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Born a Crime

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  10,670 Ratings  ·  1,909 Reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Doubleday Canada
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  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
    Release date: Nov 15, 2016
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    Giveaway dates: Jan 18 - Feb 01, 2017

    Countries available: US

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    Angelique Don't let swearing be the reason why you won't read this book. His story is uplifting and full of wisdom and history. Don't deny yourself this book.

    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Larry Hoffer
    Jan 11, 2017 Larry Hoffer rated it really liked it
    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
    Petra Eggs
    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 cou
    Dec 28, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing
    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 crime in apartheid South Africa. Trevor was born to a w
    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 his mom for that. She was on his case, saving his
    Iris P
    Born a Crime

     photo trevor-noah-daily-show_zpswoii1b4c.jpg
    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 in 1984, Apartheid, the system that institutionalized segregation an
    Dec 26, 2016 Malia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: best-of-2016
    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 though you are there with him, experiencing his memori
    Jan 08, 2017 Marie rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: memoir, apartheid, essays
    “In any society built on institutionalized racism, race-mixing doesn’t merely challenge the system as unjust it reveals the system as unsustainable and incoherent. Race-mixing proves that races can mix – and in a lot of cases, want to mix. Because a mixed person embodies that rebuke to the logic of the system, race-mixing becomes a crime worse than treason.”

    There is so much to love about this collection of essays by Trevor Noah about his life growing up in South Africa. He was born during the
    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 book are insightful and heartfelt. I was already ...more
    Oct 12, 2016 Tania rated it really liked it
    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. I think I learned more about apartheid, as well
    Matthew Quann
    Dec 16, 2016 Matthew Quann rated it it was amazing
    Recommends it for: audiobook fans,
    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 the whole thing.

    Of course, then I began to see it p
    Dec 02, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it

    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 in 1984, to a white Swiss father and a black mothe
    Dec 18, 2016 Lorilin rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: own, memoir, arc, humor
    Trevor Noah is the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. When Jon Stewart announced that he was leaving the show last year, like most fans I was basically crushed. How could he leave?! And who was this Trevor kid? No, seriously, he looks like a baby. How can this child replace JON flippin' STEWART? But as I watched the new host settle into his role, I actually began to like him. No, he wasn't Jon Stewart--but he also wasn't trying to be. He brought a completely different flavor to the sh ...more
    Nov 28, 2016 Esil rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    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 can do justice to what makes this book so excellent. ...more
    Oct 25, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
    I have been a huge fan of The Daily Show for years. So, it was with some trepidation that I accepted the news that Trevor Noah was taking over for Jon Stewart. But he's done a great job of making the show his own. Based on what little I knew of his background, I was curious to read his autobiography.

    The books is as much history lesson as autobiography. Noah does a great job explaining apartheid and the issues facing South Africa. He uses his own experience to make you truly understand apartheid
    This book is a must-read/listen for every South African -- and also anyone interested in learning about African History!

    Listening to this story was like having Trevor Noah in my living room, sharing some tea and rusks. A brilliant tale of growing up during the Apartheid era - not something I was affected by - and the impact it had on his family and lifestyle. These are the anecdotes which should be shared with our youth so that they have perspective on how fortunate their lives are today.

    I can
    "Don't fight the system. Mock the system."

    Some days you'll find me binge-watching videos from the Tonight show with Trevor Noah for the simple reason that Trevor is one of the funniest comedians I discovered this year and his program always deals with such interesting topics in the lightest way possible. When I discovered that he had written a book I, of course, marked it as to be read as soon as I found it out. I already kinda knew the story of his life back in Africa because he always talks ab
    Jan 03, 2017 Debbie rated it it was amazing
    This is a phenomenal book
    Until reading this very book for some reason I have associated Memoirs and Biographies with people who are in the evening of their life or have suffered through some extremely horrific catastrophe. I don't know why. I think I just did. But this book actually makes me feel inspired to add more memoirs and biographies to my reading diet. After all, every life is full of experiences. Every experience has a story. We all have a lot to tell.

    I listened to the audio version
    Jan 10, 2017 Jessica rated it it was amazing
    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--which is at times heartbreaking and mindblowing--but also becaus
    Nov 30, 2016 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Trevor Noah was the only white kid in the black neighborhood, the only black kid in the white neighborhood, and the only mixed-race kid in the colored neighborhood. He didn't always know where he fit in, but he always knew who he was.

    Noah was born in South Africa while it was still under the system of apartheid. He is the product of a black woman from the Xhosa tribe and a white Swiss father, who broke the racial purity laws that could have landed them in jail for several years if their "crime"
    Dec 15, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
    Crap, I think I’m in love with Trevor Noah…

    (Look at his cheeky little face!)

    I didn’t have particularly high expectations for this. I always thought he was a good comedian who came across well on QI (a surprisingly difficult feat), and did some good stand-up, but I didn’t have any strong feelings about him.

    I was also of the opinion that no-one aged under fifty should publish a memoir (an opinion formed through reading I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot b
    Jan 16, 2017 Michael rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: best-memoirs
    I saw this book on the shelf,I read the beginning pages and couldn't put it down! The vivid scenes how Trevor dealth with racism is compelling. It is astounding how this book talks so much about African Americans living in the shadow of the dominant white group. I sympathize with him being biracial, based on his upbringing he didn't have the privileges as his peers did. The color of his skin dictated a lot of prejudice,ignorance and bitterness.

    Growing up in a religious household he didn't know m
    Kasa Cotugno
    Trevor Noah was handed what was probably the most challenging opportunity every afforded a performer — taking the helm from one of the most revered people on one of the most iconic television shows. Jon Stewart, so closely identified with The Daily Show, made a bold choice in Noah - a young comedian of mixed race from South Africa and thus virtually unknown to Daily Show viewers. Over the ensuing year, Noah has found his footing and through his charm, humor, and intelligent “reporting of the new ...more
    Joy (joyous reads)
    It is sometimes weird to see him at the desk where Jon Stewart used to slay conservative politicians and pundits alike. In all honesty, I’ve never really acclimated to seeing him there. I’m a big fan of Jon Stewart. He is the one who got me interested in American politics after all. Satire or not, The Daily Show was even more educational than any other cable news on air.

    When I learned that Stewart was quitting and was being replaced by this unknown comedian, I was saddened. Because I knew things
    Mary Lange
    Jan 10, 2017 Mary Lange rated it really liked it
    So many celebrity memoirs feel self-indulgent– not this one. Noah is a gifted storyteller who has lived so much life in his few years. I left this book feeling like I understood an experience outside of my own better than I did before starting it, which is the highest praise I can give to an excellently-done memoir.
    Dec 09, 2016 Mauzi rated it really liked it
    Shelves: rumour-has-it
    This was a really interesting read - I haven't really followed Trevor Noah in anything apart from TDS, so I was pretty much going in blind. What I loved about this was that it was written in his voice - as I was reading it, I could imagine Noah's voice narrating. He's funny, articulate - and most of all, real.
    Dec 18, 2016 K.N. rated it it was amazing

    This book could be my favorite this year... It's hard for me to comprehend that, as I've read quite a few really, really good books this year, but this one in particular was so informative and interesting and heartfelt and charming. I'm sure the audio version is amazing. I'll have to give it a listen sometime, maybe beg my local library to add it to their digital collection.

    I'm a fan of Trevor Noah. I think he's charming and intelligent, and I think he's done a good job on The Daily Show. I enjo
    Nov 21, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
    I'm sure we all miss Jon Stewart, when he left the Daily Show. And I, for one, had never heard of Trevor Noah, when he took over. He has a slightly different sense of humor than Jon did, and it took getting used to.

    So when I saw that he had a memoir out, I thought, cool, I can find out more about this man.

    And find out I did. This is an amazing memoir, espcially for Americans who have heard of Aprtaid, knew it exisited, knew there was a country called South Afirca, but that was about as much as t
    Sep 13, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
    *4.5 stars*

    First, go watch Trevor Noah. Then, read this in his voice. Such dark, anglo-humour that's sure to elicit laughs, gasps, and maybe even a few tears from around the Commonwealth.

    Because the Americans just won't get it. It hits a little too close to home for them.

    Also, as usual, the real hero of his life is his mother.
    Cristal {Slow Reader}
    Originally posted on Slow Reader's Blog

    Glorious. This book is absolutely glorious. I’m so in love right now, I can barely function. This memoir is unquestionable one of the most engaging books I’ve ever read, filled with such greatly vivid and riveting anecdotes, made more profound and unforgettable by the fact that they're true.

    I don’t watch The Daily Show, other than a few occasional clips on social media, and I never followed this guy before, so I decided to read this book solely because of t
    Jan 01, 2017 Camilla rated it really liked it
    This was quite the eye-opening book. Trevor Noah is a South African comedian who now hosts the Daily Show. I knew him as a comedian so I expected this book to be entertaining but it was so much more than that. If Trevor had never become famous in American culture, I still would have found this book to be absolutely fascinating. First of all, Trevor has a fantastic mastery of the English language and his writing is beautiful. He uses the absolute right word for everything he says, which allows me ...more
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    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    South African Boo...: * Born a Crime (Spoilers) 2 21 Jan 18, 2017 01:52PM  
    Play Book Tag: Born a Crime - 5 stars 8 18 Jan 15, 2017 10:10PM  
    If you like Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, who else would you recommend? 4 37 Jan 15, 2017 04:51PM  
    South African Boo...: Born a Crime (No Spoilers) 2 10 Dec 22, 2016 01:09AM  
    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.
    More about Trevor Noah...

    Share This Book

    “We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.” 57 likes
    “Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.” 47 likes
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