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Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
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Archive: Other Books > Born a Crime by Trevor Noah -- 5 stars + ♥

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message 1: by Nicole R (last edited Feb 04, 2017 04:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
5 stars + ♥

Celebrities take note: This is how you write a compelling memoir. This is not a superficial account of fame and Hollywood, stories about other famous people or pounding the pavement begging for jobs in commercials until the big break.

Trevor Noah is open and honest about his life growing up in South Africa, sharing stories that others would probably rather leave buried. He talks about how poor his family was, his abusive step-father, and his life of petty crime as a young man.

But, most of all he talks about what it was like being colored (half black, half white) in apartheid South Africa. How he lived outside both white and black classes, never fitting in either place. In addition, he didn't really fit in with the coloreds either. He presented himself more in alignment with the white class -- spoke english, went to white churches, attended private school on a voucher -- but identified with the black class -- he always lived in black communities because that is where his mom was allowed to live.

Noah's childhood was not the stuff of fairy tales. It was hard, but he tells it with humor, imbuing each story with a love of his mother despite their differences and a love of his country despite its blemishes.

I loved every word of this book. Listening to it narrated by Noah was the icing on the cake. It is only February but I can easily see this being in my top ten of 2017.


message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen | 1545 comments Yay! I thought you would love it. It was a 4.5-star and a heart for me.


Jennifer Pope (jenjunum) | 902 comments I think most celebrities just aren't that interesting.... Looking forward to reading this one.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

So glad you liked the audio version, Nicole. I am looking forward to listening to it soon.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments Nikki D made the comment that it is not told chronologically, which really bothered her.

He talked about major events in his life in a quasi-chronological manner, but to really tell that story, he had to explain the backstory which may have started decades before. It did make it a little confusing at times but I just kind of let that aspect go.

I hope that Noah publishes more memoirs; I would love to hear more about his young professional life in South Africa.


Ladyslott | 1880 comments I thought you would like it, I loved it too. I think that the audio is the way to go with this book. Trevor's narration was great and hearing him speak so many different African languages was a bonus.


message 7: by Karin (last edited Feb 06, 2017 10:22AM) (new) - added it

Karin | 7198 comments Nicole R wrote: "Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
5 stars + ♥

Celebrities take note: This is how you write a compelling memoir. This is not a superficial account of fame and Hollywood,..."


ANOTHER book for my tbr by mistake. Once again, I thought I could handle this Very High Rating of yours thinking that that title might be a romance. This sounds very interesting. I have a a niece and a nephew plus some cousins of mixed race, although none live where it isn't legal, and one looks white (she's 1/4 Filipino).

One more positive thing I learned about South Africa, I think from AJ but could be mistaken, is that people sing on buses and all over the place, and even play singing games. I'd love to live somewhere where no one would look at me strangely if I suddenly start singing (even if quietly). Plus, I love singing games.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6002 comments Oh, I'm definitely looking for this one on audio, then!


Nicole D. | 1490 comments I love him as a person, but his humor has never resonated with me, which is weird. So maybe that's what it is. Glad you liked it, I thought you would. I feel mean.


message 10: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments Man, finally putting this one on the TBR.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments Nicole wrote: "I love him as a person, but his humor has never resonated with me, which is weird. So maybe that's what it is. Glad you liked it, I thought you would. I feel mean."

You are not mean. I think it took a bit for him to hit his stride and part of my love comes from how much I like his take on the election/transition/first 100 days.


Jenni Elyse (jenni_elyse) | 1365 comments I'm glad to hear you liked this. I love Trevor Noah and his memoir is one I've considered reading.


anarresa | 279 comments He did a great interview on The Ezra Klein Show. The interview covered a lot, it might be worth it for someone mildly interested to devote an hour of listening before reading the full book. Beware, Klein always asks his guests to recommend three books everyone should read.


Tracy (tstan) | 1207 comments I'm listening to this right now. There have been many times I've startled my poor dogs with my laughter! What an honest story so far!


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