Christine's Reviews > Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
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Jun 25, 2017

it was amazing
bookshelves: africa, auto-biography, non-fiction, race-issues, gender-issues

What an incredible piece of writing this book is. Noah has filled Born a Crime with stories which are almost surreal (to a white first-worlder). As if that wasn't enough, he lards his writing with insightful observations on racism, poverty, classism, sexism, and human nature. As if it wasn't enough of a miracle that he exists, he rises above the circumstances of his poverty-stricken childhood to become an intelligent, well-known, and (hopefully) wealthy television personality. He stomped that cycle into the ground.

Noah gives credit where credit is due, however. He didn't achieve all this by his own will. His mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah, is a powerhouse of a woman who refuses to let anything stop her from achieving what she wants. She molds Trevor into a decent human being out of willpower and...well, beatings. Noah explains and excuses it, and has a wonderful relationship with his mother, but child abuse is a thing in this story. As is spousal abuse, gun violence, sexism, and the consistent abuse of power by the police. Apartheid is so much more horrifying than I could have guessed, and it left a legacy that influenced every person in the country. Noah keeps the book upbeat even while relating stories of being arrested, hustling pirated CDs, and navigating the discriminatory culture he was being raised in. Until the end of the book. The third segment gets progressively darker, chronicling his time in jail and his stepfather's abuse of Noah's mother, until it will be a wonder if you are not in tears. There's a happy ending, but trust me when I say you've got to walk across some hot coals to get to it. In my humble opinion, it was worth it. I'm glad I read this book.
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Reading Progress

June 19, 2017 – Started Reading
June 19, 2017 – Shelved
June 19, 2017 – Shelved as: africa
June 19, 2017 – Shelved as: auto-biography
June 19, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
June 19, 2017 – Shelved as: race-issues
June 19, 2017 –
page 51
16.78%
June 22, 2017 –
page 88
28.95%
June 24, 2017 –
page 227
74.67%
June 25, 2017 – Shelved as: gender-issues
June 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

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