born-a-crime-4Synopsis “Born a Crime is the deeply personal story of what has shaped Trevor Noah, South African comedian and host of the Daily Show. An astonishing memoir that details growing up in the midst of a crumbling apartheid, it illuminates his unique vantage point and how it prepared him for a life in the public eye. This is a sharply humorous, engaging and unforgettable record of Noah’s life and at its heart, a love letter to his remarkable mother. The compelling, inspiring (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah was born a crime, son of 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 first 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, take him away. A collection of 18 personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life. 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, Noah illuminates his curious world with incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah’s own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must-listen.

My Review

This book has been recommended to me numerous times over the years by book bloggers and a very good friend. I tried the audible sample ages ago, but it didn’t grab me, until now.ย 

Before listening to this the only thing I really knew about Trevor Noah was a few funny clips on YouTube about Trump and Elon Musk. I have since listening to this seen part of his Netflix stand up shows and they’re very good too.

I loved the stories from his childhood and adolescence, the way he and his mother used to argue and banter. There’s a really funny story about a trip to the supermarket and a toffee apple. It shocked me, but also made me laugh out loud at the way his mother treated him, but also I was quite impressed. Just like this story this book is full of contradictions and eye-opening situations.

It’s not all hilarious though, as he recounted numerous accounts of racism in apartheid South Africa, and the domestic violence his mother and family experienced at the hands of his stepfather. Be warned as it could be triggering for you.

I highly recommend this on audio if you enjoy humourous memoirs read by the author.