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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 (113,086 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

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  • Overall
    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.

820 of 985 people found this review helpful

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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

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life is hard, then you host the Daily Show.

I am glad Trevor Noah has achieved success, I just don't think this book is why.

87 of 105 people found this review helpful

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All about how great he is.

I so wanted to quit this book but I kept hoping for.....something to make it worthwhile. Never happened. Don’t waste your time.

87 of 105 people found this review helpful

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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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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.

54 of 65 people found this review helpful

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Maybe I just struggle to enjoy a nonfiction

I Struggled with the overall lack of plot. While some of Trevor’s stories were interesting and funny I just did not see the point. I did not know much of Trevor Noah when I started the book - I kept exiting for big reveal or something significant. I had heard many positive reviews of this book . The audio was good but I was still disappointed overall .

63 of 76 people found this review helpful

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all about a naughty boy

I was interested in the cultural aspect of Noah's early life but when he went on and on about how naughty he was I lost interest. Naughty boys are naughty boys all over the world. I may go back and try to listen again as I would like to know how he became the person he is today.

72 of 87 people found this review helpful

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Raunchy language

An amazing story that would have been much more enjoyable without the vulgar language. I certainly would not share it.

72 of 87 people found this review helpful

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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.

81 of 98 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.