Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
Cover art for Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all, listen to the audiobook! Trevor is a gifted actor with the ability to mimic everyone in his life from his Mother, Patricia, to Nelson Mandela.

This book is so good. I imagine there will be many memoirs coming out of South Africa because the complexity of apartheid and its subsequent dismantling are still unfolding.

Trevor talks about his life, what his childhood was like, what it was like to grow up poor with a single mother, all with deep compassion for what happened to him, what happened to his mother, what happened to South Africa.

He has deep insight into the many injustices in the world, beginning with not being able to walk down the street with both his parents because of their differing skin colors, and continuing with the domestic violence his mother endured during her marriage. (It was illegal for Trevor’s parents to marry, because of the different colors of their skin. So they never married. Patricia endured domestic violence during her marriage, which happened when Trevor was a teen.)

The rich details of his life make you appreciate Trevor’s outlook on life, his hustle, his entrepreneurship, and ultimately, his sense of humor.

NB/BTW: prepare to be utterly grossed out by vivid descriptions of some of the stuff poor South Africans eat. Fo reals. Sorry, I know I’m standing in some real privilege saying this. But, wow.

Also, watch him on The Daily Show. No one can “replace” Jon Stewart, whom we love. But Trevor sees farther having stood on Jon’s shoulders.

Go! Listen!