Born a Crime

Stories from a South African Childhood
5 out of 5 stars (102,143 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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About This Audible Audiobook

In this award-winning Audible Studios production, Trevor Noah tells his wild coming-of-age tale during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa. It’s a story that begins with his mother throwing him from a moving van to save him from a potentially fatal dispute with gangsters, then follows the budding comedian’s path to self-discovery through episodes both poignant and comical. Noah’s virtuoso embodiment of all the characters from his childhood, and his ability to perform accents and dialects effortlessly in English, Xhosa, and Zulu, garnered the Audie Award for Best Male Narrator in 2018. Nevertheless, Noah’s devoted and uncompromising mother—as voiced by her son—steals the show.

©2016 Spiegel & Grau (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Go Behind the Scenes of Born a Crime

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The author’s gift for vocal impersonation elevates the audio version into something even more splendid than an already terrific memoir.

- The Washington Post
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Our favorite moments from Born a Crime

"No, Mom! This was not thanks to God!"
"Once Mandela was elected, we could finally live freely."
"If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind."

  • Born a Crime
  • "No, Mom! This was not thanks to God!"
  • Born a Crime
  • "Once Mandela was elected, we could finally live freely."
  • Born a Crime
  • "If my mother had one goal, it was to free my mind."

About the Author and Performer

Trevor Noah found fame as a comedian and TV personality in his native South Africa before becoming a household name in America as the host of The Daily Show. But before he found his gift for satire, he came of age as a storyteller during the waning days of apartheid and the tumultuous freedom that followed. In writing and performing Born a Crime—his first book—Trevor Noah can add “best-selling memoirist” and “audiobook narrator” to his list of hilarious-yet-heartfelt triumphs.

Dying to hear more about Born a Crime?
For an episode of our Audicted podcast, a few editors sat down to talk about their favorite Audible Essentials—our list of 100 must-listen audiobooks. Check out the episode to hear Abby explain why Trevor Noah's Born a Crime simply can't be missed, and explore some other picks below.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91,474
  • 4 Stars
    9,092
  • 3 Stars
    1,230
  • 2 Stars
    194
  • 1 Stars
    153

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    89,632
  • 4 Stars
    4,274
  • 3 Stars
    527
  • 2 Stars
    95
  • 1 Stars
    89

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    83,333
  • 4 Stars
    9,131
  • 3 Stars
    1,392
  • 2 Stars
    189
  • 1 Stars
    132
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I expected more...

That is the issue with hyped books, you tend to expect more than it can actually give you.

I did enjoy the book, the stories and learning from it, but the book turned a bit repetitive/boring at the end.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I started with very high expectations, got bored multiple times during the story

The story was good. Trevor Noah’s performance was also good. But it could have been half of what it is right now, sometimes it felt super redundant and I got bored with some of the irrelevant details along the way. I have to mention that this was highly recommended by a bunch of friends of mine, so I listened to it with very high expectations, and I was a tiny bit disappointed.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Pulp fact-ion?

This story was terrible. The flow of the story was split so poorly that it detracts from Trevor Noah’s talent. He jumps from toddlerhood to adulthood and back like his name was Tarintino. This takes a great story of struggle and pain and makes it confusing.

You don’t know if he is talking about his misspent youth or when he was a preschooler. He pretends to remember with crystal clarity what happened at age 2 and dreams from 20 years ago.

Either he needs stick to performance comedy or find better editors for his next book.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

I didn't care for this one at all. I had to stop listening about half way through. It had great reviews and a lot of them but it wasn't for me.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Insightful

Thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book. Felt like it bogged down a little (seemed repetitive) in the second half up to the last 10% and then finished strong. Still had unanswered questions tho about his father, friends and career that I would have liked to seen closure on. Overall though a positive read/listen.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

On and On and On and On

What did you like best about Born a Crime? What did you like least?

Trevor Noah is hilarious and his mom is such an outrageous character. The only issue is that it seemed to go on and on. It never got to the point and dragged on too long.

Would you be willing to try another book from Trevor Noah? Why or why not?

Maybe.

What three words best describe Trevor Noah’s voice?

Monotone.....that's all I can think of.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I think if all the best parts were pulled and put into a movie it would flow much better. Yes, I would go see it.

Any additional comments?

I hate to be rude about a book about someone's life. He went through more than anyone can imagine; however, there was a lot of repetition and it seemed like the book lasted forever.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Reviews were a bit misleading

Based on the reviews I read, I expected more. It wasn't a tragic life story, or super funny story.
It's an ok story.
Guess the hype, from the reviews, led me to hope for something more.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An UnAmerican Childhood

Because it's Trevor Noah, I expected some humor. He's a very lucky man to be who he is. After hearing the whole story, I think it's because his mother prayed for him that his life turned into a success story.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Started out very interesting, but declined quickly

Liked the first couple of chapters, but could not finish the book. Dragged on with childhood stories that weren't very captivating.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

boring

An ordinary diary sometimes amusing but not memorable even though set in Africa and of a boy of mixed race and poor.. Naration good.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KM
  • 10-16-17

EXCELLENT!!!!!!!

I'm so glad that Trevor Noah reads this book himself. He does voices for his family members and is SO funny!! A very entertaining look at what has been a pretty heavy and eventful life.