Friday, March 23, 2018

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Goodreads Summary:

...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...

My Thoughts:

Wow! I cannot believe the childhood Trevor Noah had. Let's just say I couldn't even dream up half the stuff that happened to him. I loved getting to know more about him and his experiences growing up in Apartheid and how it played out after. He brings a lightness and charm to the stories.

The only thing that bothered me was the distance he had with his experiences. He didn't offer a lot of insight and kind of just let awful horrible stories drop without any sort of inspiration or insight. But maybe that's exactly what he intended to do. A more serious memoir/biography may happen in the future when he's willing to share more of how his experiences have truly affected him.

But overall, the stories are interesting and so heart-breaking. I listened to it on Audible and enjoyed him telling his own stories.


  1. We're reading this for book club this summer and I'm so looking forward to it!

  2. I had no idea that he came from such a hard childhood--I'm sure listening to this would be exceptional. Thanks for a good review--this is going on my list for a road trip!


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