Our April book Born a Crime was just what I was in the mood for! After lots of dark and cloudy months and some intense books (i.e. Birdbox, The Hate U Give, The Healing of America), Trevor Noah’s ability to make anything into a joke was just what I needed. He covers some really dark subjects to say the least (attempted murders, carjacking, domestic abuse, apartheid, racism, etc), but manages to tell his stories with humor and heart.
“One day as a young man I was walking down the street, and a group of Zulu guys was walking behind me, closing in on me, and I could hear them talking to one another about how they were going to mug me. ‘Let’s get this white guy. You go to his left, and I’ll come up behind him.’ I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t run, so I just spun around real quick and said, ‘Yo, guys, why don’t we just mug someone together? I’m ready. Let’s do it.’ They looked shocked for a moment, and then they started laughing.”
My only criticisms would be that at times his stories were a little repetitive, and I wish he’d gone into more detail about how his childhood led to where he is now. I kept waiting for his stories to jump time and tell us about how he started in comedy and TV hosting, but he never went there. Understandable I guess, considering the title of the book it’s more focused on the story of how he grew up.
Born a Crime was well written and Trevor Noah’s stories were moving, hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful all at the same time. He also introduced South Africa as its own character, speaking to many of his country’s complexities built out of a violent history of colonialism and apartheid. My understanding of South Africa and apartheid was minimal before reading this book, and it’s arguably still minimal. But Noah’s stories made me want to learn more.
I highly recommend this one! A humorous memoir that will teach you a thing or two.