Born a Crime by Trevor Noah tells The Daily Show host’s story of growing up in South African under apartheid. Noah truly was born a crime. When he was born in the early 1980s, it was illegal under apartheid for his black mother and his white father to have a relationship.
Noah incorporates South African history into the anecdotes of his youth. Growing up where he did was a challenge and his mother did all she could to ensure he had a good education. Noah struggled with his racial identity among his peers, but found his niche doing comedy and booking gigs as a DJ. Life was not easy for Noah and a lot of the stories he tells will leave the reader wondering how he even survived to adulthood.
The writing and editing is a little sloppy in parts. Some of the anecdotes are contradictory or simply do not flow well. Still, there are some laughs to be had as he recounts his youth.
I have to admit I did eventually lose interest in stories of his teenage antics. His devotion and admiration for his mother, however, was written about beautifully. The book is worth sticking with for the ending about his mother’s strength in surviving and escaping an environment of domestic violence. One thing is certain: Noah and his family have truly been through a lot.