Nonfiction · Review

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah | Book Review

Publisher: Doubleday

Pub. Date: 2016

Genres: Memoir, Comedy

Pages: 304

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah frequently, so I’ve been interested in reading about his life for a while and I appreciate Trevor’s brand of comedy. I was mostly convinced to read Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood after I watched one of Trevor’s old stand-up comedy acts. It’s an amazing and hilarious read.

His memoir is hilarious while covering serious topics, such as apartheid, colonialism, religion, and gender roles. In Born a Crime, Trevor was born a crime in South Africa because he is the son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother. He was born in a time when his existence was proof of their coupling, which was punishable with prison time. The memoir follows the trials and adventures of him as the mischievous child and resourceful teenager. It also shares the story of his strong, independent mother. She is a force in this book.

I liked the bolded sections of text that gave a history lesson or general context for what was happening in South Africa. They offered a good introduction for the upcoming chapter and sometimes a transition between chapters. Their content and placements reminded me of his style of news comedy that he does on the The Daily Show because the subject is serious but the material of his life is turned into comedy.

I love that his writing reads like how I’ve heard him speak on camera. It also evokes images of the events and people clearly, and that made it even more entertaining to read.

The epilogue is sobering, considering the rest of the book. However, it’s a brilliant conclusion to his memoir.

I recommend this book to those who like Trevor Noah or reading comedic memoirs. Also, I read a good chunk of this book while traveling, so I recommend it as good reading material for a trip.


10 thoughts on “Born a Crime by Trevor Noah | Book Review

  1. I loved Trevor’s book so much! It was so intelligent and equally entertaining, just like his stand up performances. But most of all I loved how it really was a bit like a love letter to his mother. That woman is so strong and amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

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