Top positive review
Reviewed in Australia on 24 June 2018
I'm glad I finally got around to reading this. I had seen Trevor Noah on British Comedy shows on the Australian TV before he took Jon Stewart's place on The Daily Show. I thought he was funny and smart. And good looking. My opinion hasn't changed.
As I stated before, I struggle rating memoirs, as it feels like I'm rating someone's life and choices, which is far from my intentions.
It was fascinating and enlightening to read about life in South Africa from the perspective of a biracial or, as they're called it in South Africa, colored person. He reaffirmed to me how ridiculous the whole race thing is. Most of us have heard of Apartheid and that it was bad. I was riveted to read about the day to day life, about the many languages and ethnic groups, about the ridiculous rules, the classifications based on the visual assessment of white clerks of someone's melanin levels. Things seem so complex and complicated over there.
Noah's mum sure is an interesting, full of contradictions character. She is determined and obstinate. And extremely religious, attending three Sunday services at three different churches. If that is not enough to put you off religion/church, I don't know what is! Anyway ...
This was an easy read. I confess I didn't find it particularly funny, but I didn't mind. Without having the first-hand experience of South Africa, I thought Noah was very balanced in his accounts. It's hard to tell if it's because he's mixed race, or because he was very young when the Apartheid was abolished, or just because he's experienced lots of different things and he's a smart, open-minded individual. It's probably a combination of all of the above and more. He never came across as bitter or angry. I guess because those feelings are being perceived as "negative and undesired" most memoir writers disguise them. Fair enough.
After reading this, I feel like I know a little bit more about South Africa. I have a couple of close white South African friends. They have quite different views when it comes to South Africa, Apartheid, I'm pretty sure their opinions are informed by their experiences, upbringing, British vs Afrikaans heritage etc - I find it fascinating.