Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Review

I recently stumbled upon the captivating audiobook, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.” Narrated by the talented Trevor Noah himself, this Audible Studios production takes listeners on a thrilling journey through the twilight of apartheid in South Africa. From heart-stopping moments like being thrown from a moving van by his mother to save him from danger, to hilarious anecdotes that showcase Noah’s incredible wit, this memoir is a rollercoaster of emotions. Noah’s ability to effortlessly switch between English, Xhosa, and Zulu accents and dialects is truly remarkable, earning him the prestigious Audie Award for Best Male Narrator in 2018. However, it is his portrayal of his devoted and unwavering mother that truly steals the show.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

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Why Consider This Product?

If you’re looking for a captivating memoir that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” is the perfect choice. This book is not just any ordinary memoir; it has been hailed as the highest-rated new book of 2016 by Audible customers and won the prestigious Audible’s Best of 2016 – Celebrity Memoirs award. With such recognition, it’s clear that this book stands out from the rest.

The story centers around Trevor Noah’s coming-of-age during the tumultuous era of apartheid in South Africa. It is a tale filled with both heart-wrenching moments and hilarious anecdotes that will keep you hooked from start to finish. Scientific research and evidence may not be relevant here, but the endorsements and accolades this book has received speak for themselves.

Features and Benefits

Engaging Storytelling

One of the key features of “Born a Crime” is Trevor Noah’s exceptional storytelling abilities. He takes on various personas and effortlessly performs accents and dialects in English, Xhosa, and Zulu. His virtuoso embodiment of the characters from his childhood earned him the prestigious Audie Award for Best Male Narrator in 2018. Noah’s vivid storytelling brings the book to life, making it feel like you’re right beside him, experiencing his journey firsthand.

Poignant and Comical Episodes

The book is filled with episodes that will make you laugh out loud and others that will tug at your heartstrings. Trevor Noah seamlessly weaves together moments of comedy and poignancy, creating a rich tapestry of emotions. Through his honest and authentic storytelling, he provides a unique perspective on his experiences, offering readers a deeper understanding of his life and the larger context of South Africa during apartheid.

Compelling Mother-Son Relationship

One of the standout features of “Born a Crime” is Trevor Noah’s portrayal of his devoted and uncompromising mother. Voiced by Noah himself, his mother steals the show with her strength, resilience, and unwavering love. Their relationship adds depth and nuance to the narrative, showcasing the power of family bonds even in the face of adversity. This dynamic relationship will leave you inspired and moved by the incredible bond between a mother and son.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

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Product Quality

When it comes to the quality of “Born a Crime,” it has received rave reviews from readers and listeners alike. This memoir has been praised for its compelling storytelling, impactful anecdotes, and the brilliant narration by Trevor Noah himself. The book is a testament to Noah’s talent as a writer and performer, as well as his ability to connect with audiences on a deep level. With such unanimous praise, it’s clear that the quality of this product is exceptional.

What It’s Used For

Emotional Connection

“Born a Crime” is a book that resonates on an emotional level. It allows readers to connect with Trevor Noah’s experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges he faced growing up in a racially divided society. This book is not only for those interested in South African history or Noah’s rise to fame but for anyone who seeks a heartfelt and enlightening memoir.

Cultural Insight

Through his storytelling, Trevor Noah provides valuable insights into South African culture, particularly during the apartheid era. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and struggles faced by individuals living under such circumstances. It serves as a poignant reminder of the power of storytelling and its ability to bridge cultural divides.

Inspiration and Resilience

“Born a Crime” is a story of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity. Trevor Noah’s journey from a disadvantaged childhood to becoming a renowned comedian and television host is truly inspiring. This book serves as a reminder that no matter the circumstances, one can overcome obstacles and create a better future through determination and perseverance.

Entertainment and Enlightenment

Beyond its educational and inspirational aspects, “Born a Crime” is simply an entertaining read. Trevor Noah’s wit and humor infuse the book with laughter and lightness, providing a welcomed respite from the heavy subject matter. This memoir strikes the perfect balance between entertainment and enlightenment, making it a must-read for those seeking both.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

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Product Specifications

Publication DateNovember 15, 2016
AuthorTrevor Noah
NarratorTrevor Noah
GenreBiography, Autobiography, Memoir
Length8 hours and 44 minutes (Unabridged)
Formats AvailableAudiobook, Hardcover, Paperback
PublisherAudible Studios

Who Needs This

Anyone with an interest in captivating memoirs, African history, or stories of resilience and triumph will benefit from reading “Born a Crime.” This book appeals to a wide range of readers, from those seeking entertainment and laughter to those looking for a deeper understanding of the complexities of South African society.

Pros and Cons


  • Engaging storytelling that keeps readers hooked from start to finish
  • An excellent balance of comedy and poignancy
  • Trevor Noah’s brilliant narration and performance
  • Valuable cultural insights into South Africa during apartheid


  • Some readers may find the subject matter challenging or emotionally heavy
  • The inclusion of various languages and dialects may require occasional reference to translations for non-speakers


  1. Is “Born a Crime” suitable for all ages?

    • While the book is suitable for mature teenagers and adults, parents may want to preview it before recommending it to younger readers due to some mature themes and language.
  2. Are translations provided for non-English parts of the book?

    • No translations are provided within the book itself, but the meaning is often clear from the context. Readers who are unfamiliar with Xhosa or Zulu may choose to reference online translations as needed.
  3. Is this book only for fans of Trevor Noah?

    • “Born a Crime” appeals to a wider audience beyond just Trevor Noah fans. It offers a unique perspective on South African history and provides a compelling story of resilience and triumph.

What Customers Are Saying

Customer testimonials speak volumes about the impact of “Born a Crime.” Readers and listeners have praised Trevor Noah’s storytelling abilities, the emotional resonance of the book, and the transformative power of the memoir. Many have expressed their gratitude for gaining a deeper understanding of South Africa’s history and the remarkable journey Trevor Noah undertakes in his life.

Overall Value

Overall, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” offers tremendous value to readers and listeners. The combination of engaging storytelling, cultural insights, and inspiration makes this book a worthwhile investment of time and money. Whether you are a fan of Trevor Noah or are simply looking for an incredible memoir, this book delivers on all fronts.

Tips and Tricks For Best Results

  1. Set aside dedicated time to fully immerse yourself in the book, as it is difficult to put down once you start.
  2. Consider listening to the audiobook version narrated by Trevor Noah himself for an enhanced experience.
  3. Take breaks if you find some parts emotionally challenging, as the book covers heavy subject matter.
  4. Utilize online resources for translations of non-English parts if needed.
  5. Engage in discussions or join book clubs to share and reflect on the book with others.

Final Thoughts

Product Summary

“Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” is an award-winning memoir by Trevor Noah that takes readers on a captivating journey through his tumultuous coming-of-age during apartheid in South Africa. With engaging storytelling, cultural insights, and moments of comedy and poignancy, this memoir offers a unique perspective on South African history and the power of resilience.

Final Recommendation

If you’re a fan of memoirs, interested in South African history, or simply looking for a compelling and transformative read, “Born a Crime” is a must-read. Trevor Noah’s exceptional storytelling abilities combined with his personal experiences make this memoir stand out from the rest. It’s a book that will leave you laughing, crying, and ultimately inspired by the incredible strength of the human spirit.

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