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Walk on: The Spiritual Journey of U2 Paperback – Bargain Price, November, 2001

71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Stockman is a Presbyterian minister in Ireland where he works in the Chaplaincy at Queen's University in Belfast. He is a regular speaker at conferences and festivals, and has his own radio show on BBC Radio Ulster. Steve has published five books of poetry and recently released an album, Gracenotes. He has been using the work of U2 in his sermons and writings for 20 years.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Relevant Books; Writing in Book edition (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088419793X
  • ASIN: B003D7K05M
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Are you a U2 fan? Are you intrigued by their spiritual leanings? This book sets out to demystify one of the most successful rock bands in history. Where others have crashed and burned, U2 has sped steadily onward. Where others have flamed out in a one-hit blaze of glory, U2 continues to reinvent themselves without ever betraying their own personality.
"Walk On" takes on quite a challenge by attempting to draw some lines about U2's spiritual (ie. Christian) purposes. I've loved U2 since first hearing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in a friend's living room back in the early 80's and, like many others, I've always wondered where they stood in regards to God, the church, religious hypocrisy, etc. Steve Stockman manages to amass and present a heady mix of information, culled from interviews, concerts, etc. He defines U2's apparent mission from an artistic and spiritual standpoint, but refrains from boxing them in. He brings to light info that I've long looked for and never found. He makes U2 into a living, breathing, touchable band while further elevating them to the pinnacles of rock history.
If I had one complaint here, it's that Stockman resorts to personal diatribes here and there. He not only interprets U2's motivations, he takes a personal stand on issues that U2 doesn't directly address. That's okay, of course, but it moves this book away from a purely journalistic foundation and turns it into a great look at U2 coupled with a few mini-sermons.
I applaud anyone willing to peel back the layers of a much loved band. Not only do we see the genius of U2's music, we see the gut-wrenching decisions and soul-searching they go through. This book is worth the money if you want to know the heart of U2. Just be warned: you might also know more than you wanted of the heart of Steve Stockman.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hinkle on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have followed the career of U2 almost from the beginning, and they have been one of my top two or three bands of all time for many years. As a Christian, discovering their spiritual underpinnings was exhilerating to me, and a source of great joy, which later led to puzzlement when their lifestyles seemed to turn decadent. The basic question remained: Are they still Christians? This book answers that question with a resounding YES!
All this time there has been a method to the madness of U2, even with their seeming slide into the typical rock lifestyle during the 1990's. As they invented and reinvented themselves, they were still sending out a peculiarly Christian message for those with ears to hear. This book draws on many interviews over the years with the band, particularly frontman Bono, and Bono shows a depth of spirituality that may be surprising to many. Look past the smoking, drinking, and cursing (which seems to have fallen off somewhat with the onset of the new millennium) and you find a band (or at least a frontman, more about that later) that is in love with God and humankind, and expresses its faith in artistic ways that often confound the more literal-minded.
Where this book falls short, in my opinion, is that it seems to be mostly the spiritual journey of Bono. What about the rest of the band? We hear a little from The Edge, and virtually nothing from the other Christian in the band, Larry Mullen. Even the token non-Christian, Adam Clayton, would have had things to share about being in a band with three Christians. Surely he has not spent all this time with them and gone totally untouched spiritually. Bono is simply the most visible member, but I'm sure the others would have something to say as well.
If anyone is unsure whether, as a Christian, you "should" like and support U2 or not, this book has the answer. As for me, I think I'll run out and fill in the gaps in my U2 CD collection.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Joel T. Buchanan, Jr. on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Any serious U2 fan should read this book, as it is full of good insights into the spiritual motivations of the world's greatest rock band. You can't really understand U2 if you don't understand the true source of their inspiration, and Stockman does a fine job of revealing the profoundly Christian nature of it.
My overall impression of the book is positive, as it will be of great interest to any real U2 fan, with lots of stories and background to their albums and songs. As a Christian minister myself, I appreciate also Stockman's interpretations of Christian doctrine and life, and further agree heartily that U2 has much to teach the Church about being truly Christian.
My only complaints are two: first, while the author's interpretations of many lyrics and stage messages (visual and verbal) are plausible, I often wondered whether Bono would have agreed with them, as the line between Bono's own thoughts and Stockman's is often very fuzzy in the text. In other words, at times I wondered whether I was reading a book about U2's spiritual journey or Stockman's. Second, the writing is a bit amateurish -- almost like that of a high school newspaper editor gushing about his favorite band. His overwhelming adoration for his rock heroes is obvious and sincere (and shared by me), but is a bit melodramatic and distracting at times.
These critical comments should not, however, deter one from reading this book. The subject matter alone was interesting enough for me to overlook the book's faults, and it is obvious that Stockman has done his homework (He KNOWS U2). In the end, I felt myself to be a kindred spirit.
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