With a strident bias and borderline idolization of Bono, the Steve Stockman often uses the biography to forward his agenda. Convoluted sentences, hackneyed phrases, and even bad grammar sometimes make for a poor read. That being said, the author's analysis of postmodern culture (although his prolific usage of the word itself is nauseating) was revealing both in its failings and potentials. Especially poignant is his examination of ZooTV. Because he believes that “the Christian community seems to have confined its definitions of faith to various precise behavioral patterns and clichéd statements of faith” (p. 3), Stockman seeks to evaluate the Christianity of U2 on the terms of their own words and their faith-based actions, much of which are around social justice. He collects interviews, TV, radio, magazine and combines that with his own U2 concert and CD experiences and his theological/philosophical background.
I enjoyed this book and agreed with many of his points. I copied several Bono quotes for future “quote of the week” use. Of course, I love U2. If you are a U2 fan or agree with Bono’s work, this is a great book. If not, it will only frustrate you.
I’d like to end with a word from Stockman:
“There is an attitude birthed in the Enlightenment that says truth is a form of words in a particular order, and there is no wisdom or creativity to poetically take the same truth and describe it in ways more digestible to the world outside Church gates. Paul took his time and walked around the city, imbibing its art and listening to its philosophers and poets.” (p. 124)