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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 (123,296 ratings)

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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.

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

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

Got weird in the third half

It started out pretty good with the history of South Africa etc. Then there was a natural progression (baby, teens, young adult) etc Then all of a sudden it goes back to his abusive step dad and his mom etc etc It didn't flow properly, which kinda ruined it.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profanity Too Big of Hurdle

Interesting story but I couldn’t get passed the offensive language. Finally had to turn it off.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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

I didn’t hate it

In fact, I didn’t feel passionately about it at all. Some of the stories were repetitive and it was difficult to discern what period of his life he was talking about at any particular moment because he jumps back and forth quite a lot. I also expected it to be a funnier. The only bit that I really found funny was the story about him doing number two in the kitchen.

Overall this book doesn’t live up to the hype. I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone unless they were a fan of Trevor’s to begin with. I did enjoy hearing about his individual experience growing up in South Africa during apartheid, but the disjointedness kept this from being a really good listen for me.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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could easily have been so much better ..

although intensely anecdotal the story gave no vision of the getaway from crime and I was most curious about how he changed his life. in the end you were left with Petty crime oriented stories that leave you with an unsatisfying feeling..

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Krykie
  • Miami, NM, United States
  • 05-06-19

boring as hell

If the author weren't already famous, this would be a very dull and zzzz book. There is no self reflection, no moment of discovery, no journey. It's Trevor talking about his life growing up in a dysfunctional family. He complains about unfairness, but he exploits and steals from others without regret. Not at the time, not in writing the book. Again, if it weren't Trevor Noah, I doubt the story would have been published.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Sheff
  • Inkster, Michigan United States
  • 04-28-19

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

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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I like him but...

This was the first time I've ever listened to an audiobook. I am a fairly avid reader so this was different for me and maybe that affected my opinion of this story. I'm glad I read/heard it, I learned alot about apartheid and South African people and prejudices but I didn't enjoy the story as a whole. Not very uplifting, I found most of the situations and people frustrating. I found some anecdotes funny but overall I wasn't that interested in much of it and my mind would drift. It's admirable how he got himself out of that country to where he is today and I'm happy for him and his success.

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Read about 3/4 and did not finish

This is an interesting story about Trevor Noah’s life. That said I just was not drawn to finish the story. I truly appreciate all he’s been through and the success he has had. Perhaps others will find it more captivating than I did at listening on my way to and from work.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Disjointed stories without an overall narrative

Although is really enjoyed some of the individual stories, they were more stories that would be told to friends while drinking or sitting around the campfire. There was little coherence between the stories and the overall theme of the book was lost. there is a book here -- probably more than one, but the editor did not do a great job of teasing it out of Trevor Noah. I thought I was going to be reading about how Apartheid effects individuals, but that completely went away after part one.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Struggled to finish

The author read this audiobook himself, and he did a fantastic job. The story was interesting, but a bit disjointed. The overuse of swear words as adjectives took away from the flow of the story.
He did however do a great job of making his mom the hero of the story, and in doing so he brought her honor. I listen to most audiobooks at least two if not three times, but once was enough for me with this one.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful

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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.