Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

I know very little about apartheid. I know almost nothing about South Africa, and to be honest, I know very little about the continent of Africa.

When you want to learn more about such complex worlds and ideas, it is difficult to pick a starting point. With so much history and nuance and complexities, it can be a bit overwhelming. So instead of trying to find a comprehensive overview of history throughout the past few centuries, sometimes it is good to simply find one person’s story.

Trevor Noah’s story is outrageous. It is a prime example of truth being stranger than fiction. It is so hard to believe the stories you read are true. When he speaks about his mom and his life during apartheid, I felt like I was reading some unrealistic dystopian fantasy novel. And when apartheid formally ends, life gets it odder for the young man with a Swiss German father and a Xhosa mother.

But this is Trevor Noah’s life. This is real.

Noah is a very funny man with a very unique view on life. I love reading biographies of comedians because they have such a distinctive perspective on the world, but Noah’s life is on an entirely different plane. You will laugh a lot reading this book, you will (or should) shake your head in disgrace at the human condition. This is a funny book but a very genuine book.

I don’t think you need to be a fan of Noah’s comedy to enjoy this book. Though funny, this book is about a young boy’s life.