Born a Crime - Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

By Trevor Noah

  • Release Date: 2016-11-15
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 4,780 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! A “brilliant” (Lupita Nyong’o, Time), “poignant” (Entertainment Weekly), “soul-nourishing” (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid
“Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”—Esquire
Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

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.


  • Educational and jaw dropping

    By huntivcdrnligdru
    Eye opening story. Very good to learn about South Africa while reading Trevor’s story. I have so much respect for Trevor and his family
  • Great book

    By Sergey Korytnik
    One of the deepest books that I’ve read. Far beyond my expectations.
  • Great story

    By Em1019
    Great book, really enjoyed it. Gained a new respect for Trevor Noah. Definitely recommend this book if you like autobiographies.
  • Wow…

    By Zeze_<3
    It was just beautiful. The comedy, the seriousness and the last chapter had me sobbing.
  • Great read

    By Cutespender
    Lots of knowledge about South Africa, great story
  • Trevor is amazing

    By matt von d
    a book that is equally entertaining and informative. it’s fascinating to hear about Trevor’s origins and the many hardships he had to overcome to get to where he is today.
  • Great!

    By N0star5
    Made me laugh, cry and think.
  • Fantastic

    By LML_London
    Well written and easy to read.
  • Wow!!!

    By Mrs.Oyewole
    Wow what an extraordinary book. I went through all the emotions you can think of; sad, happy, inspired, angry, you name it. This book was well written. Well done Trevor! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
  • Holy S what a book!

    By Catsuperhero💮
    Riveting. Well written. Amazing