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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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1,4521087,509 (4.38)230
Title:Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Authors:Trevor Noah (Author)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2016), Edition: Later Printing Used, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:South Africa, Storytelling, Family, Love, Kids, Racism, Apartheid, Nelson Mandela, Christianity, Church, Zulu, Xhosa, Jesus, Religion, Ancestors, Spirituality, Superstition, Cars, Buses, Demons, Colored, Sunday, Swiss, Slavery, Segregation, Soweto

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



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English (106)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Mother/daughter-in-law book club pick. The anecdotes were interesting set against the backdrop of post-Apartheid South Africa. As such, I learned more about Apartheid than I ever have before. I wasn't very familiar with Trevor Noah before reading this book, so maybe that's part of the reason I had trouble connecting with it. Certain parts of the book were hard to read; that is, there was some intense stuff going on in Noah's life. And I almost thought about putting the book down when I came to the part about the cats. Trevor's mother, despite my distaste for corporal punishment, was pretty amazing and deserves her part as the central figure in this book. Noah's storytelling is also very good.
  aratiel | Sep 5, 2018 |
This is Trevor Noah’s autobiography of his life growing up in South Africa. He provides interesting insights into the history and socio demographic components of blacks, whites, coloureds and Afrikaners. Of course blacks are at the bottom of the rung and Noah, like others don’t fit into the black or white community. Trevor’s mother is black and his father is white. His mother Patricia features prominently as she exposes Noah to church, family, tough love, independence, respect for women and self sufficiency. She got an education, moved away from home, became employable and raised Trevor and two other sons. Unfortunately she married and financially supported Abel,a local mechanic who became a drunk and physically abusive to the point that he shot Patricia. She survived and moved on with her life
At times the story reads like a televised monologue which became tedious at times as Noah recalls his poverty, home life, identity, schools, friends, entrepreneurship and his budding career as an entertainer.
It’s a good story ( )
  MaggieFlo | Sep 1, 2018 |
Memoirs and autobiographies are generally not the type of books I like but this memoir really gave me a feeling about South Africa which didn't hide the awfulness yet wasn't bleak. Part of that is the way many of the stories are told from the perspective of a child who is loved, with the adult Trevor adding commentary. And I think that a large part of it is the attitude that Trevor and his mother take towards life.

The author does a great narration (which is not always the case). ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 25, 2018 |
An inspiration. Review Coming Later ( )
  shedhippie | Aug 16, 2018 |
Born a Crime does double-duty, being both a memoir of Trevor Noah's early life in South Africa as well as a reflection on apartheid and how it shaped him and his family. Noah manages to do both of these things well. He's a talented writer, with a very distinctive voice that will be familiar to anyone who has seen him doing stand-up or hosting The Daily Show. He explains enough about the apartheid system to give context to his experiences without making it seem like a history lesson. It helps that he had an interesting childhood, and that as a mixed-race child growing up in a system that had no place for him, giving him the unique perspective of someone who was both an insider and an outsider in his own country.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It doesn't matter if you don't know who Trevor Noah is or aren't a particular fan of his, since the book has nothing to do with his comedy career (in fact, the book ends before his career gets started.) Even if you're not usually a biography reader, you'll enjoy this book. Noah's childhood makes a for a great read, and the fact that it's a true story only makes it better. ( )
  Enyonam | Aug 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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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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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)

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)

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