Book Review - Born A Crime

by Trevor Noah (Macmillan) ISBN: 139781770105065

Comedians are storytellers and some are better at it than others. 

Trevor Noah is a consummate teller of tales whose thoughtful comedy routines are carefully plotted and set up before he delivers the punch line. He seldom resorts to slapstick, hysteria, or profanity. He is seldom distracted. This ability to tell a linear story is perfect for translating material from his life and his routines into his memoir.

He writes beautifully. The simplicity of his technique allows the complexity of his narrative to shine through. Born A Crime is the story of Patricia Noah and her son, Trevor. It is about looking for a place to call home, and of wanting to belong. As much as Trevor Noah was defined by being born a crime in South Africa, he is even more defined by his mother and her journey, which became their journey. 

His story will resonate with any thinking South African. He manages to put so much of who we are into this book - a fractured people divided by colour, by tribe, and by language. The apartheid system separated everybody, black from white from Indian from coloured, and then divided us further by language. But we are also united because we witnessed it. 

Born A Crime is Noah’s testimony. It is brave and funny. Read it. Buy it for somebody you love. You won’t regret it.

Amanda Patterson 


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