Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah


If you guys haven’t heard of Trevor Noah, he hosts The Daily Show. He is a South African comedian, and although I don’t really watch his show I decided to pick up his book. Truth is my mom watches his show quite a bit and she listened to the book on audio and loved it, so that is actually when I decided to give it a try.

Not a ton I can say about the plot since it is a memoir. Trevor talks about growing up in South Africa and about his mom and his family. He was born during the apartheid, and his father is white, which means him being born was quite literally a crime.

I really enjoyed this book. It is dealing with some very real issues that he dealt with growing up, and yet he is still able to keep it light. I loved the early stories when he is talking about his mom: she is awesome, and doesn’t put up with shit from anyone. And she definitely had her hands full with Trevor growing up. He was a little trouble maker growing that is for sure. Some of the stuff he was up to was hilarious, and others probably not the best role model. Realistically if his mom wrote a book I would be all over that. She is funny and strong and I loved reading about her.

It was really interesting for me to read about the apartheid from the point of view of a black South African. Also since he grew up while it was changing he described all the changes he saw in the country, and I guess the lack of change as well. It’s hard to change people’s opinions of what is right; changing the law doesn’t solve all the problems. He talks about the prejudice when he was a kid. He was not black but he wasn’t white either. He was stuck in this weird in between area, and it took him a while to figure out his own identity.

This book is very serious but at times very funny too. If you have any interest in learning about South Africa and the apartheid, then this is the book for you. As I mentioned my mom listened to the audiobook and she loved it. I can see that for sure he is a funny guy (he would be a good narrator). Audiobooks aren’t for me typically, but I feel confident to recommend this book in both forms. Don’t worry there aren’t any pictures you would be missing out on in the book.

Have you guys read this book? Or anything else about the apartheid you think I might like?


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