beccic's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny informative slow-paced

5.0

This is the story of Trevor Noah's life before fame and he narrates it wonderfully. But it is also an explanation of apartheid and a brief history of race in South Africa. I really enjoyed this. It felt like a quick read and he manages to get the message of how messed up the whole system was while still maintaining the wit he is best know for. There are moments in this book that did shock me and there are moments that made me laugh, sometimes even about things that are no laughing matter. I found this book to be quite educational and informative in a way that was serious and lighthearted in just the right ways to make it memorable.

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lucinotlucy's review against another edition

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dark emotional informative lighthearted reflective medium-paced

4.5


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purplelake's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful lighthearted medium-paced

5.0

Wow. Just wow. Born a Crime might be the best book I’ve read in the last couple years.
While novel centers around Noah’s childhood in South Africa, he and his mother are a binary star system, revolving around each other. The amount of respect Noah has for his mother, for all her strengths and weaknesses, charms and faults, is apparent in every word. And Noah’s mother is truly an incredible woman, providing wisdom and opportunity even during apartheid.
The story unfolds through witty vignettes, weaving the timeline back and forth, both non-sequential and somehow the way Noah’s tale is best told. Noah’s candid and irreverent voice is what truly puts this book over the top, guiding his audience through the race struggle of post-apartheid South Africa with grace and humor.
It comes as no surprise that Born a Crime is a comedic masterpiece, but it is the heart of the novel that makes it worth the read.

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grac3harrison's review against another edition

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challenging emotional informative reflective fast-paced

4.75


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caribbeangirlreading's review against another edition

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emotional funny informative sad medium-paced

3.25

I will start by sharing my personal biases - I don’t watch late night TV and I’m not a fan of stand-up comedy.  I do not follow Noah’s career, but I do know who he is.  I love a good memoir but usually shy away from celebrity penned ones.  But you know, #bookstagrammademedoit 

Loved – On this one, Booksta was right.  This is a book that is best enjoyed via audio. I laughed out loud when Noah imitated his grandmother’s and mother’s voices and then would change his voice when it was little Trevor speaking. I also loved listening to Noah speak out loud in various African languages.  Had I only read the physical book, I would have skipped over the phrases and gone straight to the translation.  But listening to Noah speak in Xulu, Xhosa, Tsonga, etc. elevated the reading experience. That is what a great audiobook should do. 

Various themes explored – Being raised “white” by his mother (refusing to pass forward generational trauma); growing up feeling like an outsider due to his biracial identity; the complexities of race and ethnicity in South Africa; entrenched misogyny and patriarchy in traditional African society, etc. 

Disliked – Like any good comedian, Noah does not let facts get in the way of a good story.  There were a few inconsistencies in the book that jumped out and made me wonder where else he was embellishing the truth.  As expected, he used humor to tell stories. Sometimes it worked.  Sometimes it was horrifying.  I also felt that, like people in real life, he used humor to avoid vulnerability and intimacy with the reader.  Last, but not least, I give zero stars to the editing of this book.  If you are a fan, it might not bother you, but to me it felt like someone transcribed his comedy routines, slapped them together, and called it a memoir.  I understand this is not an autobiography, but the book lacked a narrative focus. 

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ekmook's review against another edition

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funny informative reflective medium-paced

4.0


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empathephant's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny informative inspiring lighthearted reflective sad tense medium-paced

4.0

This book was different than I expected it to be (in a great way). I thought it would be more of a linear story that focused a lot on how he got to be a comedian/TV personality, but after reading I still have no clue about his early career. What it did talk about was his childhood. I knew it would discuss the effects of Apartheid, but each chapter was organized somewhat topically, string together personal stories examples and jumping in time to illustrate concepts of what South African life was like more than "his life story." I learned so much that I hadn't known previously about South Africa as an American. I highly recommend the audiobook. It is narrated by Trevor himself and he tells his story emotionally and powerfully, speaking many languages and even singing at one point. He made me laugh and feel sorrow and fear in the same book, making it easier to approach the heavy topics found within.

I think what another review said is a perfect description: "I...admired how he [told] his story as it is. He had every chance to glorify the life he lived in South Africa and he did not. To me, it was more like he wrote the book to shed light on the circumstances that kids like him grew up in rather than talk about his own life."

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milliebrierley's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny informative medium-paced

5.0


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chapterchristine's review against another edition

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dark emotional funny informative inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced

5.0


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emakay's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.75


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