Monday, January 12, 2015

U2: The Definitive Biography by John Jobling | Book Review

U2: The Definitive Biography
(This cover caught the eye of coworkers when I'd read it in the breakroom at work.)

The hubby is a HUGE fan of U2, so when my library added this book to the collection, I immediately requested it.  I thought I'd read it and get caught up on U2 and we could have wonderful conversations together about the band.  Also, they just released a new album and we'll probably go see them if they tour it, and I wanted background info on the songs.  When the hubby and I went to see Guns'N'Roses, I read bios beforehand and that really helped me connect to the band and the music, knowing the background, even though I'm slightly too young to have followed them from their genesis.

This book, however, fell flat of my expectations.  The author obviously did a ton of research, but there's none of the juicy human interest that I was hoping for.  It is mostly dry "U2 did this and then they did this and then they did this," etc.  I probably should've expected that; the author says in the book summary that it's an unauthorized biography.  No matter how much research he did, he was still limited only to knowledge that already existed.  Mr. Jobling just pulled it all together into one book.  

I barely knew anything about U2 or Bono going into this book, so I did actually learn a few things.  The times when I thought I learned something really obscure, and turned to tell the hubby, he always already knew.  So a long-term or die-hard U2 fan probably wouldn't learn anything from this book.  One of the things I learned in the book:  right from the start, the members of U2 were fiercely protective of their personal privacy.  There's been very little written on them because of that.  So it's not really the author's fault that this book is lacking juicy details: there was no way to get them.

Overall, I don't regret reading it.  It was a little lengthy and dry for my taste, but it served it's purpose.  Unfortunately, I had to knock a star or two off the rating because the author's distaste for the band came through a bit too clearly.  I'm trying to think of a way to spin this so it's not an entirely negative review... but there just wasn't anything really sparkly and spectacular to it for me.  If you know of any great books on U2, let me know in the comments!

*I checked out my copy of U2: The Definitive Biography from my local library.

No comments:

Post a Comment