To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
1.0 out of 5 starsIt deserves a 5 star!
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2018
I didn't look at the reviews until after I bought Born a Crime and read it for myself. While reading the 1 star reviews, out of curiosity, I was shocked at some of the negative reviews. Life in third world countries is different than what you would experience in America or other developed countries. Culturally they have beliefs, behaviors, and/or customs that may be considered weird or ugly to those who are not familiar. In my opinion, I believe Trevor Noah wrote wonderfully. He was completely transparent with his feelings, thoughts and experiences as a child growing up in an abusive third world country under apartheid and the aftermath. One reviewer spoke of a horrific animal situation (it was terrible and I do not support animal cruelty of any sort) but you have to remove yourself from it. If you are mad because he didn't respond the way YOU wanted, obviously there is a lack of understanding of his situation in life (I am not in anyway saying it was ok but it is a product of his environment). He was writing about his thoughts (he had at that moment), as a child growing up in a culture/society with ugly thoughts about that particular animal (I'm attempting to not give away any part of the plot while writing this). He was a product of his in environment and if he was taught something else maybe he would of had a different reaction at that time. I thought about giving the book a 5 star but I noticed all the existing reviews so I decided to reach those who would read the negative reviews, like myself, before purchasing a book. I thoroughly enjoyed Born a Crime. There were times I laughed. Times where I was utterly shocked. And a time when I got a bit emotional. Trevor Noah did a great job explaining the horrors of domestic violence and the lack of protection for women and children that still exists all over the world today. The nonexistent opportunities for children of poverty in third world countries especially regarding education. Being in an interracial marriage in America, I CANNOT fully understand what it must of been like for Trevor Noah's parents or as a mixed child growing up in such a hateful yet separated society. This is just my opinion. Take it for what it is.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read. great listen, wonderful narration
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2016
I don't review a lot of books anymore, but this one got to me. There are lots of books written by people -- including me -- who had a hard time growing up. Abusive parents, poverty, oppression. War. There is a lot of awful stuff children endure.
Trevor Noah endured all of it. Name something bad that a kid can experience and it probably happened to him. Born under apartheid, his existence was illegal. His birth was, as the title of his book suggests, a crime.
As the child of a white father and a black mother under South Africa during apartheid, if he had been noticed by the authorities, they would have taken him from his family and put him ... somewhere. So merely surviving until the end of apartheid was no mean feat. Add to that extreme poverty, violence and life under the most oppressive, racist regime you can imagine. Actually, you may not be able to imagine it. I knew it was bad, but South Africa refined oppression into an art form.
One of the other noteworthy things about this book was that I learned great deal about things I thought I already knew. I don't know if Noah intended it as a cautionary tale, but it is. Chilling.
I didn't read the book. I listened to the audiobook because Noah reads it himself. He has a beautiful, melodic voice and a lovely cadence. It was a treat for my ears and my brain.
You might think with all of this terrible stuff -- and some of it is really horrific -- that this would be an angry, possibly embittered man. But he isn't.
He's funny when humor is possible. Even when he's serious, there is grace and wit -- plus a sweetness and generosity of spirit that's rather uplifting. I don't think I've ever said that about a book. It's not a word I use lightly. Trevor Noah is a rare person, able to appreciate the good stuff in his life and not obsess over the considerable amount of injustice he has experienced.
I'm not usually a big fan of celebrity memoirs or autobiographies, but this is exceptional. If you have the patience, listen to it as an audiobook. Otherwise, consider reading it. He's a smart guy, a good writer, and an astute observer of humanity, government, politics, and relationships. Insightful, witty, and entertaining, I highly recommend it.
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2017
I was born in South Africa, though I did most of my growing up in the U.S., Trevor immediately submerged me into township life with his reading of these amazing childhood stories.
I know Trevor is a big deal is South Africa, and he's quickly becoming a big deal here. Listen to him describe the landscape of South Africa, her politics and her struggles. Take a look through his eyes and see what abject poverty and adversity can do to two strong and insightful souls like Trevor and his mother, and you will get a glimpse into the very best of humanity.
Very inspirational and emotive. I cannot recommend it enough!
4.0 out of 5 starsIt's what makes him such a great host of 'The Daily Show'
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2017
Trevor Noah has always been unapologetically open and honest about the world. It's what makes him such a great host of 'The Daily Show'. He gets the right balance of humour to go with his casual storytelling style.
Reading 'Born A Crime' was such an eye-opening insight into what was actually going on during and after Apartheid. Firstly, Noah is only 33. Apartheid ended in living memory. It's a terrifying thought, how recent that is. Which leads onto my next point: we weren't taught about this nearly enough.
It's always different hearing about these sorts of experiences from someone who lived through it. Particularly because Noah is biracial. He didn't look black enough to be black, despite growing up around black people and never seeing himself as anything else. But he also wasn't white enough to be white. His family weren't particularly well-off. He didn't have the latest brands. He fit in enough that he was still an outsider, always flitting from group to group.
His mother, thought, is a force to be reckoned with. She's incredibly strong and independent. As a single mother with a biracial child she had to be. She actively sought out ways to undermine the white authorities. It was Noah and his mother against the world. A team. It was wonderful to read about such a strong family bond. Despite everything going crazy around them they had each other.
This isn't just the story of a young man's rise to fame, but a story of family, support, and unconditional love.
I've always enjoyed Trevor Noah as a comedian so wanted to read about his life. Having seen him in a few interviews I had a vague idea of what to expect; his life story and book exceeded my expectations.
I found his journey and that of his family (especially his mother) fascinating. Not only do we get to read his bio, but we also get an insight into what it was like being a child growing up during apartheid in South Africa.
His writing style and his personality reflect how he is on tv, he is intelligent, funny, charming and honest.
Without spoiling anything - be prepared for a roller coaster ride.
Was very disappointed when I got to the end of the book. I may have to read it again!
5.0 out of 5 starsThe best memoir I have ever read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2018
Unbelievably moving. Will have you laughing and then tearing up a few sentences later.
This excerpt... literally, mind blown:
“Yes, it was horrific. But I often wonder, with African atrocities like in the Congo, how horrific were they? The thing Africans don’t have that Jewish people do have is documentation. The Nazis kept meticulous records, took pictures, made films. And that’s really what it comes down to. Holocaust victims count because Hitler counted them. Six million people killed. We can all look at that number and rightly be horrified. But when you read through the history of atrocities against Africans, there are no numbers, only guesses. It’s harder to be horrified by a guess.”
3.0 out of 5 starsInteresting but disjointed SPOILERS
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2019
Interesting book in the sense that I feel I learned a lot about South Africa and some of its inhabitants, but the story in itself doubles back quite a few times : this is an autobiography so you would normally have a fairly linear narrative ark but it is literally all over the place : for instance , you are reading about Trevor at that school from year 1 to 5 ( as an example) then you go back to his early years from a different prospective , then to his Teen age years the double back again to his early childhood and so on . Also , the author contradicts himself a few times , which makes me think that perhaps there is a bit of ‘poetic licence ‘ in this book . Also , there is virtually nothing about hoe he started in his career , we leave him freshly out of Jail , and it then jumps to his Mum being shot and all we know is that at that point he had been estranged from him Mum a, living with his cousin and was a comedian . Ok . How did all of that happen ? A shame, really , as with some editing it could have been a good book .
5.0 out of 5 starsInitial thoughts of his weren't that nice but more I came to know about him more ...
Reviewed in India on February 10, 2018
I started exploring US television programs around the start of 2015 where I got attracted to this Jon Stewart and then all of a sudden he retired and this guy, Trevor Noah joined in. Initial thoughts of his weren't that nice but more I came to know about him more i became intrigued about his life. So I decided to read his Memoir since the day it was released which I came to know from Stephen Colbert's show.
I've had mixed feelings about his coming of age tales. I don't remember laughing hard reading a line of the book and feeling guilty for having laughed reading the next line.
Reminded me of own childhood days even it was completely of different circumstances. I never got to know about Apartheid beyond getting some marks in my high school history class. These humanistic experiences helped me shape some of my views.
I always thought the way Trevor said about the predominant part of our human history is their own native happenings. I had it that way during my school days that the most important part was all about Indians getting independence from British struggling about 100 years but things been always more than that.
His story is so inspirational and lovely. I never get to read these kind of books before and I'm glad I did by now.