Book Review #22 - Born A Crime By Trevor Noah

This book is a beautifully delivered autobiography by Comedian and creator Trevor Noah. What is particularly remarkable about this story is that it is an excellent story based on his true-life experiences. There were several moments I had my mouth open, my muscles tense from the suspense, or burst out in laughter, or my eyes watered from the shared hurt. This book does a great job of captivating the audience.

If you are a regular of Trevor Noah's Show on Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, you know that Trevor is funny. He is not just your ordinary Comedian; the man is skilled at using Comedy to bring delight, evoke deep thought, and expertly discuss and shed light on difficult conversations.

I bet you probably knew he was from South Africa; he mentions this a lot, but what he doesn't say is how spectacular his life story is to date. The horror he has had to experience and how his very birth was considered a crime. This book does justice to peeling the layers of Trevor Noah in the context of South African Apartheid, Family, Racism, Religion, Colorism, Poverty, Domestic Violence, Love, and the coming of age of a young African man navigating the world in South Africa.

Trevor navigates his story with the insight of retrospect sharing timeless life lessons, taking us on a personal tour of his history. Very quickly, you forget where he is right now and start with him from his beginning. I read the audiobook narrated by Trevor, and oh boy, was it a spectacular performance. It had the works; he acted a play of his life: dialogue, plot, all quality stuff. It was like listening to a play by one actor who made many voices. I heard at a stretch, and I didn't want it to end. Till the very last page, he wove his story so well. You can tell that this was the combined work of the serendipitous work of fate creating a great plot, and with the help of a team expressing this in a book; an incredible editor, a narrator, and storytellers who know what great (not good) stories are made of.

I can tell you that from beginning to end, all the pieces had value. I was never bored, or confused. It was like a musical performance by an orchestra. Every bit had its purpose. The pauses, crescendos, peaks, and even the monotones all wove to create a complete piece of work.

I found it fascinating that while the team might have edited out a lot, a lot remained authentic. I really can't imagine it any more complete. The ugly was not whitewashed, and the bizarre was expressed factually, but with context so that even though it was crazy, you understood. Half the time, I went, "Trevor Noah went through this? Wow"

His mother, a core character in the story, and she represents every strong-willed African woman you and I know, and when you read; you know her, she is your family. She is your auntie, your mother, or your grandma.

At the risk of revealing too much, I'll end here. I'm glad I decided to read this book after a friend recommended it. I will extend the same sentiment to you. I choose not to rate this book; it's in a class of its own.

Yes. You absolutely must read it.

Amazon Link Here:



P.s I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and hope the new year brings great things for you, and yours <3


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