• Sushma Ramesh

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

Updated: Jul 26, 2020


  1. Book name – Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

  2. Author- Trevor Noah

  3. Publishers- John Murray Publications

  4. Price- 399 INR

  5. Available on- Amazon & Flipkart


About the Book:


Noah was born a crime, son of 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 first 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, take him away.


A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.


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, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah’s own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must read.


About the Author:


One of the comedy world’s brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him.


My take on the Book:


Trevor Noah – The name that needs no introduction.


Well, when I picked up the book ‘Born a Crime’, from the first chapter itself I knew I was in for a treat. It’s not a comedy centric humorous book that people think it’s about but is the brutal story of apartheid that happened in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. being born to a Black mother and a white father, It is a story of a young boy who was outcasted everywhere for his color. It is about his good days, bad days, struggles, and everything that one can go through living in Africa as a colored guy, as ‘born a crime’. 


 What I liked the most in this book is Trevor’s narration. instead of reading the eBook, I chose an Audiobook this time, and I am glad I did it because listening to his story in his own voice was magical. it was not difficult to pronounce and understand certain African words and phrases because of the audiobook which otherwise would have been a nightmare to me! (seriously I thought Xhosa is pronounced as Sho-sa and not kow-zuh).


 This book is my first-ever autobiography, which made me fall in love with the genre. I cried and laughed with Trevor in his journey from his birth to his adolescence and that dark humorous narrative has my heart. The strength he gets from his mom’s love and trust in him and her being his backbone throughout his life is very much highlighted & is heartwarming. I am sure I can’t talk enough about this book and no matter what your age group is, I highly recommend this book to everyone! One of the best I read this year!


Favorite quote from the Book:

“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.”

Overall ratings: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


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