'Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood' by Trevor Noah


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Born A Crime is absolutely brilliant.


Noah is not just funny on stage or in front of a camera; I found myself laughing out loud in many parts reading the book. Noah walks us through his upbringing; raised by a single, strong-willed mother – from whom we can assume he got his sense of humour. Noah writes about the ills of being raised poor and mixed race at a time apartheid was coming to an end; he writes about the complexities and bitterness resulting from the racism which plagues his country; of fanatical, almost comical, Christianity; of growing up with an abusive stepfather; of his mischievous adventures as a troublesome youth; of the entrepreneurship opportunities he dabbled in; of his misadventures in young 'love'. It’s a wholesome, delicious book.


The only thing I wish is that Noah had spent more time telling us about his transition from a business-minded teen out of school and hanging out in a ghetto outside Johannesburg, to becoming one of Africa’s greatest comedians (if not the greatest, if you ask me). He scraped the surface of the topic – talking about DJing at parties and hosting TV and radio shows – but we didn’t get the full gist (which might be okay since the book is about stories from his childhood and not his adult life). I guess I’ll be holding my breath for the sequel to find out.

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