Surrender by Bono
I admit I’m a U2 fan, so I was worried that I wouldn’t like this memoir. Sometimes musicians are a lot better at creating music than writing books. However, I’m very happy to say I loved it.
Surrender is Bono’s first autobiography (of sorts), but it is also a love story to the band U2 and to Bono’s wife Ali. In this very revealing and candid account, he starts with his early years, and reveals the long shadow of grief that was cast over his life when his mother died when he was only fourteen, and subsequently, how complicated his relationship with his father was. He then takes us through the forming of one of the most iconic bands of all time and shares the story of his first encounter with his wife Ali as a teenager in Dublin. What may be somewhat surprising to many is that, contrary to Bono’s public persona, in this account of his life, Bono comes across as all too self-aware and at times even self-deprecating.
He is honest about being an absent father at times when he was on the road and how Ali had to hold it all together and gives an in depth account of how the band almost broke up many times, but how their friendship and respect for each other and their love of music always prevailed. He talks about how his move into activism had highs and lows and how at times he was naive.
It’s a really engaging, well written and honest insight into, arguably, the most famous front man in the world. His self-awareness is endearing and this memoir gives really good insight into the man behind the microphone.