REVIEW: Born a Crime

Born a CrimeTitle: Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Author: Trevor Noah

Series: none

Genre: Autobiography

Pages: 289

Edition Read: Paperback

Blurb: The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.


Finally going back and trying to catch up on some of my reviews. I finished this one back in July and it was so good! 

I’ve been a fan of Trevor’s ever since he took over hosting The Daily Show but didn’t really know that much about him. I also don’t usually read many biographies, but a friend of mine who happens to be from South Africa had bought a copy of this book and gave it to me. So this was an unexpected treat all around. I was absolutely fascinated by it. Trevor has really lived an amazing life, one that was so interesting to read about. I also never knew much about apartheid, other than it was bad, so I learned a lot about what life was like for the people who were affected by it.

One thing I really appreciated about the book was the balance between dealing with serious subject matter and humor. Trevor is a comedian, so you expect him to write a funny book, but there were so many sensitive topics covered too and he wrote that just as well. It was a difficult book to put down, that’s for sure. And while I didn’t listen to the audiobook, I have seen lots of reviews on GoodReads raving about it. Trevor does the narration himself and it sounds amazing. So if audiobooks are your thing, check that out.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars

Categories: Books I've Read

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