Born a Crime - Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

By Trevor Noah

  • Release Date: 2016-11-15
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 4,172 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! A “brilliant” (Lupita Nyong’o, Time), “poignant” (Entertainment Weekly), “soul-nourishing” (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid
“Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”—Esquire
Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

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.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. 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, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.


  • Deeply Touched

    By Cashmere Nicole
    Trevor, what a life. What a journey. I hate all the attempts by Abel to steal joy, love, family and all good things from you and your mom. In the end he didn’t win. Your mom wins. You win. Your brothers win by seeing the tenacity of yourselves and your loyalty to all that’s good and true. God Bless you.
  • Read this book.

    By ebuck3
    If you like Trevor Noah from The Daily Show or his stand up, you’ll like this book. If you’ve never heard of Trevor Noah, you’ll like this book.
  • Great Book

    By Mommagigi4
    I really enjoyed this book. It’s always good to find out what a person has lived through & how it can shape who they become & their views about the world. I will not, however, understand or embrace prejudices or racism because of someone’s skin color or if they’re mixed. Heck, most of us, especially in America, are mixed. Sometimes we have to laugh thru the pain & injustices. I appreciate that he shared so much of himself & his story.
  • One of the greatest books of all time

    By Eddy76012
    This is by far one of the greatest books I have ever read. From start to finish this had me laughing and interested on each page. It is very knowledgeable on the cultures of South Africa and the hard world it is out there. Great read
  • Heartfelt tribute to a mother

    By judgedude
    An absorbing story of love, life lessons and the tragedy of apartheid told with sensitivity, humor, and brutal honesty.
  • Outstanding!

    By stascj
    Profoundly sad, funny and inspiring all at the same time.
  • Hit so many nerves!

    By 77ME
    I laugh while I cried as I read this book. So well written and reminded me of my childhood in Armenia.
  • book

    By marcey man
    was a great book overall, but tbh not a fan if the writing style lots of unneeded sentences also all the names in the book are confusing and annoying to say
  • A Life Story worth reading

    By kaiandbye
    The book was amazing. The whole story was like he was explaining the story to you. The beginning was funny, it definitely had some great parts to it. But after reading this, you really who Trevor Noah is behind the mic.. and it was beautifully put.
  • Great, great book!

    By DenverShopper2214
    A very eye opening experience from Trevor Noah, along with humor to lighten the situation/story.