I had heard that this book by Trevor Noah was amazing on audio, but since it’s an Audible exclusive, my library couldn’t get it. Fortunately, my brother got me a one-year subscription to Audible and I lost no time using my first credit to download this audiobook.
It’s as fabulous as everyone says it is.
Not only is Noah a great storyteller and a great narrator (after all, he has spent years honing his comedic timing), but he also includes several discussions about the various languages spoken in South Africa and his fluency with them, making it worth the price of the audiobook just to hear him pronounce those languages. Granted, I didn’t actually pay the price of the audiobook, but you get my point.
Noah grew up very, very poor, but with a mother who loved him and worked her butt off to get him all the advantages she could, including making sure English was his primary language, since, as Noah put it, it’s the language of money.
Noah is very smart and very perceptive. He has stories about his friend, Hitler, and explains why black people who are actively being repressed by white people don’t see anything wrong with naming their child after a dictator who commit genocide against another group of white people. He points out that they tend to be much more scared of white colonizers who committed genocide against indigenous people, but those particular oppressors never seem to get mentioned in the white history books, except to be praised for “discovering” these “new” lands and “civilizing” the natives.
Noah also talks about his brief career as a criminal, and how a) he was so poor that he needed help from someone less poor in order to get the equipment he needed to start his business, and b) poor people aren’t picky about making sure their jobs are legal when there are so few legal jobs available to them, and even fewer legal jobs available to them that actually pay a living wage.
I haven’t watched much of The Daily Show, either with John Stewart or Trevor Noah, but from what I did see of the show with John Stewart, he is an incredibly smart, perceptive man. I was astounded to hear that he wooed Noah into taking the show instead of the other way around. It seemed incredible that a relatively obscure comedian from South Africa should be so lucky as to have an opportunity like that just drop in his lap, and he is extremely lucky, but I get it now. Noah has the same razor-sharp wit that Stewart has, and he’s not afraid to use that wit to cut at the people in power, making him Stewart’s ideal replacement.
If you haven’t already checked out this audiobook, I highly recommend doing so because it’s amazing.
What did you read/listen to this week? Anything else you’d been wanting to get to for a while?