Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime New York Times bestseller about 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 priso...

Details Born a Crime

TitleBorn a Crime
Release DateNov 15th, 2016
PublisherDoubleday Canada
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Audiobook

Reviews Born a Crime

  • Emily May
    This was fantastic.Born a Crime, at over six months, is the longest library hold I've ever waited for. Normally, if I hadn't already lost interest by that point, I'd just break down and buy it, but I'm generally not a big memoir reader, so I was reluctant to spend money on a book I wasn't sure would be my thing. Well, I've ended up buying it anyway. And my husband and I are currently laughing our way through the audio version, too.I just couldn't...
  • Larry H
    I'd rate this 4.5 stars.I was really surprised when Trevor Noah was named Jon Stewart's successor on The Daily Show . I inherently knew that they wouldn't pick someone with a sense of humor and style identical to Stewart's, but I felt that Noah was so different that his selection meant the show would have a really different feel, which might not appeal to long-time fans of the show. But I always root for the underdog, so as he was getting savage...
  • Petra X
    These stories, beautifully written, are set in a world quite like our own but at the same time utterly different. Maybe "through a glass darkly". Who goes to church three times on Sunday to Black, White and Coloured ones? Who goes to jail for (not) stealing a car rather than face the wrath of his mother? Who gets a prom date with the most beautiful girl around, but one who doesn't speak the language and is extremely unsociable to boot? None of th...
  • Maxwell
    If you're going to read this book, definitely listen to the audio version. Trevor Noah is one of the most effortless narrators I've ever listened to. It genuinely feels like he is sitting down with you and telling you his life story. Not only that, but you get to learn quite a bit about pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa from the perspective of someone who hypothetically shouldn't exist. Noah's mother is black and his father is white, and when ...
  • Nat
    Before I start my review, I want to take a minute to praise Trevor Noah's stand up shows because they're one of the few that don't rely on being ignorant. His shows are one of the enlighten ones focusing on race, white-privilege, police brutality, hate speech, prejudice, and so much more.I’d highly recommend watching a few before reading this riveting memoir. In Born a Crime, Trevor Noah takes us on a journey from his childhood being born a cri...
  • Elyse
    An audiobook *treasure*! Trevor is a likable! A charming- guy!!! Listening to him speak is almost magnetic. Being thrown out of a car? By his own mother? OUCH! Trevor had my attention in the palm of his hands. The ongoing - ongoing - and ONGOING ....dramatic stories Trevor shares about his childhood --were life lesson building blocks. Trevor did the building!! He used every life experience to his advantage-- and that's extraordinary! Poverty, abu...
  • Jennifer Masterson
    Five HUGE Stars for Trevor Noah's book! Believe the hype! I absolutely loved it. I listened to the audio. Trevor narrates his stories of growing up in South Africa. I highly recommend the audio version. He made this book come to life with his narration. This would actually make a good first listen.I just became a fan recently of his and thought I'd give the book a shot. I'm so happy I did! I learned a lot about apartheid and I learned a lot about...
  • Margitte
    An amazing story of a young man and his mother who went around the block a few times and beat the odds. Despite a few inaccuracies in his tale, it remains a well-told story that kept me reading and reading until the very end. Trevor Noah has that intelligent kindness like an astral light around him. He has that look of wisdom and experience in his eyes which allow people to like and want to listen to him. He is a gentle soul. I guess he can thank...
  • paulie
    4.477 stars for a book that has so much humour in it, humour in times where things were anything but funny, the last twelve pages broke me - i'm still broken as i'm writing this. i will put it in a spoiler so as to not ruin the experience if you choose. (view spoiler)[ trevor's mom was shot in the face by her husband/his stepdad (hide spoiler)]. it's a sad story/situation in general, but this ish hit me hard and i was unsure just why exactly. t...
  • Iris P
    Born a Crime Funny guy- The very charming Trevor Noah********************************************* "People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing." Trevor Noah*********************************************By the time Trevor Noah was born ...
  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    Once again, I decided to read something from the non-fiction/biography genres. Partly because I adore Trevor Noah as a person. Partly because I love Trevor Noah's voice & appreciate when authors tell their own stories, both fictional and non-fictional. & Partly because I want to try and get more comfortable with reads like this that are outside of my normal realm. In this Trevor tells many stories from his childhood in South Africa. He is funny, ...
  • Montzalee Wittmann
    Born a Crime Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah is such an interesting look into the life of a talented young man. I am a big fan of Trevor and watched his special on Netflix where he speaks of his life growing up but this goes into so much detail, it is stunning all that this guy goes through and is not a bitter man. He describes the horrible laws and society he is born into and the way he is looked at in his society. How he t...
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI consider myself an unofficial expert on celebrity memoirs. I haven't read all of them (although I would like to - even the stupid ones, because I am incredibly nosy and devour celebrity gossip the way other people devour Dorritos or fake news), but I've read a fair amount, and they usually follow a typical narrative arc. In BORN A CRIME, Trevor Noah takes that arc, flattens it out, and beat...
  • Malia
    I was lucky to see Trevor Noah speak about this book recently, and the way he talked about his story, and his life growing up in South Africa made me all the more eager to read it! The book is a cohesive collection of stories from his childhood and early adulthood, and though I am not typically a reader of much non-fiction, I found this book truly compelling and hard to put down!Noah has a way of really drawing you in, and making you feel as thou...
  • Diane
    I really liked this book about Trevor Noah's childhood in South Africa. I listened to this on audio, narrated by the comedian himself, and I appreciated his frank storytelling. I enjoyed his memories of his mother and grandmother, and the details of the various scrapes he got into as a kid. It was especially enlightening hearing what his mother went through just to be able to see his father, who was Swiss. Because interracial relationships were f...
  • Matthew Quann
    The only thing I knew about Trevor Noah prior to this audiobook was his status as host of The Daily Show, a show that I don't watch. Also, celebrity autobiographies: not really my thing (barring the odd exception). But that title demands curiosity: how can someone be born a crime? So, I picked up the book in a bookstore, read the dust jacket, and thought Hey, this seems like it might be good. I then put the book down and promptly forgot about th...
  • Taryn
    Trevor Noah is a South African comedian who currently hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Born a Crime is about growing up in South Africa: living under apartheid when his existence was evidence of a crime, life after apartheid, the deep bond between a mother and son, the unique challenges of growing up mixed race, and living with an abusive stepfather. It's filled with humor and biting social commentary, but the main words that describe this...
  • Sam
    Overall, Born a Crime is a fascinating story, but the loose editing and too casual a writing style meant it lacked narrative cohesion for me, so it's a solid 3 star review. Trevor Noah's childhood memoir definitely showcases his fresh, witty perspective and provide a lot of history and context of life under apartheid and life just after the end of apartheid, from a macro level of the forces and powers at work and warring against each other, to th...
  • Julie
    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah is a 2016 Spiegel & Grau publication. I’ve been a fan of Trevor Noah since he started hosting ‘The Daily Show’, but after reading this book, I’m an even bigger fan. I admit I know virtually nothing about South Africa other than the absolute obvious, like what is reported in the news. So, Trevor gives readers like myself a bit of a history and a maybe a civics lesson too, ...
  • Jessica
    Within the first twenty pages of this book, I regretted just two days earlier writing the sentence “Trevor Noah, while smart and funny, doesn't feel like a must-watch” while lamenting how much I miss Jon Stewart.This is perhaps the most remarkable celebrity memoir I’ve ever read. I am a hyperbolic person by nature, but I’m really hard pressed to remember one that’s made this big an impression on me. Not just because of the content--whic...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This was very enjoyable in audio, and I'm not sure what my experience would have been in print. Trevor Noah writes about his childhood growing up "colored" in South Africa, which you will learn, as a reader to this book, how that is different from white or black or Indian. Despite studying apartheid in school (or so I thought) I had no clear concept of the complexity of the system, intentionally designed to put people at odds with one another. Tr...
  • Esil
    4 high stars. I had no idea who comedian Trevor Noah was, but there were enough rave reviews about his book Born a Crime to make me curious. I'm so glad I read it. Noah was born in South Africa just before the end of Apartheid. His mother is black and his father was white, and given the times in which he was born, he was literally "born a crime" as a mixed race kid. His book focuses on his early years growing up in South Africa. I'm not sure I ca...
  • Barbara
    4.5 stars Trevor Noah, a comedian and the current host of 'The Daily Show' is a very funny guy.....and I expected this memoir to be full of witty jokes. It's not. The book is about Trevor growing up in South Africa when apartheid was coming to an end. Apartheid and it's aftermath left the impoverished black population of South Africa with hard lives and few opportunities. Nevertheless, Trevor infuses his story with hope and humor.Trevor was born ...
  • Riley
    This was so fascinating! I loved learning about what it was like to grow up in South Africa. Trevor is such a good storyteller. I was so captivated by everything he said. And he was able to turn very tough experiences into funny stories. I highly recommend listening to this on audio as Trevor narrates it himself and does a fantastic job!
  • Emma
    Intensely personal, moving, and funny, Trevor Noah has offered us a taste of what it was like to live under apartheid. More than that, he has opened his family and himself to our gaze. While he does talk about racism and politics, this book is about his family, him and his mother especially. I listened to this as an Audible production, read by Trevor, and it made the whole experience that much more real to me. He makes it feel like he's talking t...
  • Tania
    I became a chameleon. My color didn't change, but I could change your perception of my color.I really wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Imagine being born from a black mother and a white father in a country where interracial relationships were against the law. This would mean that because you are colored you could not be seen with both of your parents (or they with each other) or stay in the same area as them...
  • Chrissie
    ETA: The more I think about this book after having finished it, the more annoyed I become. I have changed my rating to one star. I did not like this book. What tipped the balance for me is the "Go Hitler" chant. The author's explanation was not adequate and I found the whole episode inappropriately drawn. ******************I was perpetually annoyed while reading this book. Perhaps this is my own fault. I misunderstood what its central focus was t...
  • Didi
    OMG! This has got to be the BEST audiobook I've listened to all year. Trevor Noah reads his life story with passion, gusto, and unflinching accuracy. As a listener the best thing is to hear all the names and languages pronounced correctly, as well as hearing the way he imitates his family members. Touching, humorous, and sad, Trevor Noah finds exactly the right words to talk about poverty, the hatred of apartheid, but most of all the love he has ...
  • PattyMacDotComma
    UPDATE May 2017 I've added a P.S. regarding the use of the name "Hitler"4.5★I began reading this as a memoir rather than a series of separate essays, and I think that was my mistake, not the author’s. There’s not a defined timeline from childhood through adolescence and beyond, so I sometimes wasn’t sure how old he was when certain incidents happened.As it turns out, it doesn’t really matter. This is a difficult story for me, a privileg...