Born a Crime': a Book Filled with Trevor Noah's Life Anecdotes

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About this sample


Words: 1052 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Apr 17, 2023

Words: 1052|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Apr 17, 2023

Imagine being tossed from a moving vehicle by your own mother. This is how Trevor Noah, anchor of 'The Daily Show,' begins his riveting life tale. Trevor's autobiography is filled with hilarious tales and self-deprecating jokes that beautifully reflect his difficult life in South Africa in the 1990s. 'Born a Crime,' Trevor Noah's book, is a collection of anecdotes about him growing up in apartheid-era South Africa. 

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Trevor was born in 1984, as the title suggests, as a result of his black Xhosa mother's unlawful relationship with his Swiss father. His mother purposefully set out to produce him despite the fact that mixed-race children were illegal. He recounts his childhood as the son of a white Swiss father and a black mother. Trevor's book deals with themes of race, adolescence, faith, relationships, and abuse while telling the tale of his childhood as the son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother. It's a humorous and honest memoir of the famed comedian's coming of age in South Africa after apartheid ended. Noah, the son of a black mother and a white father, had to adjust to a range of challenging settings on a regular basis, prompting him to consider race and the country's history of racism and colonialism. Throughout these ordeals, Noah was held together by his mother, Patricia, whose hopes for her son ensured that he would rise beyond his privileged background. Trevor recounts his experiences as an oppressed person growing up in South Africa in a compassionate and humorous manner. Insights regarding South Africa's culture, systems, and history are mixed with stories of Noah's life. He frequently talks about the hardship of being torn between two worlds and two identities. Born A Crime is an engrossing, fast-paced, and vivid account of Noah's early childhood, set against the absurdities of apartheid, in which he was unable to stroll freely with either of his parents. From his troubled years at school, his brief incarceration, to his growing career as a hustler selling stolen CDs and DJing at parties, he was often closeted inside his grandmother Frances Noah's two-roomed Orlando home, where he was mistaken for a white child. Noah is well-known as a comedian and television host, particularly in the United States, where he shows The Daily Show, but Born a Crime focuses on his origins rather than his rise to celebrity. There are few characters in the novel outside his family because it spans his entire adolescence.Noah grew up under apartheid, which was a collection of laws and restrictions enacted to regulate native Africans' interactions with white colonizers. His memoir of growing up in South Africa as a mixed-race individual emphasizes the relevance and complexities of racial identity. Noah explores serious subjects in depth, such as racial profiling, the connection of race and money, and the persistent feeling of never quite fitting in any one group, using his childhood as a thread.Trevor provides a colorful picture of a childhood in South Africa as he strives for identity, belonging, and liberation through funny anecdotes, deep and traumatic experiences, and a rigorous critical analysis of the institutions that maintained apartheid.

The book's best feature is its humor. It can be difficult for authors to incorporate irony and humor into writings about such serious subjects, but Trevor succeeded admirably. Trevor’s witty tone and approach put the reader in the awkward situation of deciding whether or not to laugh.Noah makes jokes about everything, including issues that most people wouldn't dare to bring up, such as South Africa's underlying anti-native culture. To lighten the tone in some parts of a novel, any writer may want to incorporate some type of humour. Few people are capable of making racism and apartheid amusing. Given Noah's background as a comedian, this style was unsurprising. Trevor's ability to keep the humor from detracting from the severity of some of the book's issues is even more astounding. Trevor addresses themes such as patriarchy, racism, and abuse in a way that both teaches and raises awareness while never depressing the reader. For instance,“But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you’re a Native American and you pray to the wolves, you’re a savage. If you’re African and you pray to your ancestors, you’re a savage. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water to wine, well, that’s just common sense.”He effectively used his wit and humor to draw awareness about the horrors of South African apartheid. I really like how he combined historical facts with his own personal experiences and depicted it all with a sense of humour. All of the stories and history become more acknowledged when this personal touch is added.“There were so many perks to being ‘white’ in a black family, I can’t lie. I was having a great time. ”Noah writes about his profiling as a white person in a black society, with remarkable insight and humour. He claims, 'I was having a terrific time.' Only Trevor didn't think he was getting special attention because he was fair-skinned, but rather because 'I assumed it had something to do with Trevor.' It wasn't a case of 'Trevor isn't abused because he's white.' 'Trevor doesn't get beaten because Trevor is Trevor.”I was pleased by Trevor's positive attitude while facing major challenges. Several chapters from Trevor's childhood and adolescence are really funny .For example, after realizing that, despite his remarkable linguistic talents, he had no languages in common with his prom date, he spent a whole date urgently searching for a translator. Trevor himself underscores the point: he grew up in a violent environment, but he never allowed it consume him, and he has maintained enough optimism and good humour to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. That is something I admire. 

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Overall, the book “Born a Crime” is informative, contemplative, and moving, especially when it describes real atrocities. Despite this, the tone of the novel is upbeat. It shouldn't work, yet it does, and I believe that is the book's most compelling feature. Born a Crime tries to find some hilarity in the situation, no matter how bad Noah's life was becoming. Despite the fact that there is a great deal of pain, this is not a book about getting destroyed.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Born a Crime’: a Book Filled With Trevor Noah’s Life Anecdotes. (2023, April 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“Born a Crime’: a Book Filled With Trevor Noah’s Life Anecdotes.” GradesFixer, 17 Apr. 2023,
Born a Crime’: a Book Filled With Trevor Noah’s Life Anecdotes. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
Born a Crime’: a Book Filled With Trevor Noah’s Life Anecdotes [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Apr 17 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from:
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