Book Review: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

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




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.

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This book is memoir gold. Trevor Noah is a gifted storyteller. The way he tells a story makes you feel like you are in a movie. I listened to the audiobook version of this book (The audio version is a definite must.) and from the beginning, I was mesmerized by Trevor Noah’s accent and even ab libbing as he read stories detailing his childhood adventures.  Trevor Noah makes you feel like you are having lunch with a friend. He does not hold back an ounce of comedic genius in the narration of this book.

This book will have you laughing, angry beyond belief and maybe even shedding a tear or two. You will certainly go through all the emotions while devouring this memoir. Throughout this masterpiece, Trevor Noah touches on several deep issues such as apartheid, race, education, domestic violence, religion and all the other personal issues faced before, during and after puberty. He covers the heavy stuff with grace, truth and wisdom.

The way that Trevor Noah comes out on the other side in this book is certainly a story to be told. He overcomes obstacle after obstacle and wins every time. The title of this book sums it up, he was seriously born a crime. But, like a true warrior, he tells the story of how that did not stop him as his mother pushed and cheered him on to well-deserved success.

I even shared a video book review for this book on Instagram.

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Have you read this one or is it on your list?⁣ Please let me know in the comments below.

Hugs and love,

Dee Dee

Dee Dee Wheaton

Dee Dee Wheaton is the editor and main contributor of her family’s blog, The Wheaton Takeover. She writes and edits her posts listening to hip hop and r&b while sipping hot tea. Dee Dee and her family have temporarily relocated to Dublin, Ireland from Houston, Texas. They are traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday and loving life one day at a time. Through their blog, they share their worldwide excursions, experiences living as American expats in Ireland, lessons learned along the way and glimpses into their crazy life.