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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, November 2016 - Just as fans of The Daily Show weren't quite sure what to expect when he was announced as the show's new host, I started Born a Crime not really knowing what I'd find in Noah's book. Comedy? Political and social commentary? Sure, but not in the way I expected. Instead, I was given so much more. Noah's story is intertwined with the final years and aftermath of apartheid-era South Africa. It's a story that begins with Noah's mother throwing him from a moving car to avoid a potentially fatal dispute with gangsters and follows the comedian's path to self-discovery amid episodes both bittersweet and comical. It's eloquent and touching and funny and made all the better with his reading, especially as he recounts anecdotes involving his mother - the true show stealer - and delivers clever turns of phrase as only a top-notch comic and storyteller can. —Doug, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Highest-rated new book of 2016 by Audible customers

Winner: Audible's Best of 2016 - Celebrity Memoirs

Trevor Noah, one of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars and host of The Daily Show, tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. In this Audible Studios production, Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

"Nelson Mandela once said, 'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.' He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else's language, even if it's just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, 'I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.'" (Trevor Noah)

Attuned to the power of language at a young age - as a means of acceptance and influence in a country divided, then subdivided, into groups at odds with one another - Noah's raw, personal journey becomes something extraordinary in audio: a true testament to the power of storytelling. With brutal honesty and piercing wit, he forgoes an ordinary reading and, instead, delivers something more intimate, sharing his story with the openness and candor of a close friend. His chameleon-like ability to mimic accents and dialects, to shift effortlessly between languages including English, Xhosa, and Zulu, and to embody characters throughout his childhood - his mother, his gran, his schoolmates, first crushes and infatuations - brings each memory to life in vivid detail. Hearing him directly, you're reminded of the gift inherent in telling one's story and having it heard; of connecting with another, and seeing them as a human being.

The stories Noah tells are by turns hilarious, bizarre, tender, dark, and poignant - subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty, making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world, thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn't commit, thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, and more.

An Audible for Dogs Pick: Make your dog's day. Cesar Millan shares how audiobooks can make dogs happier and calmer. Learn more.
©2016 Spiegel & Grau (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Comedian Trevor Noah's stories of growing up in South Africa are vivid, sometimes harrowing, and often laugh-out-loud funny. The bonus of audio is that listeners get to HEAR Noah tell these stories in his South African-accented English, as well as hear him speak snippets of various other South African languages. Noah (who succeeded Jon Stewart as the host of 'The Daily Show') is a natural storyteller - skilled, engaging, and relatable.... Noah's narration offers insights and intimacy." ( AudioFile)
"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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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    88,207
  • 4 Stars
    8,807
  • 3 Stars
    1,189
  • 2 Stars
    183
  • 1 Stars
    149

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    86,458
  • 4 Stars
    4,119
  • 3 Stars
    505
  • 2 Stars
    93
  • 1 Stars
    86

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    80,344
  • 4 Stars
    8,848
  • 3 Stars
    1,337
  • 2 Stars
    181
  • 1 Stars
    126
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but repetitive

I liked this book, but found myself wishing it would move along, and stop repetitive dialog.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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

just ok

I felt he got off track on his story at times. It seemed rushed at the end and left me wondering.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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

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.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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

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 .

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Didn't finish

I was expecting more storytelling and laughs. I also thought it would be interesting to learn more about South Africa. I did learn more, and appreciated that part. I got bored because the story themes were repetitive, and gave up.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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

Average in every way

Well I was looking for a funny book to ease my commute, got a little less than I'd hoped for. I really don't understand the hype around this book (4.9 stars from 93.000 ratings on audible) because it is really an average book, with a below average performance from Mr. Noah. Very biased, it is basically a book about childhood complexes and obsessions. Funny in some parts, relatable in some ways (growing up in communist Eastern Europe was is some ways a very similar experience to being black in South Africa during the Apartheid).
In conclusion, buy the book if you like the guy, and be careful with those 5 star reviews...

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Karlee H.
  • Lexington, Ky United States
  • 08-02-18

Hard to Finish

It started out good, but lost my interest pretty fast. I ended up never finishing it.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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

Full of profanity

I finally quit listening. There is no reason for profanity. This story is ok, gives some insight into the culture, but it is hard to listen to.

24 of 26 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.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.