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Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

2016 . Non-fiction, Biography, Memoir . Trevor Noah

9.4

Everyone

About the book

4.5/5.0

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.

Featured on:

Year:

2016

Language:

English

Publisher:

Doubleday Canada

Pages:

288

ISBN:

0385689225 (ISBN13: 9780385689229)

Reviews

Melissa Sturgis

2 days ago

10

Love this guy, and much more now after reading this book- what an incredible life he led in S. Africa during Apartheid- the book really takes you there yourself, and it was so much worse than we heard about. He overcame huge odds but you have to read it to believe it.

Rohan Dash

1 month ago

10

Amazing perspective on society. Everyone should read this book

2 Comments

Markus Marañon Straarup

1 month ago

9

Fantastic biography! It expertly mixes humour with very serious topics. I had no idea what Trevor Noah had gone through growing up. I almost feel like there could be sequel that explains how he conquered hollywood - I bet there are some funny stories...

2 Comments

Lauren Carter

1 month ago

10

Not finished, but love it so far.

Morten V Schroeder

1 month ago

9

Incredible biography that I got through in just 2 weeks. I had no idea what an absolutely crazy life Trevor Noah had. The book has this uncanny ability to shed light on extremely tough subjects like racism, domestic violence, poverty, social class, etc. and at the same time be really, really funny. I learned a lot about Apartheid in South Africa and also what it was like growing up colored in South Africa (In the book colored is used to mean mix of Black and White). Trevor Noah's discussion of how he always struggled to 'fit in' is really interesting! Only critique (and hence the 9 and not the 10) is that I was left wanting more in the end, and it felt slightly unfinished. He never actually discusses how we went from poor to famous, and I missed that part in the end. Highly recommend to anyone! Do yourself a favor and listen to it on Audible! It is narrated by Trevor himself in his beautiful South African accent and he speaks a lot of African languages too so his impersonation of different characters is AMAZING - especially his mom ❤️

3 Comments

Nicklas Kongsgaard

1 year ago

10

Incredible book. Each chapter has a deeper point about (post) Apartheid, told through funny (and at times sad) stories from his life.

1 Comment

Natalie Janaszczyk

1 month ago

10

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Anders Thorup-Jensen

1 year ago

9