BOOK REVIEW: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African ChildhoodBorn a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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As a rule, I don’t read books by celebrities. This is the first one I can remember reading. My reasoning is rooted in publishers’ beliefs that such books will sell no matter what, and anything that doesn’t have to be good is unlikely to be.

And yet, I’m glad I made an exception for this book. Perhaps, because it’s not a book about Noah’s rise to fame, there are only a few off-hand references to his early career successes in South Africa. This book is about his youth in South Africa as a mixed-race child under Apartheid (hence the title, as such interracial progeny were illegal.) The book focuses heavily on race and the bizarre logic of South African governance during those days, as well as how rulers set groups against each other to make their own misbehavior less conspicuous. However, it’s also a very personal story, telling of his close relationship with his mother, the abuse he and his mother suffered from his drunkard stepfather, and the challenges that compelled him to adapt to survive loneliness and the awkwardness of youth.

Given Noah’s comedic merits, it will come as no surprise that the book is humorous, despite the tonal burden of its subject matter – i.e. racism, poverty, and abuse. Often, the subject matter makes the humor dark and bitter, but it’s nevertheless amusing.

If you’re curious about life under apartheid, or in an abusive household, you’ll likely find yourself in the grips of this tense and hilarious memoir.


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DAILY PHOTO: Big-Eared Baby Baboon

Taken at Amboseli National Park, Kenya in June of 2017

DAILY PHOTO: Victoria Falls Bridge in the Light of the Rising Sun

Taken in May of 2017 at Victoria Falls

DAILY PHOTO: Botswanan Bee-eater on a Branch

Taken at Chobe National Park in Botswana in May of 2017

DAILY PHOTO: Around the Bend from Victoria Falls

Sunrise over the Zambezi
Around the bend from Victoria Falls
The Smoke that Thunders (Mosi-oa-Tunya) Taken in May of 2017

DAILY PHOTO: Zambezi Banks

Taken in June of 2017 on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe.