Born a Crime

Stories from a South African Childhood
5 out of 5 stars (105,716 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
    94,715
  • 4 Stars
    9,377
  • 3 Stars
    1,268
  • 2 Stars
    197
  • 1 Stars
    159

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    92,788
  • 4 Stars
    4,413
  • 3 Stars
    548
  • 2 Stars
    95
  • 1 Stars
    93

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86,283
  • 4 Stars
    9,419
  • 3 Stars
    1,446
  • 2 Stars
    192
  • 1 Stars
    136
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

an ok book,

it's an okay book the story is not spectacular I think Nora Trevor is an okay storyteller

59 of 67 people found this review helpful

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

Interesting but not very funny

Trevor definitely lived an interesting life, typical of non white people in South Africa at the time. I expected when I read this book, that it would reflect Trevor's comedy genius, but it falls short. I would guess that it would very difficult to turn some of his life events into humour -to do so would negate the pain and suffering that living in South Africa at the time caused.

I can understand why Trevor wrote this book, it would have been wonderfully cathartic in order to deal with his abusive childhood.

Technically the book does not flow well, there are unexplained gaps in the story and unfinished tales. The book has also been poorly edited, with poor grammar and incorrect use of of words. Trevor's narration of the audio book is not great, he comes across stilted and his mistakes when reading should, have been edited more carefully. I love the fact accents though!

I nonetheless applaud Trevor for the attempt though, he has come a long way. I recommend that anyone who wants some close insight into the lives of South Africans read the book.

59 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Folsom, CA, United States
  • 08-06-17

Sounds similar to my poor white youth in 1950's US

Poor and White or black in 1950's was somewhat similar, except growing up in California we did not see the racism as in other states. Plus, didn't know we were poor since everyone around us was the same... until attending high school. So, that aspect of the book was not very hitting to my soul in this book. Wish he could have driven home better his experience of how bad the racism was, but I felt that Noah was able to skip along the boarder of it because of his color and upbringing. His criminal activity in youth shows how the effects of who you hang with will influence your life possibly more than a strong parent. Teach a man to fish and he will be able to feed himself for life. .. Noah repeated this by following up: except they didn't give him/the poor a fishing pole. Noah repeated this often, yet he changed his life like I believe the saying really teaches: Make choices to take control of your life and do not depend on others to Give you a fishing pole.
Interesting young life story, but not yet lived a life that has the gravitas to have a full depth of a autobiography.

70 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Crime contiues

Boring with no comedic moments. Too much emphasis on skin color gradients over and over

70 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ty
  • Great State of Mind
  • 06-12-17

meh

Great life story but didn't get the back story on how he became successful, working his way up, habits that he did to reach the top

70 of 80 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.

44 of 50 people found this review helpful

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

VERY DISAPPOINTED - Riddled with the F-WORD!

I just could not finish what is probably a great story. The man seems very proud to have thrown off his moral compass.

44 of 50 people found this review helpful

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

44 of 50 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.

44 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hazel
  • Nampa, ID, United States
  • 05-29-18

Too much profanity!

I liked this book at the start, and some of it made me laugh out loud. In general it was written very interestingly, but the further I progressed the worse the language got. I would have liked to finish the book but I couldn't get past the bad language and the irreverence in parts of it.

69 of 79 people found this review helpful

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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
  • 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.