Reviews

Laiton lapsi - Värikäs nuoruuteni Etelä-Afrikassa, by Trevor Noah

lian_tanner's review against another edition

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5.0

One of the most powerful books I have read for ages. Apart from being beautifully written, it tells the story of Noah's South African childhood with humour, grace and love. His mother shines through as an extraordinary woman.

cleffert's review against another edition

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funny informative inspiring fast-paced

4.0

res224's review against another edition

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5.0

I listened to this as an audiobook and I'm so glad I did. Trevor Noah is hilarious, and does accents PERFECTLY.Even though a lot of the stories are light-hearted and funny, many were difficult to listen to: hearing about the hardships in his life and the horrors and injustices of that period of South African history is of course not easy. Yet it is so necessary to both acknowledge and to remember it.

Noah combines an insightful overview of South African history and the novel's own contemporary climate with a funny and often heartwarming story of his childhood. One warning though - I wouldn't listen to the last chapter while going to sleep (I made this mistake). The best word I can use to describe it is harrowing.

One part of the novel that really struck me is his mum's role in the book - in a lot of ways, this book was about her and her bravery in resisting sexist and racist systems. His love for and admiration of his mother is tangible throughout the pages; the depths of her character also allows for a lot of dissection and discussion of the racism and sexism that was far too prevalent in her and Trevor's life.

I don't usually read autobiographies, and it was actually a lot of fun getting into something in which I don't usually immerse myself. I'm even tempted to start listening to the audiobook all over again!

catul001's review against another edition

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funny inspiring

5.0

sufernie's review against another edition

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emotional funny lighthearted reflective sad tense fast-paced

4.5

alienor's review against another edition

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5.0





FANTASTIC. Read my review on my blog.

worldshowcaseb's review against another edition

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5.0

Such an excellent read!! All the feels.

chelseamartinez's review against another edition

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5.0

I've mentioned before that sometimes it's really great to read the memoirs of comedians because they're used to mining and distilling personal experiences and to revise-revise-revising. This is true for this book even more than others that I can recall. Noah is an amazing writer and knows how to write for an American audience (which... I do think this is pitched at); revealing bit by bit in each chapter a South African experience that has parallels to the black/outsider experience in the US. I think this book could be illustrative to people who aren't motivated to read American authors of color; a general lack of familiarity with the realities of life under (and after) apartheid allows the reader to be more credulous of Noah's description of crime, the suburbs, domestic violence and therefore of its universality, even if, reading about the same issues in the US, they're already unsympathetic. Planning to buy a few copies to give to adult relatives, though it would be great for secondary school too I think.

elsiebrady's review against another edition

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4.0

Interesting perspective of apartheid from South African comedian. Sad, hilarious, serious and light!

nsb94's review against another edition

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emotional funny informative reflective medium-paced

5.0