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Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Paperback – 21 Sep 2017
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An engaging, fast-paced and vivid read . . . Essential reading not only because it is a personal story of survival, leavened with insight and wit, but because it does more to expose apartheid - its legacy, its pettiness, its small-minded stupidity and its damage - than any other recent history book or academic text (GUARDIAN)
It's no surprise that Trevor Noah, the slyly suave successor to Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, should write a smart book. But 'smart' doesn't begin to cover what he pulls off in Born a Crime . . . Noah's memoir is extraordinary . . . essential reading on every level. It's hard to imagine anyone else doing a finer job of it (SEATTLE TIMES)
Powerful... The story of his life is full of chase scenes in which he runs, hell for leather, from spankings, from the long arm of the law, and from the swinging fist of his stepfather... a unique perspective (THE TIMES)
A soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism . . . is an enormous gift (USA TODAY)
A BOOK TO READ NOW (WALL STREET JOURNAL)
A memoir with heft... The interracial coupling that produced him really was a crime, making him an outsider. But he thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. (At one point she tosses him from a moving car -- driven by gangsters -- to save his life.) However brutal South African history is, their fierce bond makes this story soar (PEOPLE, Best New Books)
Noah has a real story to tell -- and tells it well... A little scary, but trust me -- it's funny (NEWSDAY)
An affecting memoir. . . a love letter to his mother (WASHINGTON POST)
Mind-blowing as f*** (COSMOPOLITAN)
Noah proves a gifted storyteller, deftly lacing his poignant tales with amusing irony (ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY)
One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars ('SLICK, INTELLIGENT AND BLISSFULLY FUNNY' Time Out) tells his hilarious and moving coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.See all Product description
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Reading 'Born A Crime' was such an eye-opening insight into what was actually going on during and after Apartheid. Firstly, Noah is only 33. Apartheid ended in living memory. It's a terrifying thought, how recent that is. Which leads onto my next point: we weren't taught about this nearly enough.
It's always different hearing about these sorts of experiences from someone who lived through it. Particularly because Noah is biracial. He didn't look black enough to be black, despite growing up around black people and never seeing himself as anything else. But he also wasn't white enough to be white. His family weren't particularly well-off. He didn't have the latest brands. He fit in enough that he was still an outsider, always flitting from group to group.
His mother, thought, is a force to be reckoned with. She's incredibly strong and independent. As a single mother with a biracial child she had to be. She actively sought out ways to undermine the white authorities. It was Noah and his mother against the world. A team. It was wonderful to read about such a strong family bond. Despite everything going crazy around them they had each other.
This isn't just the story of a young man's rise to fame, but a story of family, support, and unconditional love.
I found his journey and that of his family (especially his mother) fascinating. Not only do we get to read his bio, but we also get an insight into what it was like being a child growing up during apartheid in South Africa.
His writing style and his personality reflect how he is on tv, he is intelligent, funny, charming and honest.
Without spoiling anything - be prepared for a roller coaster ride.
Was very disappointed when I got to the end of the book. I may have to read it again!
I thoroughly recommend it.
Where it loses a star is simply because I had really hoped to read of his journey in becoming a successful comedian, but unfortunately there's barely any mention of that in this book - though apparently there's another book coming out later this year which I hope focuses on that.
Either way, worth a look, but more limited in scope than I'd hoped for.
His writing is so descriptive that I felt I was there with him, especially in Alexandra. I don’t often get that when I’m reading and so I was particularly impressed with Trevor’s amazing and honest storytelling.
I highly recommend this book which is harrowing in parts but hysterical in others. Trevor’s Mum is an amazing woman. He must be so proud of her.
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