Book review–Born A Crime

Happy new month precious people. This is the third of twelve chapters in your self-authored book. How’s it going?

Greetings from this side. We’re reviewing a book today. Don’t forget to share your thoughts at the end and share the post. 💕💕

Title: Born A Crime
Author: Trevor Noah

Publisher: Spigel and Grau (2016)

Pages:  252(my e-book copy)

Review

I dug into this book in the basic expectation that it would have a bit of humour as the viral hum said.
I took no time to research the author or think what the title could mean but by the time I saw the import of the title in the book, I decided that Trevor is intelligent.
Born A Crime is Trevor Noah’s first book. It is in fact, his memoir.

Trevor’s birth was evidence of his parents crime unlike most other people whose birth is often evidence of their parent’s love.

I appreciate the use of imagery in the book. I was with him at nine years when his mum wrapped herself around the toddler and jumped with (/pushed) Trevor from a moving vehicle.
I was with him when he went looking for his father in great anxiety, at twenty four years and I was there when he got relieved his father wasn’t any different from how he’d known him to be in his teenage years.

This book explores the subject of apartheid and it walks you through it.
It reveals the strategy employed by the whites in pitting the locals against themselves, in order to rule them all.

 Bitterness festered. For decades those feelings were held in check by a common enemy. Then apartheid fell, Mandela walked free, and black South Africa went to war with itself…”

You’re walked through the different streets in SouthAfrica and you come to discover racism. You’re in the schools and you understand it starts from there. The troubles of racism; being black, white and coloured.

Other than the subject of Apartheid and Racism, this book also explores Motherhood, strongly.

“My mom thought having a child was going to be like having a partner, but every child is born the center of its own universe, incapable of understanding the world beyond its own wants and needs, and I was no different”

The unselfish love of a mother for her child and the question of reciprocal of such love:

“People say all the time that they’d do anything for the people they love. But would you really? Would you do anything? Would you give everything? I don’t know that a child knows that kind of selfless love. A mother, yes. A mother will clutch her children and jump from a moving car to keep them from harm. She will do it without thinking. But I don’t think the child knows how to do that, not instinctively. It’s something the child has to learn.”

This book is written as a tribute to Trevor’s mother- Nombuyiselo, who weathered every challenge beautifully. She was his pal(still is); spoke to him as an intelligent being, gave him a chance to explore, to be, to speak his mind, beat him and explained why .

Whenever the riots broke out, all our neighbors would wisely hole up behind closed doors. But not my mom. She’d head straight out, and as we’d inch our way past the blockades, she’d give the rioters this look. Let me pass. I’m not involved in this shit. She was unwavering in the face of danger. That always amazed me. It didn’t matter that there was a war on our doorstep. She had things to do, places to be. It was the same stubbornness that kept her going to church despite a broken-down car. There could be five hundred rioters with a blockade of burning tires on the main road out of Eden Park, and my mother would say, “Get dressed. I’ve got to go to work. You’ve got to go to school.” “But aren’t you afraid?” I’d say. “There’s only one of you and there’s so many of them. “Honey, I’m not alone,” she’d say. “I’ve got all of Heaven’s angels behind me.”.

There’s a lot to learn of the inner workings under apartheid regime and even though this is my own focus, you’d meet lots of people who’ve read this book and only remember it for its humour.
Some are fans of this book for the life tips it has to offer.
Basically I’d quote the whole book because I’m here trying to advocate for basic knowledge of the relevant things; of which history always ranks high. However, I cannot quote the whole book.

I rate the book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s an easy read with underlying depth.

Excerpts

If we weren’t at school or work or church, we were out exploring. My mom’s attitude was “I chose you, kid. I brought you into this world, and I’m going to give you everything I never had.” She poured herself into me. She would find places for us to go where we didn’t have to spend money.
She refused to be bound by ridiculous ideas of what black people couldn’t or shouldn’t do.
world. My mom raised me as if there were no limitations on where I could go or what I could do. When I look back I realize she raised me like a white kid—not white culturally, but in the sense of believing that the world was my oyster, that I should speak up for myself, that my ideas and thoughts and decisions mattered
My mother showed me what was possible. The thing that always amazed me about her life was that no one showed her. No one chose her. She did it on her own. She found her way through sheer force of will.

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.

The smallest thing could prompt her. I’d walk through the house on the way to my room and say, “Hey, Mom” without glancing up. She’d say, “No, Trevor! You look at me. You acknowledge me. Show me that I exist to you, because the way you treat me is the way you will treat your woman. Women like to be noticed. Come and acknowledge me and let me know that you see me. Don’t just see me when you need something.”

“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to.”

“Hustling is to work what surfing the Internet is to reading. If you add up how much you read in a year on the Internet—tweets, Facebook posts, lists—you’ve read the equivalent of a shit ton of books, but in fact you’ve read no books in a year. When I look back on it, that’s what hustling was. It’s maximal effort put into minimal gain. It’s a hamster wheel”

“The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He’s attracted to independent women

In any society built on institutionalized racism, race-mixing doesn’t merely challenge the system as unjust, it reveals the system as unsustainable and incoherent. Race-mixing proves that races can mix—and in a lot of cases, want to mix. Because a mixed person embodies that rebuke to the logic of the system, race-mixing becomes a crime worse than treason.”

 “…If you’re in an environment that is positive and progressive, you too will become that. I keep telling you to change your life, and you don’t”

“In the hood, gangsters were your friends and neighbors. You knew them. You talked to them on the corner, saw them at parties. They were a part of your world. You knew them from before they became gangsters. It wasn’t, “Hey, that’s a crack dealer.” It was, “Oh, little Jimmy’s selling crack now.” The weird thing about these gangsters was that they were all, at a glance, identical. They drove the same red sports car. They dated the same beautiful eighteen-year-old girls. It was strange. It was like they didn’t have personalities; they shared a personality. One could be the other, and the other could be the one. They’d each studied how to be that gangster”

Growing up in a home of abuse, you struggle with the notion that you can love a person you hate, or hate a person you love. It’s a strange feeling. You want to live in a world… where you either hate them or love them, but that’s not how people are.


That’s it. Any excerpt you particularly agree with or disagree with? Have you read this book? Are you interested? What are you currently reading? Let’s know your thoughts.


Love and Warmth,

Debby.

19 Comments

  1. Wow. The book seems like a nice book. Care to share?
    I like the excerpt where his mom calls him back to look at him, to notice him. And also the part about how men admire independent women and not subservient ones. Also, the part about hustling and its minimal gains.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant that while the review is so well done that it’s like I’ve read the book such that I can even gist someone, I’d most likely embellish it with some fabricated stuff (if I’m actually gonna gist somebody).

        Although I don’t really really mean that 😉…
        was basically saying that I think it’s a good review. Kinda feels like I’ve ‘read’ it already.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. For me i think reading it is what i so much desire….as a book lover i always don’t stop at excerpts of people i go digging myself…thanks Debby, i don’t mind getting the book via email or whatsapp.

    Liked by 1 person

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