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  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (14,262 ratings)

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Born a Crime cover art

Born a Crime

By: Trevor Noah
Narrated by: Trevor Noah
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Summary

Born a Crime is the deeply personal story of what has shaped Trevor Noah, South African comedian and host of the Daily Show. An astonishing memoir that details growing up in the midst of a crumbling apartheid, it illuminates his unique vantage point and how it prepared him for a life in the public eye. This is a sharply humorous, engaging and unforgettable record of Noah's life and at its heart, a love letter to his remarkable mother.

The compelling, inspiring (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

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 listeners a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him.

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 18 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 incisive wit and 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-listen.

©2016 Trevor Noah (P)2016 Audible Ltd.

What listeners say about Born a Crime

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, unique and full of memories.

This book brings back a lot of memories for me growing up in South Africa. I was one of Trevor's friends in high school, in fact I'm the person who he mentions helped start his pirated cd business but to hear about his life from the "other side", growing up as a poor black South African under such trying conditions really brings your own life in to perspective. The Trevor I knew and the front he put on was miles away from how his life really was. Although parts of it do seem to have a slight bit of creative license - at least the bits I am aware of - it is a still fantastic story about a incredibly talented and determined individual who has risen to where he is today because of his mother and her determination to make him a man. Just listen to it, you will not be disappointed.

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58 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing use on credits

I didn’t expect to learn so much about life growing up in South Africa, and for it to be told in such a nuanced way with genuine humour throughout.Tragic, uplifting, engaging and of course amusing. Trevor takes you through a frankly unbelievable story, gently reflecting on cultures and society. extra credit $4 site audibledeals dot com I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audible. It gave me a little insight into the life of black and coloured South Africans. Really recommend this book Trevor’s account of his life is funny, interesting and sad all at the same time!

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35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellently read

Having listened to 30 or so autobiographys on audible I've found only a few truly captivating, often with other titles I've found myself zoning out as the story is just pretty mundane, BUT listening to Trevor was a joy, his accents are excellent and you really feel like he takes you on the journey and the voices he does make it feel like you're in the room as it happens. Along with excellent narration is the story itself, which was fascinating, being a white westerner it really opened my eyes to some concepts of racism I hadn't pondered before and I feel less ignorant having listened...

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30 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Masterpiece

The best thing, hands down, is Trevor Noah speaking in different languages and doing imitations!

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13 people found this helpful

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Definitely the best audiobook in my collection!!!

This book was quite interesting, engaging and informative. I reckon it is better to listen to it rather than reading it, as Trevor's voice takes you through the range of human emotions, I teared up at times, laughed out loud, got angry, despaired and was hopeful again... it was definitely worth the amount paid.

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12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing life story

I rarely go for autobiographies as the tedium of 'me, me, me' irritates me. However, this was an amazing story, I felt it was mainly a tribute to Trevor Noah's mother who was such a brilliant woman fighting against adversity and making her son into a loving and very worthy man. I feel tearful after reading this and I am very impressed by the character of this man - and even more by the character of his fiery mother.

I hesitated before buying, as I say I don't usually go for auto biographies - but this was different - I keep using 'amazing' in this review - but it really IS amazing! A real delight to understand a little about the South Africa of past times, and the troubled transition into the SA of today. (Though I fear it is still troubled).

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10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful biography

This is not really what I expected from the Comedian Trever Noah. It's a sobering tale of being born and raised a mixed race boy in Apartheid, and newly post Apartheid, South Africa. It's very well written and he narrates it himself perfectly. The only thing I disliked, but not enough to diminish the 5* review score, is his references to "all Americans will understand this (and) although South African culture is very different, Americans will get this". This jarred for me. Did he write it with just Americans in mind? Does he think only Americans will read it? Hmm!

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10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Utterly incredible - read it!!

Last night I finished listening to the audiobook version of Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime. I cannot urge you enough to listen to it.

This book is insanely funny and full of absurd moments that make you go ‘wait, I need to read that again… seriously??!’.

Set in apartheid South Africa and just beyond, this is a survival story in the realest sense. Noah’s not climbing Everest or trekking to the poles, but he and his friends and family face the day-to-day terror of a police state, abuse, discrimination, hunger, imprisonment, crime, shootings.

Noah doesn’t just talk about being poor, he makes you taste and smell and see it. From the stench of backed-up sewage to the disgusting squelch of a caterpillar bursting in your mouth when that’s all you can afford to eat.

His use of language – particularly in the audiobook version where each character is brought to life with their own accent and dialect – paints the story in such vivid colour.

He is honest not just about his actions, but his innermost thoughts. These musings put you in his shoes, forcing you to examine your own mind. How much would you pay to save your own mother’s life?, he makes you wonder. Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

What resonated with me most from this book was the reminder of the importance of someone showing you what is possible from life. Had Noah only seen the confines of the walled ghettos his closest family were imprisoned in, his life today would be unimaginably different. But his mother empowers him to believe he can be something else, live somewhere different, feel, see, taste and experience an ‘other’.

You can’t be what you can’t see; that is why it is so important that we show people their potential.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 07-01-17

Incredible story of this man's life

I always love to hear stories read by the author. This is no exception. I've always loved Trevor's comedy and I had no idea of the life he has lived. I particularly love the stories about his mother, she sounds like a wonderful, funny and strong woman, the kind of mother to aspire to be like. It was very interesting to also learn more about South Africa and apartheid, something I feel I have greater understanding of now and how it has affected families and it's lasting effects.

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8 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I finished it within 2 days, I really recommend the book, its funny and sad same time.

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4 people found this helpful