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Born a Crime

Stories from a South African Childhood
Narrated by: Trevor Noah
Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (112,546 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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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

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book and perfect narration

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.

813 of 978 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

just ok

I felt he got off track on his story at times. It seemed rushed at the end and left me wondering.

69 of 83 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Repetitive and not really iinteresting. A series of stories, barely held together . His stand up is deeper than this.

83 of 100 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I got tired of the smart alec kid telling his tale

Would you try another book from Trevor Noah and/or Trevor Noah?

no

Would you recommend Born a Crime to your friends? Why or why not?

no

Which scene was your favorite?

When the boy defecated in the kitchen and his family was terrified because they thought it was from evil spirits.

What else would you have wanted to know about Trevor Noah’s life?

not much

Any additional comments?

Very tiresome after awhile, and rarely very funny

55 of 66 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A little repetitive and scattered, but well delivered.

Story was hard to follow at times. A little scattered and repetitive. Some inconsistencies as well as part of the story telling. But very enjoyable to hear.

64 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

NOT FUNNY

Trevor I love your comedy. But this book is very hard to stomach. I do feel awful for your life as a CRIME.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Repetitive and drawn out. All over the place.<br />

Noah is great but the story could have been about 3 total chapters. One minutes hes a baby, then and adult ,and then a toddler,

73 of 88 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just not as interesting as he thinks it is

The apartheid history was interesting. Some of the personal stories. But then I just got sick of them.

59 of 71 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Noah is proud of his bad behavior

This book will appeal to teenage boys. It is the boasting of a selfish man. Lost respect for the man who takes pride in his misdeeds.

82 of 99 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fine but...

Noah is engaging. And his self-depreciating assessment of childhood is familiar to all who have experienced it, regardless of race or country. His observations on race in South Africa and the world over are insightful, but during one anecdote he essentially blames his two pet cats' natural temperament for their own sadistic murder, beheading and skinning at the hands of a superstitious neighbor. In that sense, it seems he may have learned a lot about people's nature, but not much about animals in general.

68 of 82 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.