Rating out of five:
It’s the best kind of audiobook (in my opinion), where the author narrates the memoir he wrote. Trevor has the perfect voice for these things already, and the emotion, power or softness he brings really brings out each element of the book. Would definitely recommend the audiobook, as well as the story.
Trevor Noah is known as a comic and host of The Daily Show, born and grown up in South-Africa before also getting big in USA.
Every detail in here is fascinating. I’ve watched Trevor on tv occassionally, I knew the bare minimum about him growing up in South Africa and being a kid of mixed race when that was illegal under apartheid. In this book I also got to know about everything from how complex South-Africa is considering all the different groups of people who lives there, with eleven (!!!) official languages, to how his relationship with his amazing and strict mom was when he grew up. There’s so many stories he tells, some funny, some heartbreaking, most either both or a place in between. Among all of this is some sturdy thoughts on change in society and how he views the world and people.
“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”
Trevor speaks six languages. That and his ability to be a chameleon in social settings is some of the qualities that led to his success, as he talks about in here. Also religion seem to be out to kill him, as the many trips to church with his mom sometimes ended in kidnappings and catastrophies. I applaud the way these stories are told, with the seriousness they need and a lot of humor. I’m a bit unnerved by how Trevor manages to tell some stories so calmly, and still sound perfectly honest and genuine. That’s a skill or a mindset I still can’t tell where comes from.
The ending is heartwrenching and filled with tension, but then he takes it all around to his mom’s belief again and I was crying. There’s some things in this book that most would see as too unrealistic if it were fiction, including his step-father nearly killing his mom. I don’t know what to say to this other than it felt like a book that someone had poured their truth and soul into, and I honestly encourage everyone to read it. Most articles I’ve seen of this book talks about how Trevor was in jail for a week, but it’s the “smaller” things it’s worth it for. Like how he acquired a cd burner and started a dj business, and what that meant. Or how his mom didn’t let risks derail what she did in her life.
“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”