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  • Published: 10 September 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529160598
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $27.99


Bono Autobiography: 40 Songs, One Story

One of the greatest rock memoirs ever written and a Sunday Times bestseller now out in paperback - the honest, irreverent and powerfully entertaining life story of the U2 front-man.

One of the greatest rock memoirs ever written and a Sunday Times bestseller now out in paperback - the honest, irreverent and powerfully entertaining life story of the U2 front-man.

  • Published: 10 September 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529160598
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $27.99

About the author


The lead singer of U2, Bono was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin. He met The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton at school and in 1978, U2 was formed. The band released their first album, "Boy," on Island Records in 1980 and to date have released a total of 14 studio albums that have sold 157 million copies worldwide. Heralded by Rolling Stone as "a live act simply without peer," the band's record-breaking 360° Tour (2009-2011) remains the highest-grossing concert band tour of all time. U2 have won numerous awards, including 22 Grammys, more than any other duo or group, as well as an Academy Award nomination and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award. In 2005, U2 was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Alongside his role in U2, Bono is a ground-breaking activist. A leader in Jubilee 2000's Drop the Debt campaign, he next took on the fight against HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty, co-founding sister organizations ONE and (RED). ONE is a movement of millions of people dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. With ONE, Bono has lobbied heads of state and legislatures all around the world, helping to ensure the passage of programs, such as the U.S. PEPFAR AIDS program, that have helped to save tens of millions of lives over the past 20 years. (RED) - which partners with companies to raise public awareness about, and corporate contributions for, the AIDS crisis - has to date generated more than $700 million for the Global Fund to treat and prevent AIDS in Africa. Since 2020, ONE and (RED) have also been fighting COVID-19 and its impact on the developing world.

In 2016, Bono cofounded The Rise Fund, a global impact fund investing in entrepreneurial companies driving positive social and environmental change in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Bono has received a number of awards for his music and activism, including the Freedom of the City of Dublin (with U2), Chile's Pablo Neruda Medal of Honour, the Legion D'Honneur from the French Government, an honorary British knighthood, the Fulbright Association Prize for International Understanding and TIME Magazine's Person of the Year (along with Bill and Melinda Gates). He lives in Dublin with his wife Ali Hewson.

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Praise for Surrender

Powerful and candid ... a must read

Publishers Weekly

Bono's memoir bares his soul ... Has any rock superstar written a more revealing biography? He deftly balances the comical and profound and packs anecdotes with cameos by the rich and famous, from Frank Sinatra to Pope John Paul II

Neil McCormick, Telegraph

This is Bono at his best: thoughtful, reflective, revealing a wisdom that his rock-star persona covers up ... At the root of it all you don't doubt his decency or integrity

Will Hodgkinson, The Times

A rattling good yarn ... characteristically expansive, but it whizzes by ... Bono has storytelling verve and a genuine desire for self-examination and is enthusiastic about praising others, often at his own expense. ... [a] generous, energetic book

Dorian Lynskey, Guardian

Beautifully evoked, a mixture of Joycean exuberance and Chandleresque irony ... most revealing are the intimate personal experiences that shaped him and his chaotic creative process. Punctuating it all is the music. Each chapter uses a U2 song to pull us down memory lane

Mariella Frostrup, Sunday Times

A rewarding read about a loss-fuelled life lived to the full ... What makes much of this book so exciting and interesting, is that the sadness is overwhelmed by a desperate, frenzied desire to use life more richly since it has proved to be so fragile. Sadness is replaced here by an extraordinary and breathless zeal for friendship but also for love ... Surrender is, in its own generous way, a book written by an Irishman to tell his mother how much he misses her, to tell his mates how much he rates them, and to let his wife and children know how much he loves them

Colm Toibin, Irish Times

Bono's honesty will win over his harshest critics ... the U2 frontman's memoir is a trumph ... Honest, witty, informative and beautifully written. Surrender will surely join the ranks of the great rock memoirs

Irish Independent

Bono's prose is electrifyingly good. Not confected memories, but the messy, sometimes bathetic minutiae of lived experience, emotions remembered but only truly understood with hindsight and vocabulary that comes much later

Pete Paphides, author of 'Broken Greek'

Will engage and entertain you, full of extraordinary anecdotes and people from Sinatra and Johnny Cash to Pope Benedict and presidents.

Catherine Meyer, author and founder of WEP

Bono's book is absolutely brilliant

Simon Schama

A brilliant, very funny, very revealing, autobiography-through-music. Maybe the best book ever written about being a rockstar

Caitlin Moran

Music lovers will enjoy a trip back to the days when mosh pits were sweaty and radio play was all important, while some readers may well be surprised by the level at which Bono's activism goes far beyond photo opportunities. Meanwhile the U2 fans, the die hards, will pore over it, and relish the opportunity to follow Bono into his home ... Surrender is the closest most of those fans will ever come to having a pint with the man himself and they'll find him very entertaining company. In many ways this book is a 'thank you' to them, too.


A well-written, insightful deep dive into one of the most intriguing and insistent voices of our time

The Business Post

I was really moved...There are stories in this book that are just unbelievable...an incredible read

Zoe Ball

Surrender soars whenever the spotlight comes on...open and honest, with language that can be witty and distinctive

New York Times

Honest and direct...This is the rare rock star memoir written by a rock star who, you get the impression, could have been a writer...Bono has a gift for making even the unattainable seem relatable

L.A. Times

Bono confesses his fears and failings in this likeable and self-aware memoir...the U2 frontman has written the kind of A-list memoir that befits both the singer in a planet sized band and a clout wielding activist....Surrender gives him a different voice, showing an unsually driven man doing what he can, no matter the arena.

Victoria Segal, Sunday Times

An often humble retelling of one of rock's most gilded careers ... Bono orbits a rarefied stratosphere - Nelson Mandela, Diana, Princess of Wales, Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, Bill Gates and Mikhail Gorbachev all make an appearance - that could have made for a never-ending parade of backslapping. But as he tells of these encounters, he subtly, cleverl, positions himself as the subordinate party. It sums Bono up, a man who doesn't see parameters, only opportunities. Surrender is a riveting account of a life spent chasing them down.


An engaging read, vividly evoking growing up in Dublin, family, friends and the tragedy of his mother's death.

Daily Mail

Heartfelt...I expected a remarkable story but I didn't expect to be so charmed by the storyteller

Jake Kerridge, Daily Mirror

Bono's new memoir, Surrender, elevates the audiobook into an art form. Not only does Bono have a gorgeous speaking voice, gentle, self-deprecating and warm...I don't know why anyone would read Surrender when you can lose yourself in this soundscape

Janice Turner, The Times

Action-packed...the U2 singer's memoir resounds with the clang, bang, smash of VIP name-dropping, but is undercut with constant admissions of the writer's uncoolness and capacity for cringe...storytelling is undercut with mediations on music and musicians, culture and politics, faith and family, all in a prose style Bono watchers will recognise from his interviews


The most intellectually engaging rock memoir since Bob Dylanb's Chronicles

Paul Muldoon, Times Literary Supplement

Exceeds expectations, revealing the U2 singer not to be the earnest preacher of Live Aid legend but a man blessed with wry self-knowledge

Sunday Times

A terrific memoir, not just of the strangeness of rock stardom but more importantly of the ordinary aspects of life: grief, loss, love, his complex relationship with his father. You come for the celebrity but stay for the familiarities that are explored with tenderness and grace

Irish Times

Honest, thoughtful, human and often very funny...Surrender amounts to a fascinating song of experience

Mail on Sunday

Brilliant...Such an interesting read

Chris Evans

Bono's memoir brings you behind the curtain for a peek at his extraordinary life

Irish Examiner

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