Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah
One of my favorite late night comedy talk shows is The Daily Show and I adore Trevor Noah. His style and sense of humor can lift my spirit and make me laugh even after the worse day. I expected some of the same with this book. Born A Crime is written with humor and feels of Noah’s style. The book is also deeply meaningful and cuts to a much more serious depth. Born A Crime explains who the author is, where he came from and how Trevor learned to cope with the cruelty of the life he knew. It is his story and if you are a fan of Trevor Noah and The Daily Show you will recognize the author in the words. Of course Born A Crime is an inspiration to humanity and it is one read I would absolutely recommend to everyone. It truly is one of those books everyone should experience.
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