Review: Born A Crime

I have read a few celebrity-penned books that I would read again, and Born A Crime is one of them. It’s a memoir of Trevor Noah growing up in Post-Aparthied South Africa. I don’t watch much late night TV, so I didn’t have a particular attachment to him coming in. He’s a talented writer and I liked this not-very -veiled tribute to his mother.

He does a great job making events in a country that US readers would find a bit otherworldly very familiar by drawing out the universal human points of growing up. I completely believe these stories are true, not because I fact checked them or know South Africa, but because I believe the perspective. (Yes, a talented writer can do the same thing in fiction, go with me.)

There are lots of parts of these stories that can be eye opening about prejudice, poverty, or abuse, but I never feel preached to. I think he’s making a bunch of points by bringing the reader into these stories so completely, but it’s never “a very special episode.”

Finally, I like how he draws his relationship with his mother. He understands that they’re very different in many ways, but that they’re in life together and committed to one another. It’s nice to see such a real rendering.

Strongly recommended.

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