A review by lectrixnoctis
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah

adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective tense fast-paced


Trevor Noah's strange path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with an illegal act: his birth. Trevor happened to be born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother when such a union was criminal by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' recklessness, Trevor was kept frequently indoors for the most prime years of his life, obliged by the extreme and often irrational measures his mother took to hide him from a state that could, at any moment, take him away. Eventually liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living fully and freely and embracing the chances won by a centuries-long conflict.

"Born a Crime" is the tale of a prankish young boy who grows into a wandering young man as he strives to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to live in. Additionally, it is the story of that young man's connection with his fearless, rebellious, and highly religious mother—his teammate, a woman settled to save her son from the circle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would eventually threaten her own life.

The narrative was written in the first-person point of view by the author himself, and it was said in the past in South Africa.

Moreover, the motives of this book, in particular about racism and how apartheid, one of the worst crimes committed in South Africa, has affected the country and its people, although the system never truly worked at all. By casting black people away from white people and having no room for mixed children, who by law did not exist. I am a massive advocate for constantly educating yourself, especially racism, even more, if you are white. For me, a woman who has never lived outside of Germany and is broad, it is important to recognise my privilege and think about the system my ancestors have created and how I stop thinking that favours the system and even breaking out of it.

Not to forget to mention the love of Noah's mother was impeccable, and although I disagreed with her tough love method, I know it came from the heart, and I know she only wanted to do the best for him, which she enviably did. I loved reading about the relationship between the author and his mother throughout his whole childhood and his early 20s. Although I do not know these people personally, I felt connected with them because of the writing style, which hit me very hard and was witty at the same time.

A friend bought this as a gift for my 19th birthday, and I cannot be happier to read this book finally. I did not imagine it to hit that hard but in the best way possible. I laughed out loud because of it, and I cried at the end of the book. I did not think that autobiographies could make you feel something this deep like this one does. I highly recommend this book to anyone. You're probably going to cry, but you will love this book, and it will give you extreme joy.

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