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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African…

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Trevor Noah (Author)

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1,8471435,584 (4.34)277
Title:Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Authors:Trevor Noah (Author)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2016), Edition: 1St Edition, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (2016)

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Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
Trevor Noah's story about growing up in South Africa during Apartheid and after its supposed abolishment. What a very interesting character he is and his life has surely shaped him into what he is today. Great read, very entertaining. I listened to the audioversion which is hilariously read by Noah himself. Highly recommended for all. ( )
  -Eva- | Apr 19, 2019 |
Comedian and TV host Trevor Noah recounts stories from his childhood growing up as the child of a black mother and a white father under South African apartheid laws.

This book was more of a cultural insight than a humor book, although Noah certainly does showcase some rather funny moments. And while it is indeed about his life, aspects of his growing up necessitate describing things about South Africa's history and/or customs. This ended up being a much more informative book that I was expecting.

For this title, I highly, highly, highly recommend getting the audiobook version. Noah is fantastic for doing voices, accents, etc. The emotion is there in the stories as well. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Apr 2, 2019 |
This book was a quick read, engrossing and hard to put down. It took me two days to read but longer to really process my thoughts. Full disclosure, I’ve never actually watched the Daily Show (at least not since college, before John Stewart even took over.) so I wasn’t really familiar with Trevor Noah, but I heard him discussing this book on NPR last year and added it to my list because it sounded incredible. And it was.
I had a vey basic academic understanding of South Africa, pre- and post-Apartheid, having studied and traveled there in college 20 years ago. Apartheid was newly fallen then and there were still signs of it everywhere. However, I know my experience was a foreign, white tourist, seeing the best of what SA had to offer, not the day-to-day realities of the people living there. This book is well written and describes the experience in gritty detail without any woe-is-me or bitterness. His perspective, and importantly his mother’s outlook and drive to make change start at home, almost reads like a dystopian novel, except it is all real. It actually happened. (And it’s still happening.) Honestly, given how tenuous and divisive our racial climate is now in the US, this should serve as a warning. — Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it and all that. Apartheid was social manipulation engineered by a minority class who gained control by pitting groups of people against each other who should have been united against a common oppressor. Noah’s parentage from a mixed race union guaranteed he wouldn’t fit in anywhere in that society. He could have easily ended up embittered, defeated, abused or dead, but his Mom’s drive to make life better helped shape him into a smart, successful, odds-defying man who rose above poverty, oppression and societal constraints. His story is inspiring, unbelievable, heart wrenching and funny. I didn’t want it to end but I actually like that it ended with little reference to his current life in the US, because even without international fame there is no question he is an exceptional success from an improbable start. 5/5 stars ⭐️
( )
  justjoshinreads | Mar 22, 2019 |
In his memoir, comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah doesn't talk about his rise to fame. Instead, he uses this platform to take his readers to his childhood in South Africa. It's difficult to imagine this charismatic man ate worms and slept in the cars as a kid, but he did. That and so much more.

This book was inspiring and eye opening. I don't know much about apartheid, and now that I've had a peek, it just seems like something that should be taught in schools? There are all kinds of racism and it's important we learn so we can be better. But apartheid is only a small part of this book. I felt like this modest peek into his childhood opened up a world that I hadn't seen before. It was enlightening, fascinating, and a bit heartbreaking. But it never seemed like he was trying to garner sympathy or anything like this - it's just his story.

I'm actually really struggling to review this, because while it is undoubtedly a five star review, it's a very powerful book. Trevor Noah has excellent storytelling, a lot of emotions, and explains things without ever sounding condescending. This book is so relevant to a lot of the issues we're facing today as a planet, and Trevor's voice is perfect. He's honest, raw, funny, and serious all at once. This book isn't "feel good" by any means, but it is enlightening and important. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to everyone. EVERYONE. ( )
  Morteana | Mar 14, 2019 |
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For my mother. My first fan. Thank you for making me a man.
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The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This book highlights critical issues on racism in africa
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399588175, Hardcover)

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story 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.
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.

Advance praise for Born a Crime

“[A] substantial collection of staggering personal essays . . . Incisive, funny, and vivid, these true tales are anchored to his portrait of his courageous, rebellious, and religious mother who defied racially restrictive laws to secure an education and a career for herself—and to have a child with a white Swiss/German even though sex between whites and blacks was illegal. . . . [Trevor Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”Booklist (starred review)
“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:35:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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