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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, November 2016 - Just as fans of The Daily Show weren't quite sure what to expect when he was announced as the show's new host, I started Born a Crime not really knowing what I'd find in Noah's book. Comedy? Political and social commentary? Sure, but not in the way I expected. Instead, I was given so much more. Noah's story is intertwined with the final years and aftermath of apartheid-era South Africa. It's a story that begins with Noah's mother throwing him from a moving car to avoid a potentially fatal dispute with gangsters and follows the comedian's path to self-discovery amid episodes both bittersweet and comical. It's eloquent and touching and funny and made all the better with his reading, especially as he recounts anecdotes involving his mother - the true show stealer - and delivers clever turns of phrase as only a top-notch comic and storyteller can.

Publisher's Summary

Highest-rated new book of 2016 by Audible customers

Winner: Audible's Best of 2016 - Celebrity Memoirs

Trevor Noah, one of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars and host of The Daily Show, tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. In this Audible Studios production, Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

"Nelson Mandela once said, 'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.' He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else's language, even if it's just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, 'I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.'" (Trevor Noah)

Attuned to the power of language at a young age - as a means of acceptance and influence in a country divided, then subdivided, into groups at odds with one another - Noah's raw, personal journey becomes something extraordinary in audio: a true testament to the power of storytelling. With brutal honesty and piercing wit, he forgoes an ordinary reading and, instead, delivers something more intimate, sharing his story with the openness and candor of a close friend. His chameleon-like ability to mimic accents and dialects, to shift effortlessly between languages including English, Xhosa, and Zulu, and to embody characters throughout his childhood - his mother, his gran, his schoolmates, first crushes and infatuations - brings each memory to life in vivid detail. Hearing him directly, you're reminded of the gift inherent in telling one's story and having it heard; of connecting with another, and seeing them as a human being.

The stories Noah tells are by turns hilarious, bizarre, tender, dark, and poignant - subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty, making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world, thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn't commit, thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, and more.

©2016 Spiegel & Grau (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Comedian Trevor Noah's stories of growing up in South Africa are vivid, sometimes harrowing, and often laugh-out-loud funny. The bonus of audio is that listeners get to HEAR Noah tell these stories in his South African-accented English, as well as hear him speak snippets of various other South African languages. Noah (who succeeded Jon Stewart as the host of 'The Daily Show') is a natural storyteller - skilled, engaging, and relatable.... Noah's narration offers insights and intimacy." ( AudioFile)
"The author’s gift for vocal impersonation elevates the audio version into something even more splendid than an already terrific memoir.” - The Washington Post

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Superb

I listened to it twice; back to back. That's a testament. I laughed (aloud, in public), was shocked, saddened at times, and I feel I learned not only about another person, but their culture too. I loved it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Extremely beautiful!

This is an incredible read. It is so vivid and tells lots of funny and heartbreaking experiences of Trevor Noah’s life. I absolutely loved it! There are many profound philosophical ideas in the book and I love his mother to bits after reading this. She is a true hero! Also, it’s performed by him so it makes it even better.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best book I have listened to so far on audible.

Hilarious, heartfelt and raw stories brought to life with wit and accents. It was really a pleasure to listen to. His story is very dynamic and unique yet often very relatable. I would recommend listening to it rather than reading print because of the ways he recreates the dialogues in different accents and languages, this adds so much to the action! A must read (audio) book!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An amazing story!

This book took me only a week to read. it was so thoughtfully written, put in such a perspective that really helps the reader understand how circumstances and situations are so impactful to the outcome of people's lives. the complexity of growing up in apartheid are so much more apparent in reading this. the author was serious, yet funny which keeps the tone light but maintains the impact of the story.

#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing Story!

An amazingly told real life history lesson deeply tied to a son's love for his mother. Scary and sometimes hilarious accounts of his childhood.

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Amazing book

Amazing book and narration by Trevor. Loved every second of it. Highly recommend to everyone.

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Great story

Beautifully narrated. Enjoyed it thoroughly. I learned quite a bit about African culture. I would listen to it again

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Story

Over all I really enjoyed it but I wish the book was in order in the age he grew up in and how he ended up in comedy. I was looking for how he ended up making millions starting having absolutely zero. Hope he has a second book that explains that and how if his mother had Andrew but didn't have Able to take them to church?

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incredible story

a fascinating story told with brutal honesty and love. I already thought Trevor Noah was great, but hearing his life story in his own voice has given me huge respect for the man.

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What an incredible life story!

Loved it and loved Trevor's reading style. Very eye opening, heart wrenching and funny too.

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  • marianne russell
  • 2017-05-23

Interesting but repetitive

I liked this book, but found myself wishing it would move along, and stop repetitive dialog.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bluebird
  • 2018-01-29

just ok

I felt he got off track on his story at times. It seemed rushed at the end and left me wondering.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MBrew
  • 2017-07-23

Didn't finish

I was expecting more storytelling and laughs. I also thought it would be interesting to learn more about South Africa. I did learn more, and appreciated that part. I got bored because the story themes were repetitive, and gave up.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-21

Average in every way

Well I was looking for a funny book to ease my commute, got a little less than I'd hoped for. I really don't understand the hype around this book (4.9 stars from 93.000 ratings on audible) because it is really an average book, with a below average performance from Mr. Noah. Very biased, it is basically a book about childhood complexes and obsessions. Funny in some parts, relatable in some ways (growing up in communist Eastern Europe was is some ways a very similar experience to being black in South Africa during the Apartheid).
In conclusion, buy the book if you like the guy, and be careful with those 5 star reviews...

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Karlee H.
  • Lexington, Ky United States
  • 2018-08-02

Hard to Finish

It started out good, but lost my interest pretty fast. I ended up never finishing it.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hazel
  • Nampa, ID, United States
  • 2018-05-29

Too much profanity!

I liked this book at the start, and some of it made me laugh out loud. In general it was written very interestingly, but the further I progressed the worse the language got. I would have liked to finish the book but I couldn't get past the bad language and the irreverence in parts of it.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-05-28

Full of profanity

I finally quit listening. There is no reason for profanity. This story is ok, gives some insight into the culture, but it is hard to listen to.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-06-03

Repetitive

Repetitive and not really iinteresting. A series of stories, barely held together . His stand up is deeper than this.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma Romey
  • New York
  • 2018-09-28

Noah is proud of his bad behavior

This book will appeal to teenage boys. It is the boasting of a selfish man. Lost respect for the man who takes pride in his misdeeds.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara Cross
  • 2018-05-31

Boring

I realize there are a lot of important things covered in this book, I just didn’t care for Trevor doing the reading. It seems like he’s talking to his teenage friends the whole time and I got tired of him.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • mikus
  • 2018-09-21

Exceptional story, exceptional reading!

Not only the story of the book is highly enjoyable, but also very valuable and provides a lot of insight in the reality of living in the South Africa and in the racist communities in general.
On top of that the author himself adds a lot by reading the book in very lively and entertaining way and with a lot of distance to himself, past events and political situation. Reading the original quotes in the local languages is unbeatable.

My only regret is due to the topics mixed chronologically and because of that in some moments it is hard to figure out at first in which period is the current action happening and therefore what was the authors' age/location and the political situation. On the other hand it is not hard to take longer breaks from the book, as its rather a set of smaller stories than a full chain of events with direct consequences.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-08

A must read book

It's an educational book as well as entertaining. To me, Africa has been a dark continent for a long time with their political instabilities and violence. The author eloquently shows us both ,their every day life which is not so different from ours' and their particular problems oriented from their socio-political background. These rich episodes add significant subtlety to ever growing discourse over social division. Must read /listen!

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  • Mariama
  • 2018-07-24

Un magnifique récit

Un magnifique récit, beaucoup d émotions ! L amour d un fils pour sa mère et d une mère pour son fils !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annelise
  • 2018-07-09

lost for words

very good book. Trevor Noah give a comprehensive explination on how apartaid worked in south africa.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • burkes
  • 2018-06-22

Eye-opening

couldn't stop listening, except to think about all the things this book helped me understand

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-05-01

Incroyable !

A écouter absolument, si vous voulez rire, être surpris, émus, choqué, apprendre mais surtout rire. Le meilleur livre audio que j’ai écouté grâce à l’histoire et la performance de Mr Noah qui est très très talentueux. Il sait imiter tout type de personnages. Il est brillant. J’ai passé un très bon moment. Je le recommande sans aucune hésitation

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  • Lulu
  • 2017-11-27

awesome narration

great stories about the love and faith of a mother. inspiring individuals and jaw dropping events in S. Africa

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daria Julkowska
  • 2017-08-29

Une merveille

J'ai adoré ce livre qui m'a accompagné chaque matin pendant ma marche quotidienne. J'ai pleuré, j'ai rit, j'étais très émue. La voix de Trevor Noah, ses accents, son imitation des personnages sont superbes. On a impression d'être à côté de lui et de vivre son histoire avec lui. Je recommande vivement.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathalie
  • 2017-05-11

A "must read"!

Probably so much better in audio by Trevor Noah getting the accents right than reading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Moeen B.
  • 2017-04-04

Just perfect

I just loved it! Trevor Noah rocks! his accent, his imitations, his tones...I felt like I was inside a movie, or living with him. I cried once, I laughed many times and I enjoyed it thoroughly!