Book Review: Born A Crime

“We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.”


Title: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – A Hilarious and Inspirational Memoir Illuminating the Realities of Apartheid-Era South Africa

In the captivating memoir, “Born a Crime,” comedian Trevor Noah fearlessly shares his experiences growing up amidst the rampant racism of apartheid-era South Africa. With his trademark wit and insightful storytelling, Noah takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through his unconventional upbringing, shedding light on the absurdities of racial segregation and the resilience of the human spirit.

With a German father and a black mother, Trevor’s existence defied the strict racial laws of the time, making his very birth a testament to the defiance and love that transcends boundaries. Through his words, Noah vividly portrays his mother—a strong, independent woman with unwavering morals and a fiery spirit—who becomes the guiding force in his life.

“Trevor, remember a man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be a man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not what you have, it’s who you are. Being more of a man doesn’t mean your woman has to be less than you.”

Noah’s mischievous nature and rebellious streak are juxtaposed against the backdrop of a deeply divided society. His childhood escapades, from cheeky pranks to daring adventures, are peppered throughout the narrative, showcasing his ability to find humor in even the most challenging circumstances.

“One of the most important things you learn as a child living in a dangerous neighborhood is that you don’t walk around with anything you can’t afford to lose. My mother walked around with a handbag. I walked around with a toy phone. That’s right—a toy phone. And I wasn’t fooling anyone. People would come up to me, ‘Hey, boy, give me that phone.’ I’d be like, ‘No, man, it’s not a real phone.’ They’d be like, ‘Oh, okay,’ and they’d walk away. They knew I wasn’t hiding anything in that phone. I was like the drug dealer with the coat full of oregano.”

As he navigates the complexities of his mixed-race identity, Noah deftly exposes the absurdities and injustices of apartheid with a comedic lens, offering readers a fresh perspective on the darkest aspects of history.
While humor prevails throughout the memoir, Noah doesn’t shy away from sharing the harsh realities he witnessed. From witnessing extreme poverty and sleeping in a car to the brink of losing his beloved mother, Trevor’s experiences shape his worldview and foster a deep understanding of the human condition. Yet, even in the face of adversity, his indomitable spirit and ability to find light in the darkest moments shine through, creating an uplifting and inspirational reading experience.

“Born a Crime” is a beautifully crafted memoir that delves into the complexities of identity, prejudice, and the power of love and resilience. Trevor Noah’s honest and vulnerable storytelling, intertwined with his comedic genius, leaves readers simultaneously laughing and reflecting on the human capacity for triumph over adversity.

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

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