Let’s be honest. CBR Bingo has been a boon, and a pill to swallow. I have read great things that I wouldn’t have because of it, but also maddeningly tried to shoehorn things I planned to read into these categories. Well, I am excited to share a trifecta of sorts! This is a book that I wanted to read, because I had friends rave about it, it is a selection of my local library book club, AND it fits into a bingo square! A number of them really, but I went with AWARD WINNER as it was nominated for 3 Audie Awards – Audiobook of the Year, Narration By Authors, and Autobiography/Memoir, and won in a fourth category of Male Narrator of the year. It is an accolade that is well-deserved.
I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of Trevor Noah before this book. I haven’t really watched the Daily Show much in a post-Jon Stewart landscape, but did see the occasional clip of Noah and thought he did solid work. But now, I’ve been converted and will sing the praises of this book, and its audio rendition, to anyone who will give me an opportunity.
I snagged the audio for my long commute knowing that Noah’s buttery accent was going to be good for the ears, but I didn’t anticipate just how essential hearing him tell his story would be for my enjoyment of this book. Do I think I would have enjoyed reading it in book format? You bet! He is a talented storyteller and has lived a fantastic life from hardship to success with incredible stories that tickle the funny bone and pull on the heartstrings, sometimes at the time time. However, there is such subtle nuance to the accents of the people in his life, his mother, father, stepfather, friends, etc that my American-born limited exposure to South Africa wouldn’t have grasped. Plus his comedic timing and delivery is masterful, what you would expect from a real professional. I definitely laughed out loud and one pivotal moment in a funny story had me, out loud, say, “Oh no…oh no…OH NO!!!” as I saw the conclusion ahead. I don’t want to give anything away but my two favorite stories were about shoplifting, and his friend named…Hitler. Oh, and basically, anytime he was talking about his mom. Basically, the whole book is my favorite story!
His book is equal parts memoir and a history of South Africa and he balances both parts adeptly and has created something funny, thought-provoking, and truly authentic. Anyone who asks me for an audiobook recommendation is getting this one.
Bonus: I just discovered that this is being optioned as a movie starring Lupita Nyong’o as Patricia, Noah’s mother. THAT IS EXCITING.