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Surrender by Bono - New York Times Bestseller

A memoir “filled with the ups and downs of a roller coaster," Surrender is Bono's story, in his own words, of U2's unlikely rise from a high school rehearsal room in Dublin to one of the world’s most influential rock bands and Bono's personal evolution from a child born “with his fists up,” to a ground-breaking activist and agitator. It is the story of a man defined by decades-long relationships with his wife and bandmates -- who finds himself torn between the call of his ambitions and the call to surrender.

praise for Surrender by three famous people

"We wanted to fuse with our audience in the way no punk band had been able to. And as the singer, I had to create that fusion, to make a chemistry set of the crowd, by rubbishing the very idea they were a crowd. This was not just a nucleus of unstable atoms banging into each other; this was a gathering of sentient beings who for those few hours every night played the most important role in the drama, transporting the band and therefore themselves to some place neither had been before." (pp xx)


Bono’s proceeds from the (RED) paperback edition of Surrender will be donated to fight AIDS through The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Co-founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) has raised more than $750 million to fight AIDS and the injustices that enable it to thrive. To learn more go to


“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.” —The L.A. Times

Surrender soars whenever the spotlight comes on.  Bono is never more powerful on the page or the stage than when he strives for the transcendence that only music can offer. —The New York Times

 A rhythmical, time-shifting memoir written with the refinement and astuteness that we’ve come to expect from one of rock’s most profound lyricists.” –USA Today

 “A great novel in memoir’s clothing. The stories told in this magical mystery tour – filled with the ups and downs of a roller coaster – are mesmerizing.  Bono is a poet, a priest, a romantic, a realist. We meet a man of faith who is also a soldier marching in the direction of success with three other loyalists, all armed with a talent borne somewhat out of backgrounds that are never forgotten and sit within them, still.” – Mike Barnicle, MSNBC

 “Compelling. . . . Surrender is more introspective than salacious or score-settling, and proof that the tunesmith who wrote it also speaks fluent prose.” —The Washington Post

“Lovely and thoughtfully written. . . . An earthy, self-deprecating, often funny appraisal of the sometimes contradictory paths Bono has traveled.” —Vulture

 “A powerful and candid debut memoir. . . . Self-aware and poignantly reflective, this is a must-read.” —Publishers Weekly [starred review]

 “The U2 frontman's memoir is a triumph. . . . Honest, witty, informative and beautifully written, Surrender will surely join the ranks of the great rock memoirs.” ―Irish Independent

 "Readers may come to Surrender for the rock star glamour but they will stay for a beautifully written, tender, thoughtful exploration of loss and creation, of family and friendship, of faith and hope. Like a great album, this memoir has many moods, from the deeply poignant to the highly absurd and everything in between. Beating beneath them all is the pulse of an artist's restless search for meaning in the world." – Fintan O’Toole, author of We Don’t Know Ourselves


These original animations — excerpted from the Surrender audiobook, and Illustrated and narrated by Bono himself — depict key moments from Bono's life, such as his 18th birthday, his wedding day, and the day U2 was born.

Out of Control

Two Hearts Beat As One

Song for Someone

Surrender Audiobook: Narrated by Bono

Alfred A. Knopf is proud to partner with these international publishers for the worldwide publication of Surrender. It is also be available in the following countries:

UK and Ireland - Hutchinson Heinemann, Canada - Doubleday Canada, Spain and Latin America - Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, Germany - Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur, France - Les Editions Fayard, Brazil - Editora Intrinseca, Portugal - Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, Italy - Mondadori Libri, Poland - Wydawnictwo Agora, Finland - Tammi Publishers, Denmark - Kristeligt Dagblads Forlag, Sweden - Bokförlaget Polaris AB, Norway - Cappelen Damm, The Netherlands - A.W. Bruna Uitgevers, Hungary - Open Books, Greece - Psichogios Publications, Czech Republic - Dobrobksy, Slovakia - Albatros Media Slovakia, Croatia - Profil Knjiga, Romania - Grup Media Litera, Korea - Sangsang Academy, Taiwan - Horizon Publishing, Japan - Hayakawa Publishing Corporation

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