Why did I wait so long to read Roots? I don't remember the mini-series, but this book was terrific. Not only is the story powerful, but I found it very interesting when the characters lives are placed in an historical perspective -- for example, when the characters discuss Washington's presidency or Lincoln's addresses. The narration is excellent. Could have gone another 30 hours without issue!
I had seen the Roots miniseries many times growing up and I have to say I enjoyed the audio version ten times more. I have always loved James Earl Jones voice and thought it would be nice to have him as a narrator but I was unprepared for the excellent way he devoted his talents to telling this story. His voice acting is unparalleled.
He creates and maintains a different voice for over a dozen characters and sometimes as many as 6 are talking in the same conversation and you know exactly who is saying what because of his efforts. His female characters are just as authentic sounding as the male ones. The only downside is that after listening to this all subsequent fiction narration has fallen very flat for me, and I have been purchasing more non-fiction titles.
I adored this book. It was quite different from the mini-series of the '70s. The first quarter of the book is entirely devoted to Kunta's upbringing in the Gambian jungles of Africa. It makes the impact of what happened to him -- and his subsequent genealogical generations -- that much more heartbreaking.
This is a huge book, and as such, can drag a bit here and there. But Avery Brooks as narrator does a wonderful job of keeping the audience engaged. I would eagerly listen to any of his narrations. The end of the book, however, is a bit disappointing in that you get the feeling that Haley knew this work of art was getting entirely too long in the tooth. The last three generations are somewhat rushed and not as fully developed as though that came before.
That said, this book could probably have been another 500 pages long (however many listening hours that would translate into). So the fact that Haley rushed things somewhat in the end, wasn't wholly unwelcome.
Wonderful book, heartbreaking, and eye-opening. It displays in all glory that humanity is a double-edged sword. Everyone should read or listen to this book -- you won't regret it.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
I loved this book. Avery Brooks did a fantastic job reading this novel it was hard to pull myself away from the story. A great deal of research went into this novel, and Alex Haley's story at the end of the novel was truly appreciated. Worth the many hours of listening. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks there are no consequences to our actions. Strong families make for strong communities. Incredible writing and reading.
Beautiful and moving storytelling by Haley, I had forgotten how good the book was. The narration makes the story come to life. Very well done!
This is an awesome book. Helped me gain a new perspective into the history of African-Americans. Very well written and well read by the narrator. The writings and the narration on the early life of Kunta Kintae is very vidid and make the story come alive. A must read for anyone who is interested in 'faction' (the word used by Alex Haley to describe this work of fiction that is primarily based on key facts).
This is a very long book -- 30 hours, but is well worth listening to! I really don't think I'm going to want it to be finished when I'm done with it. Every American should make it a point to read or listen to this book.
I'm at 200 books from audible and this is in my top three. Coming from middle class, white America I didn't think I'd enjoy this book so much. It was spellbinding and the narration was exquisite! WOW.