Born a Crime - Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

By Trevor Noah

  • Release Date: 2016-11-15
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 4,592 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • More than one million copies sold! A “brilliant” (Lupita Nyong’o, Time), “poignant” (Entertainment Weekly), “soul-nourishing” (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid
“Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”—Esquire
Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.


  • Wildest book I’ve read prolly

    By IvoryFleas
    Idk how mans is still walking among us 😳
  • I loved it!

    By Justin 석원 Choi
    I did not see that coming… He’s got so many great stories… stories that someone that grew up in the suburbs of California would never even imagine ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ!
  • Great book

    By Man okey
    Written in a very entertaining format. Loved every page. The last bit had me in suspense.
  • 2022&2023 World Tour

    By bestvnteas
    Please add Seattle or its vicinities to your World Tour. The west coast, specifically me, would love seeing such an upstanding comedian in person. Your mother is a beautiful person inside and out. She’s still the most beautiful person in your family. I’m convinced that a woman is behind every successful person. You’re so fortunate to have your mom.
  • Never disappoints

    By Sliverbax101
    Thank you…that’s all
  • Wow!

    By *niksta*
    What a great writer! I did not expect this book to be as well written as it was, or as captivating as it was. It was completely worth my time and I wish I could tell Trevor how much I appreciated it.
  • Loved it

    By letsgokp
    I wish I’d have read this before my trip to SA. A great little history lesson with perspective from a “colored” boy. Plus, Trevor is so funny!
  • Truly great book

    By Ms Swiss
    Excellent, emotional read .
  • Motherhood

    By giooo2322
    It was my second time reading this book. I loved it more than I did the first time. I teared up, again. This book contains a beautiful meaning; that meaning is the love we have for our mothers. A mother’s love is unique and indefinite. I totally recommend reading this memoir!
  • Absolutely fantastic

    By Medrese
    I could not put this book down. I didn’t know much of anything about apartheid before reading this and am now very intrigued to learn more. The difference in experiences between races and being born a crime because he is mixed are so tragic, and Noah tells his own story in a very captivating manner. Now I’d love to listen to the audiobook to hear it in his own words. Highly recommend.