Thursday, May 13, 2021

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Book Review

Book Reviews


“Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”

By Trevor Noah Spiegel & Grau Nov. 15, 2016 $28 304 pages

By Trevor Noah
Spiegel & Grau
Nov. 15, 2016
304 pages

While it may be hard to imagine a 33 year old having lived enough to fill a memoir, Daily Show Host Trevor Noah’s, Born a Crime, describes more than most of us will ever experience. Born to a native African mother and a European father at a time when sexual relations between blacks and whites were illegal in South Africa, Noah was literally born a crime. As a small child, he could not be seen in public with both his parents.

Despite a childhood of crushing poverty and abuse, Noah’s smart, strong and stoic mother emerges as his savior. She raised him with tough love but Noah clearly focuses on her love. What distinguishes Noah’s story of a young person who succeeds in spite of a dysfunctional childhood is the fascinating look at post-apartheid South Africa and the humor he manages to inject into an otherwise wrenchingly sad story.

— Review by Sally Wisdom


Prep Iowa




“Broken River”

By J. Robert Lennon Graywolf Press May 16, 2017 $16 240 pages

By J. Robert Lennon
Graywolf Press
May 16, 2017
240 pages

Karl, a philandering sculptor, his wife Eleanor, a novelist, and their daughter Irina move from New York City to Broken River, a small town in upstate New York. The hope is that it will rekindle their marriage, and, in the case of Karl, revive his failing art career. The house they move into was the scene of a double homicide years previous and had since remained vacant. The murders become an obsession of both Eleanor and Irina, and they become part of an active online forum on Cybersleuths, dedicated to discussing the murders, each ignorant to the fact that the other is participating. The scope evolves overtime as more characters are roped in. There is Sam whom Irina meets at a Dairy Queen and is convinced is the surviving daughter of the couple murdered years ago; Louis, a carpet salesman and witness to the murders; and the Observer, a ghostlike being that is witness to each strand of this ever-tangling web. “Broken River” is unique in its blend of thrilling plot and comedic prose, a reader’s delight.

— Review by Hunter Gillum




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