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 eighteen personal essays 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.

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Critic Reviews (8)

7.4
Weighted Avg. Adjusted by the addition of a statistical value.
Critic Score Distribution
Highest score:
Lowest score:
Average score:
9.0
8.0
8.4
  1. Positive: 8 Out of 8
  1. Mixed: 0 Out of 8
  1. Negative: 0 Out of 8
Critical Consensus: Generally favorable.
1

Gates Notes

22 May 2017
8.0
I’m a longtime fan of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. When Jon Stewart stepped down as host in 2015, I was sad to see him go. I was also worried for his replacement, Trevor Noah, a South African comedian. Stewart’s style is so unusual that I d ...
2

New York Times

18 Mar 2017
8.0
As host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah comes across as a wry, startled and sometimes outraged outsider, commenting on the absurdities of American life. During the presidential campaign, the South African-born comic remarked that Donald J. Trump ...
1

Daily Maverick

18 Mar 2017
9.0
Trevor Noah’s just-published episodic biography, Born A Crime (subtitled Stories from a South African Childhood), should be a school set work. It is, in fact, a compulsory read for those South Africans who regularly incant that “people should jus ...
1

Newsday

18 Mar 2017
9.0
Trevor Noah was hardly a household name in the United States when he was chosen to replace Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Audiences have been slow to embrace the South African-born comedian in the role, and ratings for the sh ...
1

Hypable

18 Mar 2017
9.0
Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment. The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set duri ...
1

Star2.com

18 Mar 2017
8.0
If you think you’re picking up another witty book by a funny comedian, watch out. The full title of Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood, should give you a better idea of what’s to come. Noah is the ...

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SIMILAR Books

Publisher:

Random House Publishing Group

ISBN:

978-0-399-58817-4

Language:

English

Literary Awards:

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author (2017)
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Biography / Auto-biography (2017)

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