If you like audiobooks at all, I would suggest doing this by audio. I know I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have reading in another format because Trevor Noah narrates it himself, and his voices for everyone are very charming. There’s also something very satisfying about hearing someone tell stories about their life in their own voice.
This book is made up of a series of interconnected stories about his youth in South Africa, from when he was “born a crime,” with a white father and black mother (something that was illegal during Apartheid), through his early twenties before his career took off. The book is most definitely a memoir, but Trevor tells it with humor and thoughtfulness. There is quite a bit of reflection, on himself and his family and the culture he grew up in, but the book is told in a close first person, often sticking pretty tight to what Trevor’s mindset would have been at the time of whatever incident he’s telling you about. This isn’t a history book, but he does a good job of placing you in the context of South Africa. There’s a lot of ways that he acknowledges and plays with perspective, and I found this fascinating. He also highlights disparities in creative ways, particularly when talking about his mother, who is central to the book. He clearly loves her, and sees her for the complex, contradicting person she is.
Before reading this book, I was not at all familiar with Noah or his work, aside from watching a few YouTube clips from his reign at The Daily Show. But after reading, I would very much like to seek out his other work. He seems like a smart, self-aware guy who has overcome a lot in his life to be where he’s at. I will definitely be reading his second memoir, which is due out later this year. And definitely by audio.