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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 (139,905 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

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    126,008
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Performance

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Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    114,597
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  • 3 Stars
    1,853
  • 2 Stars
    264
  • 1 Stars
    172

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

some what useless book as far as learning goes

This is a very cool stories book,but there really isn't much to be learned from in this book from a self improvement standpoint. Trevor just tells clips of memories and flash backs of his child hood, with no real life lessons learned or anything like that. This book is great for mindless listening but that is about it.

92 of 112 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

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

92 of 112 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.

114 of 139 people found this review helpful

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

An interesting take on life yet a bit disturbing

As someone who is blind, I love audible because the books are narrated to me. I made this selection because I enjoy listening to the rider on his comedy show. He is very entertaining and can tell a good story. For the most part, I find his commentary is generally on point. This book gives you a glimpse into his mind and gives you a little background about the life that he has had while growing up in South Africa. I found the issues regarding domestic violence and his family situation to be quite disturbing, but I understand where his viewpoint is coming from because it was a very terrible situation. There were many things in the book that were quite funny and I enjoyed much of his narrative. I had a little bit of a problem with the story regarding the time where he was a DJ and had a lead dancer Who was given the name of Hitler. His explanation of the situation and the reason why this person was named after one of the most notorious people in history is uncomfortable. Other than these two things, I would recommend this book to others with the caveat that it might be a little much for some.

69 of 84 people found this review helpful

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    3 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 127 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

99 of 121 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

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.

77 of 94 people found this review helpful

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

Not Funny at all

I was very disappointed because this book is all about Trevor growing up under Apartheid.

90 of 110 people found this review helpful

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

Codependence

I sincerely hope Mr. Noah is or will become a member of Adult Children of Alcoholics, (ACOA).

90 of 110 people found this review helpful

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    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.

834 of 1,026 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.