Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah

Book cover

In case you didn’t know, Trevor Noah lived a crazy life before coming to America. The fact that he ended up as one of the most successful performers of our time is just incredible given that he was born a mixed-race kid in apartheid South Africa. As others have noted, this is not a comedy book, though he does try to be lighthearted at times, and it ends before he comes to America.

For me, the most interesting part was his discussion of crime and how your circumstances change your perspective on what “counts” as crime or as immoral–based on his own experience dealing a fair amount in crime growing up. This is a point that I think is made fairly often, but it’s quite powerful to see it made by someone who not only has first-hand experience, but also now lives in my milieu.

Both Noah and his mother are clearly incredible people. If this book doesn’t hit home the staggering amount of potential that is lost to poverty and oppression throughout the world, nothing will.

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars