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Publisher's Summary

The compelling, inspiring (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

One of the comedy world's brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving listeners a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him.

Noah was born a crime, son of 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 first 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, take him away.

A collection of 18 personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man's fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother - a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.

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, Noah illuminates his curious world with incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah's own hilarious stand-up.

Born a Crime is a must-listen.

©2016 Trevor Noah (P)2016 Audible Ltd.

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  • Crystal
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 04-11-17

Moving, hilarious, surprisingly informative

Would you consider the audio edition of Born a Crime to be better than the print version?

Definitely. This is a book that really makes sense as an audiobook because it's narrated by the author who does a brilliant job, but particularly because of the languages and accents. Having Trevor imitate the different languages as he gave history and explanations of South African culture and Apartheid added a new dimension and an immediate understanding of the "character' as soon as you heard the voice/accent he used. He also speaks the non-English languages, saving the reader from attempting to read them themselves. He's also hilarious.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Born a Crime?

One of the first scenes that Trevor describes is the one that still stays with me the clearest and the one I found most impactful. He, his mother, and baby Andrew jumping out of the van (technically, Trevor was thrown from the van), and running away from the threatening driver. The young Trevor's take on the incident is incredibly sweet and naive, yet really quite dark and upsetting. The whole thing is moving, shocking, and still funny in the way Trevor tells it.

What does Trevor Noah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As above - it's the accents and languages. Also, Trevor's impersonation of his younger self is very endearing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Just because hate is taught, it doesn't have to be learned.

Any additional comments?

I have been a fan of Trevor's comedy so when he released this book I knew I wanted to read it. It was intelligently but humorously written, but what surprised me was how much I learned about South African culture during/after Apartheid. The book showed me the gaping holes in my knowledge of what I thought was simply another case of white racism to blacks. Apartheid went so much deeper than that. It was designed to create hate and fear and disunity, not only between whites and blacks but between coloureds and other races. It was incredible to read about what life was like, and how the colour of your skin or the language you spoke really did affect every part of life there.

Trevor's own personal story itself was fascinating and often tragic, but on the whole the reader isn't left pitying him. He speaks matter-of-factly and honestly about the tragedies, but the core of his story is set in a firm foundation of love from his mother. You admire Trevor and his mother, you don't pity them.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Mind-blowing

I absolutely loved it! I love the honesty and realness of it. I will be listening again and buying the book (God Willing). It inspired me. I love his mum and the relationship they have! Very very nice.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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What a fantastic book!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book to others I liked how humour was woven into such serious themes of poverty, domestic violence and racial discrimination.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Trevor's mother. She was a woman of substance. A woman of great strength and faith which saved her in the end. What a life!

Have you listened to any of Trevor Noah’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have subscribed to Trevor's daily Show. It is the last thing I watch on my phone before I go to sleep every night. I think its good to go to sleep laughing. Now I understand Trevor better and love him even more. I understand he visited my country Trinidad some months ago,(Feb 2018) How I would have loved to meet him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I rather take it in pieces and that's how I listened to it. I chose to savour every bit of it. I did not want it to end. It was good that Trevor read it himself.

Any additional comments?

It was also very informative since I was able to learn about African culture during apartheid. I can't wait for the movie.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie
  • Barbados
  • 02-12-18

Most Fiction-like NonFiction you'll ever listen to

What made the experience of listening to Born a Crime the most enjoyable?

Hearing about the experiences of living in South Africa, confirming and eradicating some of the stereotypes I've heard.

What did you like best about this story?

Nothing was overexaggerated, just presented exactly how it happened.

What about Trevor Noah’s performance did you like?

Trevors narration make's you feel as if though you're being told a story by every character he imitates. There lies such genuineness and intrigue in each word, it'll feel like licking food off your fingers after eating the most delicious thing you've ever eaten.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed every chapter, and cried for the last.

Any additional comments?

Best book I've listened to for the year. I Highly Recommend!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An amazing performance of a riveting story

Would you consider the audio edition of Born a Crime to be better than the print version?

For Non-African people unfamiliar with African culture, the performance of the audiobook by Trevor Noah imparts the heart of the book more than it might if it was read off the pages. Trevor Noah is funny, heartfelt & vigorous.

What did you like best about this story?

The amazing turn of events and the author as we know today, managing to escape that life and being where he is now.

What about Trevor Noah’s performance did you like?

The book deals with multiple cultures ranging from European to African and languages of different African tribes. It is likely very few people can bring the book to life & one of those people is Trevor Noah.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it is RIVETING. But it is 8 hours.

Any additional comments?

Very satisfied with this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Moving South African Story

Trevor is an excellent story teller. Great historical background. Only drawback is the vulgar language.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A moving and heartfelt story - which will shock

and amaze! I laughed and cried (only once out of sadness) and think I understand his humour better. A wonderful story of a guy raised by a great Mom- it celebrates his Mom and her faith in a good God. And you can see how Trevor is a product of Patricia's life- lived as honestly as she can- she is the heroine of THIS story. Trevor Noah is essential as the reader- he is introspective and even wise at times and you can see how he has changed from the boy who experimented with magnifying glass ( with catastrophic results) to the man who would take responsibility for his brothers should he have been called on to do so. It's a story that could only have happened in Peri - apartheid South Africa with all of its unique social constructs and pressures on family life. And not many stories are told in this context which are not politically driven. Well done!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Captivating

A very captivating story, told from the heart. A mixture of funny moments, motivating contexts and glaring realities. The story was easy to follow, and it was told in such a fashion that I always wanted to hear more. Trevor Noah is truly an artist. I really look forward to the film adaptation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A blistering book, hooked from chapt 1

Captivating read, not a difficult book, very simple but funny with a lot of talent by Trevor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A most enjoyable read. Way more than I anticipated

I thought to buy this book because watching Trevor Noah’s hilarious Daily Show excerpts on YouTube affords me a big belly laugh. I was prepared to be entertained but wasn’t expecting to be inspired and educated. It left me with a very different impression of Trevor Noah. Not solely a VERY FUNNY GUY, but also someone who is very resilient and who has tremendous insight. I loved that he narrated and enjoyed hearing his story unfold in different accents. That really brought it to life. Very descriptive. Guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, think, appreciate life, appreciate others and view others with a generous eye. A great read!! Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mr Noah!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 12-04-16

Brilliant, unique and full of memories.

This book brings back a lot of memories for me growing up in South Africa. I was one of Trevor's friends in high school, in fact I'm the person who he mentions helped start his pirated cd business but to hear about his life from the "other side", growing up as a poor black South African under such trying conditions really brings your own life in to perspective. The Trevor I knew and the front he put on was miles away from how his life really was. Although parts of it do seem to have a slight bit of creative license - at least the bits I am aware of - it is a still fantastic story about a incredibly talented and determined individual who has risen to where he is today because of his mother and her determination to make him a man. Just listen to it, you will not be disappointed.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • E
  • 01-07-17

Incredible story of this man's life

I always love to hear stories read by the author. This is no exception. I've always loved Trevor's comedy and I had no idea of the life he has lived. I particularly love the stories about his mother, she sounds like a wonderful, funny and strong woman, the kind of mother to aspire to be like. It was very interesting to also learn more about South Africa and apartheid, something I feel I have greater understanding of now and how it has affected families and it's lasting effects.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 06-10-17

Amazing life story

I rarely go for autobiographies as the tedium of 'me, me, me' irritates me. However, this was an amazing story, I felt it was mainly a tribute to Trevor Noah's mother who was such a brilliant woman fighting against adversity and making her son into a loving and very worthy man. I feel tearful after reading this and I am very impressed by the character of this man - and even more by the character of his fiery mother.

I hesitated before buying, as I say I don't usually go for auto biographies - but this was different - I keep using 'amazing' in this review - but it really IS amazing! A real delight to understand a little about the South Africa of past times, and the troubled transition into the SA of today. (Though I fear it is still troubled).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Rohma
  • 02-27-17

Masterpiece

The best thing, hands down, is Trevor Noah speaking in different languages and doing imitations!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • OldskoolHrdcore
  • 08-25-17

Excellently read

Having listened to 30 or so autobiographys on audible I've found only a few truly captivating, often with other titles I've found myself zoning out as the story is just pretty mundane, BUT listening to Trevor was a joy, his accents are excellent and you really feel like he takes you on the journey and the voices he does make it feel like you're in the room as it happens. Along with excellent narration is the story itself, which was fascinating, being a white westerner it really opened my eyes to some concepts of racism I hadn't pondered before and I feel less ignorant having listened...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr-reader
  • 07-16-17

Amazing

I finished it within 2 days, I really recommend the book, its funny and sad same time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DrSeun
  • 02-23-17

Definitely the best audiobook in my collection!!!

This book was quite interesting, engaging and informative. I reckon it is better to listen to it rather than reading it, as Trevor's voice takes you through the range of human emotions, I teared up at times, laughed out loud, got angry, despaired and was hopeful again... it was definitely worth the amount paid.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph McMahon
  • 01-15-17

As funny as it is informative

If you're a fan of Trevor Noah then you'll really enjoy this. Has some serious accounts that are hard hitting as equally as it is funny. Well worth the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alina
  • 12-14-16

Funny, informative and REAL

Captured the stories many SA childhoods very well. When I started I couldn't stop listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 06-03-17

Powerful biography

This is not really what I expected from the Comedian Trever Noah. It's a sobering tale of being born and raised a mixed race boy in Apartheid, and newly post Apartheid, South Africa. It's very well written and he narrates it himself perfectly. The only thing I disliked, but not enough to diminish the 5* review score, is his references to "all Americans will understand this (and) although South African culture is very different, Americans will get this". This jarred for me. Did he write it with just Americans in mind? Does he think only Americans will read it? Hmm!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Nyasha
  • 12-18-16

Best audiobook I've listened... Ever!

This was hands down the best purchase i have made from Audible. You will not be disappointed. Trevor's story is hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful. His performance was outstanding, I loved every minute

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Milena
  • 02-24-18

Best book in years!

Fascinating story of Trevor Noah’s upbringing. Beautifully written and narrated, I could not put this down. Love love loved it and can’t wait for the next one!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-29-18

Thrilling, real, heartfelt

Have been a fan of Trevor Noah for a long time, but unbelievably I was surprised by how captivating his life story and journey was to listen to, the fact that he narrates it himself just makes it that much better too. Had me listening 24/7! Would definitely recommend ⭐️

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-18

Mind opening

Every sgingle chapter opened my mind to some new perspective. he had the ultimate experience of been born and raised as a outsider of all groups, that and his wonderfully strong mum and unique history South Africa was going through, all of these gave his so far only 30 odd years long life incredible depth and wisdom that most of us will never have in a full 80+ years life time. Absolutely loved it and strongly recommended to everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • carolyn fitzgerald
  • 03-15-18

Equally tragic and funny

I didn’t know a lot about Sth African society. A really interesting insight into Apartheid and post Apartheid Sth Africa. Honest and funny. Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-18

Gripping

Trevor Noah doesn't beat you over the head with hus stories. He tells great stories and then lets you draw your own conclusions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander Sit
  • 03-01-18

choppy timeline but great listen

I think Trevor Noah is a great comedian and this book allows the listener to get a better understanding that growing is the same no matter where you're from.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • zoostra
  • 01-31-17

Really enjoyed it

Awesome!
Not like his comedy routines.
But very funny stories from his childhood in shanty town squalor.
His mother was amazing.
He was half-black half white born in apartheid.
Doesn't cover his career in comedy etc
Tragedy pain humour hustling naughtiness etc
Leave with Hope and gratitude in face of challenging life
Great narration
Highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • FiFi
  • 07-13-18

Absolutely brilliant

This book had me in a tumble of various emotions. I laughed through the parts that reminded me of similarities in my upbringing, Jesus, church, sparing the rod, and running away from my mother's wrath and her throwing arm. I cried through the pain of domestic abuse and injustice that is prevalent within the African culture and the conditioning of the mind that has enslaved a once vibrant heritage. Still I can't help but feel the victory that through it all, inspite of the hardship, a swan was born, an Amazon who broke free of the bonds of oppression to raise a man.

So much can be said of this book, . . . and truthfully, people may arrive at different interpretation after reading it. . . I absolutely enjoyed it and wish to hug Trevor's mom for the beautiful woman that she is.

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  • Karyn
  • 07-13-18

Amazing book

Amazing book, amazing storytelling. What a fabulous history lesson. Enjoyable for every reader and listener.