– 5 star Read
Insightful, tragic, funny and uplifting!
I listened to the audio version as I read along with my copy of the hardcover version; I have never “double” experienced a book in this way before, and while slower than what I would normally read at, it was a complete immersive experience in a story of high quality.
This is the story of Trevor Noah growing up in South Africa as a product of a black mother and a white father, in a time when it was illegal to have a child born of these two mixed races. This is not the story of how he rose to stardom, got the job as host of the Daily Show, or even of how he started out working as a comedian. Other than a line or two in passing, there is no mention of his career. This is the story of a boy growing up in Apartheid South Africa and the life and minor social readjustments when Apartheid ended.
Trevor Noah knows how to tell a story, but more importantly he sifted through his history and found his voice to tell the best possible story of his life. He does not glamorize or hide his scars or his sins or the way the world is. He offers meaningful insight into Apartheid in South Africa, class divisions, race divisions and social divisions. He tells it like he experienced it.
He takes on the issues of domestic violence, of trying to find his way in a world that he was always an outsider in, and of his Mother’s fierce love and determination that injustice and wrong can be overcome if you don’t pay homage to the rules that divide us. He addresses crime and criminality and what it’s like to grow up within a South African Hood environment. He talks about the things that keep you trapped and how movement out, into something better, is frayed with pressures to keep people locked in. This book has an eerily chilling truth vibe to it that isn’t just aimed at pointing out the flaws of one country but ring true throughout the rest of the world, whenever we try to separate others from ourselves or put people into boxes / places that we ourselves haven’t lived in.
Trevor Noah speaks 5 different languages and listening to the Audio of this book helped with the passages written in different languages. He also does voice characterizations very well.
This is a powerful story told by a funny guy who lays his truth on the line. One of the best autobiographies I have ever read.