Surrender - Bono


By Bono

  • Release Date: 2022-11-01
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 163 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • 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. A VOGUE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

“A brilliant, very funny, very revealing autobiography-through-music. Maybe the best book ever written about being a rockstar.” Caitlin Moran, award-winning journalist
“When I started to write this book, I was hoping to draw in detail what I’d previously only sketched in songs. The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept. A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Surrender is the story of one pilgrim’s lack of progress ... With a fair amount of fun along the way.” —Bono
 As one of the music world’s most iconic artists and the cofounder of the organizations ONE and (RED), Bono’s career has been written about extensively. But in Surrender, it’s Bono who picks up the pen, writing for the first time about his remarkable life and those he has shared it with. In his unique voice, Bono takes us from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was fourteen, to U2’s unlikely journey to become one of the world’s most influential rock bands, to his more than twenty years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Writing with candor, self-reflection, and humor, Bono opens the aperture on his life—and the family, friends, and faith that have sustained, challenged, and shaped him.
Surrender’s subtitle, 40 Songs, One Story, is a nod to the book’s forty chapters, which are each named after a U2 song. Bono has also created forty original drawings for Surrender, which appear throughout the book.


  • humble, engaging, inspired…

    By PoetSK
    bono continues to live his songs true, shared in the high melodies of transparency and courageous vulnerability… the harmonies of his writing is poetic as are his songs and the brotherhood that is the band that is U2… grateful for his willingness to share his life so thoroughly withinasthru his ever expanding art… 🙏🏽
  • Must read for all U2 fans

    By jenny 1222
    Bono’s is a life worth reading about. What an amazing journey. Thank you for allowing us to share in the view.
  • Metamorphosis

    By Richard Bakare
    This memoir starts off borderline resembling self-Idolatry but then transitions into a historical accounting you come to love. Context always enriches experiences and the spiritual roots of a band I thought I knew brought new reflections on my own life for me. Every song I grew up listening to in my youth is more complex and meaningful knowing the stories behind them. Before came the music, there was the Band and the unique personalities that comprise it. It’s impressive the level of detail that Bono shares with us on each of these band members. This intimacy is where the book shines. It is enjoyable for the U2 and non-U2 fan alike, especially when he delves into the larger celebrity space the band maneuvers through. Bono’s approach is to show us the nexus points of creative ideas and experience and how they reflect the evolution of the band. If you want to really enjoy this memoir, go with the audiobook. Bono reads it in his Irish lilt and interspersed are some rare cuts of many of their greatest hits. Through Bono’s perspective we learn how music is an escape from and reflection of the pain and love we all carry. The little eccentricities of the band make for some great laughs as well and will give you a heightened sensitivity to their lyrics.
  • solid effort 3 1/2 stars

    By step_jam
    enjoyed reading some of this but then it became a bit too long … found myself jumping ahead past some of the parts that didn’t interest me … i think after rattle and hum the band kind of lost its effect, they became too rich basically … lost their voice and edge … i think many of u2’s vocals/lyrics up until rattle and hum were about someone who is in the world but not of the world … paul hewson will know the reference … that is the truth here on this planet, money won’t buy you happiness, it will buy you distractions … the best songs this band made, for me, were before the money and adoration … however, it was good to see paul hewson remain true to his belief and express that in the pages therein … i think he has a lot more faith than he lets on here … it isn’t rock and roll, it’s rock and soul
  • Surrender Great insight into a mans mind

    By Globall giving
    Great insight into a life and the struggles, triumphs and tribulations. I most enjoy the origin stories of songs and people growing up. Fabuluous book. Great read.
  • In the shadows, rock star meets author

    By Robert Hay
    Amazing read! I found it hard to put down. Bono is really a terrific writer! I’d like to read a 2nd book by him. Maybe The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. should each write memoirs as well.
  • Very very difficult read

    By Ed Haselden
    This book lacks a chronological view of Bono’s life. Its very hard to follow what years he refers to as it wil jump back and forth from one decade to another. Its als very very philosophical and reflects Bono’s deep love of poetry. In fairness, that’s the success behind U2’s success, however I found myself skipping over numerous pages as the philosophy went way beyond the norms of most autobiographies. I had to push myself to finish the book. Nor near as interesting as Dave Grohl’s or Keith Richard’s Autobiographies.
  • I Found What I Was Looking For

    By BlueBearCo.
    Bono’s memoir really comes to life with this audiobook. The song snippets, audio effects, and his voice impressions give you feeling of being in the room (or in the pub!) with Bono as he recounts his incredible life. I’ve been a fan of the band since the beginning but even people who aren’t very familiar with the music or his life will enjoy this. His prose, delivery, and humor make this really special. I found myself wanting him to narrate ALL my audiobooks. A compelling tale of a philosopher and seeker striving to remain true to his muse and the creative process while trying to overcome all of life’s challenges (which we are all familiar with). At its heart is a beautiful love story as well. Well worth the listen!
  • All I want is you

    By Bdawgno1
    Bono, The Edge, Adam, Larry: You four have were introduced to me when I was 10 years younger. Before you have nearly defined my life. My music. My hurt. My love of my life that I hold dearly 25 years and counting. I have been blessed to have been to your performances live. With dear friends of mine over past 30 years. This book has taken me to so many positive memories that have been created with not just my pals, but with my most important person in my life: my wife. Tears of gratitude and happiness as I have learned personal meanings of your songs. Amazing biography. Beautiful human beings that I will forever hold dearly in the deepest depths of my heart. Thank you for sharing your gift with me (us). Rock on. Punk Rock rules! And so does the ongoing story of U2.
  • WOW!!

    By Dagny619
    Having been a U2 fan for a long time, I was blown away by Bono’s candid story of his journey as a son, brother, band mate, husband, father, and activist. His introspection of his strengths and weaknesses; his faith in a higher being; and his ability to surrender at the end is simply captivating. What a beautiful human being.