This review originally appeared on WorldOfJoel.com
As a longtime fan of The Daily Show, I went through the transition of The Daily Show being handed from Jon Stewart to Trevor Noah. I'll admit the transition has been turbulent, to say the least but in the last couple of months, Trevor Noah has been coming into his own. When I heard he had published a novel I picked up the audiobook on Audible and it might have been one of the best surprises of the year.
Born a Crime takes place in Trevor's childhood in South Africa. He was born to an African mother and a Swiss father during the apartheid. Going in I really didn't know anything about the apartheid. But I felt like I learned so much about that time in South Africa from Trevor Noah's childhood perspective. He starts the novel talking about his mother, her free spirit, and her path to leave her own family behind and go out on her own. The stories of Trevor's mother not only give you some perspective of Trevor's upbringing but the state of affairs in South Africa.
There are two things that make Born a Crime an incredible biography. First, Trevor Noah's life is fascinating. His upbringing is so different than anything I've ever experienced in my own life that I kept coming back to the book surprised and delighted. Second, and most important is that it felt like it was told from his own unique perspective. He gave a lot of insights into his own psyche during some of his biggest turning points.
This is not a novel that at all touches his comedic career but instead his upbringing. If like me you were hoping to hear about how he became the lead of The Daily Show you might be disappointed. That minor let down was made up for by some incredible stories and a life that's absolutely worth reading about. It's a real rags to riches story that will stick with me for a long time.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.