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 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.The Eighteen Personal Essays Collected Here Are By Turns Hilarious, Dramatic, And Deeply Affecting Whether Subsisting On Caterpillars For Dinner During Hard Times, Being Thrown From A Moving Car During An Attempted Kidnapping, Or Just Trying To Survive The Life And Death Pitfalls Of Dating In High School, Trevor Illuminates His Curious World With An Incisive Wit And Unflinching Honesty His Stories Weave Together To Form A Moving And Searingly Funny Portrait Of A Boy Making His Way Through A Damaged World In A Dangerous Time, Armed Only With A Keen Sense Of Humor And A Mother S Unconventional, Unconditional Love Penguinrandomhouse.caBorn a Crime

Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, television and radio host and actor He currently hosts The Daily Show, a late night television talk show on Comedy Central.

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  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • Born a Crime
  • Trevor Noah
  • English
  • 25 March 2018
  • 9780385689229

10 thoughts on “Born a Crime

  1. says:

    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 savaged by critics and fans in his first few days on the job, I kept hoping he d be able to tough it out and show the stuff comedic and otherwise of which he was made.After reading Born a Crime Stories from a South African Childhood , I realize that I needn t have worried about Trevor Noah For a child growing up in South Africa in the last days of, and the tumult following apartheid, he faced crises far greater than dissatisfied fans And if he could be raised during such a crazily illogical time in a country where violence, racism, and mistreatment went unreported than caught the media s eye, he d have no problem skewering the insanity of our political system, especially leading into the election of 2016 On February 20, 1984, my mother checked into Hillbrow Hospital for a scheduled C section delivery Estranged from her family, pregnant by a man she could not be seen with in public, she was alone The doctors took her up to the delivery room, cut open her belly, and reached in and pulled out a half white, half black child who violated any number of laws, statutes, and regulations I was born a crime Born to a black Xhosa mother and a white Swiss father, Noah literally spent his earliest days hiding indoors His parents, who never married, couldn t be seen together, and because his mother looked so different than he did, she couldn t walk through the streets with him, because at any moment someone might accuse her of kidnapping another person s child Yet while their lives dealt with crushing poverty, violence, and racism from all sides, his deeply religious mother never let anything bother her, or stop her from raising her son to know he was loved, and to know that he truly could accomplish anything he wanted, despite all of the obstacles in his way She taught me to challenge authority and question the system The only way it backfired on her was that I constantly challenged and questioned her Born a Crime provides a first hand account of the last days of apartheid and its aftermath, and what it was like to grow up as a mixed race child, where he wasn t white enough to be considered white, nor was he black enough to be considered black While at times this had its advantages, for the most part, it left him on the outside looking in, having to handle everything on his own, fight his own battles, struggle to find people who genuinely liked him for who he was and not the novelty of his skin color, and rebel against a mother who only wanted him to behave.If you go into this book expecting to laugh hysterically because of Noah s day job, think again While the book does include some of the wry humor that has begun endearing him to fans, this is an emotional, brutal, and educational story of a life which flourished despite the odds stacked against it This is a book about growing up in a culture of poverty and crime, and how easy it was to get caught up in that, especially when it was one of the only ways to make money and be able to feed, clothe, and enjoy yourself It s also a book about fear, how it motivates you, how it paralyzes you, and how it threatens to take away the one thing you cherish than any other.More than anything, though, this is a book about the unwavering love of a mother for a child she chose to have She knew it would be difficult raising her son in the age of apartheid, and in fact, she had no idea when he was born that it would end anytime soon But Noah was a remarkable child, and while he exasperated, frightened, and upset his mother from time to time, she knew he would accomplish great things one day as soon as he stopped putting cornrows in his hair and hanging out with those awful hoodlums he called friends.I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about apartheid, which I really didn t know much about Noah is a good writer, and delivered his narrative much as I ve heard him deliver his lines on The Daily Show This is a funny, thought provoking, and emotional book, although I felt that some of his anecdotes went on a little too long, while others didn t go on long enough I also would have liked to have learned how he went from his upbringing in South Africa to one day hosting an acclaimed television show other than passing mentions of things he did, I have no idea how he made the leap.I ve heard some people say that the audio version of this book is brilliant because Noah reads it himself, but if you read the print digital version, you can still hear his voice through his words Noah s story is a lesson of the inequities of the past, and a warning for what is still possible to happen again in our world But this isn t heavy handed it s fun, insightful, and very compelling.See all of my reviews at and see my list of the best books I read in 2016 at

  2. says:

    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 put this book down There are many moments of comedy gold that come across even better on audio, but still drew out loud laughter when I read them in print and lots of insight into what it was like growing up in South Africa under the later years of apartheid, and after its collapse which I prefer reading in print so I can take my time to appreciate the gravity of the issues.Trevor Noah covers a lot of serious issues like colonialism, apartheid, being an outsider, religion, education, gender roles and He talks about how his mother who comes across as the rugged heroine of his story played the system well to get her illegal colored child into better schools and neighborhoods, and how this often led to him having difficulty fitting in I learned things that, though perhaps not surprising, were horrifying, such as how police refused to file charges in cases of domestic violence because they sympathized with the husband It s a book about important issues in a country that has, throughout history, largely been portrayed through the eyes of white journalists and writers, but it s also such a warm, lovable, funny book in many ways Born a Crime is the perfect blend of sociopolitical discussion and a personal tale of family, friendship and first crushes It is written as a series of short essays, each around a certain theme and not in chronological order, but this actually makes it all easier to digest Noah s writing is so engaging that I would think just one essay until suddenly a hundred pages had gone by and I realized I might be addicted.Definitely one of the best memoirs I ve ever read.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  3. says:

    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 these things are extraordinary in this world,Who could perform rap at a Jewish school to a wildly enthusiastic audience and create deadening silence in one second asking respect for Hitler Repeatedly I m not going to spoil this one It s a brilliant story, very funny, and sadly critical too Two worlds collide, black and white, and neither understand why the other is so offended view spoiler If you d really like to know and aren t going to read the book, IM me hide spoiler

  4. says:

    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 he was born any mixed race relationships were illegal I was instantly intrigued by his story, not only because of this unique perspective but also because he is such a wonderful storyteller.I do think the chronology of the book was a bit strange at times one chapter would be from his childhood and then the next would jump to his teen years, and back And at the end of each chapter there was always a short snippet that completely changed directions and had pretty much nothing to do with the previous chapter maybe in the physical copy of the book that section is identifiably set apart.Nonetheless, this was a great listening experience, one that was enlightening, hilarious, heartbreaking, frustrating and well told Would highly recommend.

  5. says:

    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 .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 crime in apartheid South Africa 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 This memoir 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.Side note Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah his mother was a powerhouse, a strong woman in every sense She s a warrior and I only wish I could be a half of the person she is Also, I love the advice she gave her son I even wrote a few pieces down to remember Abel wanted a traditional marriage with a traditional wife For a long time I wondered why he ever married a woman like my mom in the first place, as she was the opposite of that in every way If he wanted a woman to bow to him, there were plenty of girls back in Tzaneen being raised solely for that purpose The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women He s attracted to independent women He s like an exotic bird collector, she said He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage This passage had pretty much changed the way I think, the way I precept the world She d tell me not to worry She always came back to the phrase she lived by If God is with me, who can be against me She was never scared Even when she should have been The piece stuck with me.Truly though, this memoir was enlighten, brimming with emotion, and I love it when children pay tribute to their hard working mothers There was no stepfather in the picture yet, no baby brother crying in the night It was me and her, alone There was this sense of the two of us embarking on a grand adventure She d say things to me like, It s you and me against the world I understood even from an early age that we weren t just mother and son We were a team My mind and heart were fully transported while reading everything Trevor went through to get to where he is today and everyone that took part of that journey.And even though some of the stories kind of broke my heart, Trevor Noah always managed to bring in his gold humor to ease the tension There are a couple of chapters that have taken a hold of my soul and won t let go because either they were extremely hilarious TREVOR, PRAY LOOPHOLES or entirely heart shattering MY MOTHER S LIFE or both.Slowly and surely, I came to admire Trevor Noah s character and honesty even than I did before And I m pretty sure that I ll end up watching and rewatching his stand up shows so that I can stop tearing up at the mention of his name ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.5 5 stars Note I m an Affiliate If you re interested in buying Born a Crime, just click on the image below to go through my link I ll make a small commission Support creators you love Buy a Coffee for nat bookspoils with Ko fi.com bookspoils This review and can be found on my blog.

  6. says:

    4.5 5Trevor Noah was a great narrator and had the ability to turn the grimmest of experiences into smart, exciting stories If this book interests you, I urge you to listen to the audiobook It was fascinating learning about his life growing up as a mixed race child in pre and post Apartheid South Africa Though I learned vague facts about Apartheid in high school history classes, this was the best lesson I ve had on the subject.The book skips around non chronologically, which confused me at times as he introduces aspects of his earlier years later on in the story, but I remained captivated I was so into it that, instead of working on the paper that s due soon or studying for my upcoming exam, I read this book in less than 24 hours Worth it I will say that this probably could have been a tad shorter as he has the tendency to repeat and over explain aspects, but I highly enjoyed it nonetheless.

  7. says:

    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, abuse, Religious upbringing, crazy chaotic living conditions, a powerhouse one of kind mother.Trevor is a thriving survivor We also get an excellent intimate understanding..of the rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the non white population.from the direct experience of Noah being born in South Africa during the laws of apartheid.A child who was often guided to play indoors, hiding , a positive lifetime result today is that Trevor says he can sit and enjoy his own company for days on out He is never bored sadness of course tragic times horrific injustice..but Trevor Noah is warm charming filled with love and light Funny too

  8. says:

    The author is very charismatic and if you re going to read this book, I would recommend the audiobook since he narrates it

  9. says:

    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 South Africa I also learned some gross facts like the poorest of people eat worms At one point he and his family were so poor that they were eating them Yuck Trevor had me laughing Trevor had me crying Highly recommended to fans of his and or people who just want to learn about life in South Africa during apartheid Great book

  10. says:

    This is great I wasn t sure that I wanted to read it A celebrity memoir by a mixed race guy who was born in South Africa under apartheid didn t sound like it would be a smart, funny, and charming pleasure to read, but it is Not that he minimizes the circumstances, but there fact than lamentation It s a shame about those people who don t enjoy audiobooks His performance adds to fantastic storytelling.The stories from his childhood reminded me of something Art Linkletter said about the children chosen for the Kids Say the Darndest Things segment of his show It asked the dear teachers to give us the four children they would most like to have out of the class for a few blessed hours The teachers would laugh and send me the rascals Not that that little Trevor was a bad kid, he is just one of those people that belong on a stage He was a bit conflicted when exhorted to pray for God to kill the demon who had done the bad thing Dear Lord, please protect us, um, you know, from whoever did this, like, we don t know what happened exactly and maybe it was a big misunderstanding and, you know, maybe we shouldn t be quick to judge when we don t know the whole story and, I mean, of course you know best, Heavenly Father, but maybe this time it wasn t actually a demon, because who can say for certain, so maybe cut whoever it was a break I love his mother Patricia Nombuyiselo NoahWhile this is Trevor s story, but it very much a loving tribute to her.

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