Review

Review: Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”


Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Published: 15th November, 2016
Pages: 285
Rate: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Synopsis
The memoir 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 such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest 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, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

“…smaller incidents in my life, made me realize that language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”

My Take

I am always skeptical when it comes to celebrity books because more often than not, a huge part of it is always pretentious and more elevated than it should. That fear has made me not read quite the list of them, including Born A Crime, which I have always avoided until this year. Born A Crime was a Christmas gift from a dear friend last, which meant I had to read it soon. Which I’m so glad I did. Back in February of this year I made the conscious effort to read the book and oh my goodness! Thank God I did.

Trevor Noah is raw and honest in this book which brings on a different view, insight rather, on Apartheid in South Africa. He talks about really heavy topics through humour, wit & sarcasm that makes it light to read. He writes beautifully. One thing I can say is, Trevor Noah is storyteller and he tells the story of his life really well.

Through the humour, the stories, and the lessons I laughed, I cried, I felt angry, rightly so. The book brought out so many emotions as I read it and I was shocked for a minute.


Born A Crime is both a light & heavy read that I feel is quite important & everyone should read it. And if you can, I recommend reading it as an audiobook. Trevor Noah narrates it and he brings the book to life with the quips & nuances.

If you’re doing Nonfiction November, this is a book you should have on your tbr, and if you have not read this book before, please do so!

What are your thoughts on celebrity books? Love them? Hate them? Let me know!

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