It is a strange thing to be writing a review on a partial autobiography of someone you watched on TV just this morning. It is stranger still to try to absorb how normal most of our lives have been and how thankful we should be for the same. I find it hard to rate/comment on non-fiction because we are talking of someone’s actual life, does it matter if the writing is no good? ( Not that that is the case with this book!) . So the demarcation is extremely clear, the rating is for the book just like how our english teachers at school would talk about how they enjoyed our compositions. Even this sounds like such a pompous assumption that i find myself feeling very apologetic.
Since my parents are my most faithful readers, i will start this with who Trevor Noah is. He is the latest ( last year, but still ) introduction to the late night shows scene in the US. He does political comedy and since it hard to describe further, i will leave it at that . (Also, he is pretty good! )
I have watched one or two of his stand up routines as well but all of that does not have much bearing on this book.
This is a small part of an autobiography and there is so much that i want to know that is not mentioned in the book that i feel like there is an opening left for a sequel. ( Hence the 4 stars, i need more of the story of how he got to where he was)
We see the deep claw marks left by the white man’s superiority complex in a country that suffered great hardships as many parts of the world continue to do under someone or the other’s ego. With my limited knowledge of history i was not aware that apartheid extended to people of our generation and the thought that something most of the world would vocally condemn was considered legal till a short time ago!
The world right now is torn by multiple simultaneous atrocities occurring worldwide, and it would be terrible to try to compare whose wounds are greater . Trevor Noah points out, there are instances in history which do not cause the same horror as some of the other instances only due to the difference in documentation. This book is the documentation of most of the early life of a bright boy whose mother fought against social norms, first to bring him into the world and the next to raise him the best way she knew. It is a well told tale though you can see the hardships underlined in his life despite all the humour. I believe the audiobook is better ( as per ratings online ) because it has him reciting it in his own style.