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U2: At the End of the World Paperback – July 16, 1996
A Little Thing Called Life
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The first thing that sets this book apart from the usual rock bio is that it doesn't focus on serving up facts about the band members. There's no "born here, went to school here" at the beginning; instead, we open with Bono, startled into crouching with a hand over his nakedness when a German family comes to reclaim the East Berlin house he's staying in just after the Wall falls. The rest of this tome continues in the same vein, conveying what the band members are like and how they live their rockstar lives by vividly recounting moment-to-moment experiences that the author lived through along with them.
Bill Flanagan was granted unprecedented access to the band member's lives, and throughout the two years he spends touring with him, they treat him as a friend. He makes no pretense of impartiality but rather tells everything from his own point of view, which is much more genuine than any false distance would be and allows you to feel you're there with the band. The length of time and volume of material that result are made more manageable by the fact that Flanagan gives each chapter its own brief coherency, so they can easily be read separately as well as together (and indeed a couple of them were originally published as magazine articles in Musician).
The real reward comes from following the band through to the end of their Zoo TV/Zooropa tour. There's a detachment from reality that Flanagan, the band members, and all the tour crew come to experience as they dedicate themselves to a roaming life, and it's gradually revealed as the band's experiences become more and more strange.Read more ›
He has the amazing ability of adding his own witty and keen input while at the same time making it seem as if U2 are talking with you personally.
By the end of the book, I was as exhausted and wrung out as if I had really just got back from the three year tour with the band. Though I read the book as a U2 fan, I would now gladly pick up anything else by Flanagan. His deceptively casual style will hook you from the first paragraph with a laugh and keep you up at four in the morning as you seek to discover "the secret of the universe" with Edge.
I ordered this book on word of mouth and the fact that I am starved for any band info as it has almost been four years since their last masterpiece - I was not disapointed. Flanagan writes this journal of life during the Zoo TV tour as a journalist but also as a fan - the personalities of the members of u2 and their organization are brought to focus in a way that helps the reader identify with Bono, Edge, Larry, Adam, and Paul (if by chance you are wondering who Paul is - please read the book and become a true U2 fan of God's Sake!)
True the events that are described in this book are over ten years old but it is an essential period of u2 and it sets the stage for the cohesive unit that the band has become - last seen during the band's most recent elevation tour.
I read the entire book over two days and Flanagan has done something that I didn't think was possible for a die-hard u2 fan - I fell a bit more in love the members of the band for the separate men they are and for the band they form. Remember - "We're one, but we're not the same, we got to carry each other"
Flanagan shows that u2 stand behind the sentiment in One. A true gift of a book - a must read
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for my girlfriend who "worships in the house of Bono"! She loves it.Published 18 months ago by Dphillips
This book shows a lot about life on the road with U2. Fascinating about their album Achtung Baby, and the Zooropa tour. Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Atle Rovik
Fairly acurit Including the snippets of interviews and insights into the going ons of a tour and what goes into the prep of such an endevour. Read morePublished on July 15, 2011 by Sue expatriot
I just finished reading this book for the third time since I bought it back in '96. It's been riveting every time. Read morePublished on June 5, 2010 by Buzzmo
This book is phenomenal. I just can't put it down. It feels like reading a U2 diary, reveals so much about the members of the band, and is written so funny! Read morePublished on January 12, 2010 by Siobhan
1992 was an interesting year for re-examination of the media. Both U2's ZOO TV tour and the documentary "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media" emerged during this... Read morePublished on February 2, 2009 by Brian Chidester
Brought as a present for the wife she hasn't complained must be alright as she is a big U2 fanPublished on January 7, 2009 by Gregory Sutton
thisbook is perfect if you want to know everyting about U2
I really love it !
This book is one of the few really great rock biographies. It does a great job of chronicling the band's past by giving a distilled view of their present, in both personal lives,... Read morePublished on August 15, 2007 by S. K. Harrell