCormick
Edition: HarperCollins Publishers
Date of issue: September 15th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780007196692
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.87 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
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I was disappointed to learn that Ireland’s heroic U2 would publish their ‘auto biography’ as a ‘coffee table book.’ I believed U2’s story deserved a heavy (500+ page) sober (no photos) presentation reflecting an intellectual seriousness. And, besides, I didn’t own a “coffee table.”
But once again U2 demonstrated their genius. The over-sized format filled with countless images was the perfect setting for this candid story. A band this big couldn’t fit into a conventional sized book anyway.
The cumbersome book is not portable. And I believe that’s part of the point. Like so many of their songs, the tales U2 tell are best encountered in the solitude of one’s personal domain. This is not something you’d want to read on a crowded train or at a busy airport.
Nearly all of the photos are from the band’s personal archives and were not previously published. Frequently these images are not flattering. Documented herein are enough bad hair, bad skin, bad clothes and other bad ideas to destroy the careers of countless lesser bands.
But it is the text of “U2 by U2” that makes this book vital. The four members of U2 separately gave Neil McCormack recorded interviews about their lives and the history of the band. McCormack then turned the 150+ hours of audio into the story in this book. The result is brutally honest, intensely personal, shockingly messy and incredibly wonderful. (Just like a U2 album or concert!)
Often, the individual recollections are not consistent. Given the personalities involved that is not surprising. What is surprising is that in 1975 these four geniuses found each other. And what is even more surprising is that for 33+ years their passionate idealism and committed loyalty have held them together in the belief that rock and roll really can change the world for the better.
After reading about all the challenges, struggles and heartbreaks U2 has overcome and being reminded of all their achievements and contributions, I closed this colossal book and said “God bless U2.”
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