By Trevor Noah

Released :10/10/2020

Reviewed : 05/10/2020

Reviewed by: Priyanka Elangbam

There are some stories that are best enjoyed when read and then there are some that absolutely must be listened to Trevor Noah\’s Born a Crime falls in the latter category.
As the music slowly swallows his final words and swells up through the ending credits, my tear-stained cheeks couldn\’t help but plaster itself in an infinite smile.

This is an enduring story of a mother and a child who made their own in the midst of a crumbling apartheid and the polarizing days that followed. Written and narrated by South African comedian and the current host of The Daily Show,Trevor Noah, Born a Crime, sets a new gold standard for memoir storytelling and in the process redefines the genres of autobiography and audio books all at once.

With Born a Crime, Trevor Noah does this with such exquisite class, which you\’ve probably would expect from one of the world\’s brightest comedians, but his range and variety are astonishing, to say the least. The racially torn nation is so vividly portrayed by Noah, all the characters flavored with individual vocal textures and his mastery over a number of African languages and accents, only adds to the overall experience.

Born to a white Swiss-German father and a black Xhosa mother during a time when such a union was punishable by 5 years in prison(hence, Born a Crime), Noah\’s often comical and at times horrifying coming of age tale is a truly compelling and uplifting journey.

\”Dad was the white chocolate, mom was the dark chocolate, and I was the milk chocolate. But we were all just chocolate. I didn\’t know any of it had anything to do with race. I didn\’t know what race was.\” Among all the things Trevor Noah said in his book, this has got to be a standout for me. I don\’t think there can be a better analogy for racism and how children are always ignorant about things like racism, gender differences, etc. Everything is equal for them until they\’re introduced to the differences created by humans.

The audiobook is felt throughout with laugh-out-loud hilarious anecdotes, such as when a young Noah ever so silently takes a shit on a newspaper in the living room of the house in front of his clueless blind great grandmother, and when Noah the young DJ and his dance crew from the Hood perform at a Jewish school hip hopping and shouting \”GO HITLER\” at the top of their lungs. This is my favorite anecdote. But this isn\’t just another breezy light-hearted comedy routine by any means.

This is a deeply personal and sincerely honest memoir of a half-black, half white man from a third world nation where racial oppression is a fragment of its culture. With a wealth of life experiences at such a young age, Noah narrates his own childhood with such wit and grace, one would find it hard to fathom that it very well could have been another half-baked patronizing memoir of an American celebrity.

Also the real gem of the book is Noah\’s mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. The book itself is an accidental ode to her, reflected by the huge admiration Naoh has for her. She is presented as independent, funny, beautiful and defiant. Her life itself is full of abuse and hardships, but what shines through Noah\’s remembering of that time though, is the goodness of her.

I will call this book one of my favorite books of all times as well as this year. I don\’t think I can review this book ever fully, there\’s so much to talk about here, so many favorite events that were gut-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time. Imagine being thrown out of a moving bus by your mother!
I\’m lowkey crushing hard on Noah\’s dimples. Hehe.

1 thought on “BORN A CRIME”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *