Born a Crime
4.57/5 by 10957 users

Born a Crime


The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story 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.

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.

Title:Born a Crime
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages

    Born a Crime Reviews

  • Petra Eggs
    Dec 04, 2016

    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, Whi...

  • Larry Hoffer
    Jan 11, 2017

    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...

  • Natalie
    Dec 28, 2016

    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 focus...

  • Margitte
    Jan 03, 2017

    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 re...

  • Iris P
    Jan 10, 2017

    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?l...

  • Esil
    Nov 28, 2016

    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 b...

  • Julie
    Dec 28, 2016

    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 read...

  • Barbara
    Dec 02, 2016

    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 i...

  • Tania
    Oct 12, 2016

    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 ...

  • Riley
    Jan 18, 2017

    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 ...