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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 (138,935 ratings)

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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.

Editorial Review

This book has been on the best seller list since it released, and it deserves to be on the best seller list FOREVER. At this rate, it will be. Everything about this is perfect. Trevor's story is incredible, and his delivery is just as remarkable. Lucky for us, he has another memoir releasing this fall.Laura M., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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    113,804
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Love Trevor Noah....story a bit redundant

TN is a good story teller, I learned much about SAfrica and the era of apartheid
It got a little redundant as the story went on

104 of 125 people found this review helpful

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

Disjointed

I enjoyed Trevor’s performance but the story jumped around too much and was hard to follow. With random antidotes at the end of various chapters. Would have been more enjoyable if the story was chronological.

107 of 129 people found this review helpful

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

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.

107 of 129 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A mishmash of stories that go on and on

I had high hopes for this book but alas it fell short in all ways. There is some humor but the flat monotone delivery blunts it's effect. In later chapters Noah comes across as a total jerk and some of the images he conjures up turned my stomach. The insight into Apartheid kept me engaged for awhile but by mid book the narrative breaks down and it's just a mishmash of stories about a hell raising kid who wrecks havoc and has no problem with it nor does his mother who has high standards for her son's actions except when they effect white peoples property or animals

60 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

97 of 117 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Boring

I realize there are a lot of important things covered in this book, I just didn’t care for Trevor doing the reading. It seems like he’s talking to his teenage friends the whole time and I got tired of him.

106 of 128 people found this review helpful

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

Nothing special.

The history of apartheid was the best part of the book. Everything else could of been a number of others story as well.

78 of 94 people found this review helpful

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

Just another celebrity boasting about being poor

It's not completely boring and you will learn a bit about South Africa. I expected something more, not instant wisdoms and stories about idiots.

This guy has a Swiss father and can afford fireworks, but has nothing to eat. He goes to school by car but has no money for gas. Whaaat? Why don't you bike like everyone else?

64 of 77 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not at all what I expected

I expected this book to be a lot different. I expected to at least laugh.

I didn’t laugh at all. In fact I was left quite depressed by this book.

I guess it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

And the voices and impressions were quite annoying.

101 of 122 people found this review helpful

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

Too many F words

Would you listen to Born a Crime again? Why?

Probably not. It was interesting at the start, but halfway through it's getting tedious and I still have a problem with people who think the "F" word is the right way to express one's feelings.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

His early years and the influence his mother had on him. She must have been quite an interesting and strong character. Least interesting was his story about going to jail.

What about Trevor Noah’s performance did you like?

Very good.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

Trevor started out with great descriptions of where he grew up then it just turned into a what he did story about himself. I have to be honest and say I didn't finish the book because it did get so tedious.

101 of 122 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for KM
  • 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.