This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African…

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

by Trevor Noah

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4601127,409 (4.37)230



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 230 mentions

English (110)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Wow so where do I start

My first autobiography/biography. I am not a big fan but this is one that really caught my eye as the comedian is from my country. I will definately recommend this book to anyone no matter what your reading profile taste is like.

What made my enjoy this book is my relation to some of the stories and knowledge of understanding the places, surroundings, landmarks etc. I tend to think if a story is coming from a place you know you tend to enjoy it more as you can relate.

well so the book has a good amount of comedy, adventure, drama and action. Entertaining sections of how he hustles and some good history on apartheid. There came a section at the end where I was bit surprised thinking something may happen but there wasnt any suspense. I had a heavy throat and had to contain myself after looking at my surroundings trying not to bawl.

I believe his bringing out a movie about his/this book? I am not sure on the particulars or if it just rumors. But if it is anything like this book I will definately go see it.

once again congrats to the author on a great book. ( )
  Fawaaz.Manuel | Sep 25, 2018 |
Trevor Noah shares some personal stories that illustrate many of the pieces of racism and oppression and economics that we don't talk about enough. Many people don't realize how oppression works. Trevor's book really helped clarify things that I hadn't quite been able to formulate into words and hadn't heard or seen so explicitly.

Another nice thing about his memoir is the approach to ethical ambiguity. It was upsetting for me. I had just been thinking that actions can be objectively bad, and then I hear a story that makes me question that idea. So, I have some sorting out to do.

Trevor isn't a perfect person, and I admire that he admits that. He says he has no regrets. I don't know how I feel about that. I most admire his ability to reflect and learn and understand things about people.

The most confusing part of the book is the order. It's not chronological, and it doesn't feel particularly thematic in organization. I didn't understand the organization and it was weird to be reintroduced to characters and settings. Sometimes I felt one account conflicted with another, but it's hard to check with an audiobook. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
Absolutely wonderful. Noah brilliantly weaves together his personal story and the story of late 20th century South Africa. I thought I knew a good deal about the dissolution of apartheid, but apparently I did not. I learned so much from this book. about race and oppression, but also about mothers and sons, friends, the hard work of life in the ghetto, and about choosing to not be the expected product of your childhood. It made me a person more able to empathize with the experiences of others and that is exactly why I read. ( )
  Narshkite | Sep 23, 2018 |
I don't care much for the Daily Show--mostly because I haven't ever watched it, other than the occasional clip on social media. But Noah is a compelling storyteller or maybe it's that his story itself is compelling.

Born in apartheid South Africa the son of a black mother and a white father, Noah grew up in a class of his own, and his stories reflect it. His mother was poor and he was unable to spend time with his father at the risk of exposing him to the brunt of the law, which prohibited his father and mother from having sexual relations, let alone a son. Not that his mother cared. She cut her own path through the turbulent racism of South Africa, working extra to put him in private school and get Trevor ahead.

It's an interesting story, and Noah tells it well (albeit with often colorful and profane language). From his childhood carted by his mother from church to church (six days a week) to his young adulthood as a budding comedian, Born a Crime continually surprised me and kept me reading. ( )
  publiusdb | Sep 21, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For my mother. My first fan. Thank you for making me a man.
First words
The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

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)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.37)
1.5 1
2 4
3 38
3.5 17
4 171
4.5 67
5 211

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,022,076 books! | Top bar: Always visible