Paperback, 289 Pages
By: Trevor Noah
“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”
You know I am not the most generous with 5 stars. When it comes to fiction books, it has to be something that blows me away, a solid story with realistic characters that gives me all kinds of emotions. When it comes to non-fiction it is a bit different because I am looking for something mind altering and something that is thought provoking to give this highest of ratings to. Up to this point only two non-fiction books got this rating from me and Born a Crime joins them to be the third one on this list!
Another thing that I feel I should explain is that I know the author only as a host of the daily show which I don’t watch. I know he is successful but other than that he was always a stranger on the internet for me. During the last war in my country a video of the author merged on social media where he was talking about apartheid and I was amused by the fact that someone does care when the world was feigning ignorance.
I then came upon this book where it was mentioned in the best non-fiction books and I was even more intrigued. I grabbed the book soon after that and read it as my August non-fiction book of the month. I did not expect to love the book as much as I did but it was honestly well written and took me by surprise.
So the book is like an autobiography of the author’s life under apartheid and specially the racism that he faced as a colored person. It is easy to look at successful people like Trevor and think that they were born with a golden spoon in their mouths. The reality is that he was a naughty boy that went through hell and literally had to eat worms at one point.
The writing is great, if Trevor did the majority of the writing then he is a talented writer and if he received help from his editor then he has a great editor. I just know that the end product was excellent because it discusses real life problems with a pinch of humor and without sounding preachy. Trevor narrating his childhood adventures works as a kind of a fiction story too! I am trying to say that the book flowed very smoothly and it held my attention from beginning till end.
There are a lot of paragraphs worth quoting and stopping to think about. I didn’t know much about South Africa or how life is there, not to mention life under apartheid so it was truly a refreshing experience. I also believe Trevor made a lot of points through the book that happen in a daily basis when it comes to racism and discrimination that I also see as a person with similar living conditions!
“Comfort can be dangerous. Comfort provides a floor but also a ceiling.”
Summary: I really enjoyed this book which was small in its size but large in its impact. The book is well written and delves into very important topics told in a funny way and the way it ended was just perfect. The author did not sound too preachy or full of himself which is an important thing when writing books like this!