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Roots Audiobook

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Why we think it’s a great listen: A masterpiece like none other, Brooks’ powerful performance of Haley’s words has been known to leave listeners in tears. It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Non-fiction, 2008

It begins with a birth in an African village in 1750, and ends two centuries later at a funeral in Arkansas. And in that time span, an unforgettable cast of men, women, and children come to life, many of them based on the people from Alex Haley's own family tree.

When Alex was a boy growing up in Tennessee, his grandmother used to tell him stories about their family, stories that went way back to a man she called the African who was taken aboard a slave ship bound for Colonial America.

As an adult, Alex spent 12 years searching for documentation that might authenticate what his grandmother had told him. In an astonishing feat of genealogical detective work, he discovered the name of the "African" - Kunta Kinte - as well as the exact location of the village in West Africa from where he was abducted in 1767.

Roots is based on the facts of his ancestry, and the six generations of people - slaves and freedmen, farmers and lawyers, an architect, teacher, and one acclaimed author - descended from Kunta Kinte.

©1974 Alex Haley. Renewed 2004 by Myran Haley, Cynthia Haley, Lydia Haley, and William Haley; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2734 )
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4.7 (1767 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Skyeflower 11-13-12
    Skyeflower 11-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Great Story!"
    What made the experience of listening to Roots the most enjoyable?

    I loved the story. From the beginning in Africa, relating the responsibilities of the young ones as they grew up to be men. That gave me a great background and understanding of the intellect and maturity level that slaves had before they were taken. Then, on coming to America, it was horrifying to see them treated as little more than uneducated, small children. The whites could have learned so much from the slaves, it's sad. Cultures have so much to learn from each other, rather than others dismissing them because they're different.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Roots?

    When I found out it was the author's own family history!


    Have you listened to any of Avery Brooks’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to any other performances yet; but I really enjoyed this one.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Didn't cry, but definitely was moved and angered by the sadness of generations of families being enslaved and sold off from their families whenever it was deemed necessary by the plantation owner(s). Sad to not be with your family growing up.
    I hate the thought of one person "owning" another!
    I'm so glad slavery was done away with!


    Any additional comments?

    I watched this on television long ago, but didn't remember it. I think the book was better than the miniseries and will remember much about it for a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shellie LAYTON, UT, United States 11-02-12
    Shellie LAYTON, UT, United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    Story
    "Great!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I watched the TV series many many years ago and listening to the book brought back those images into my mind. Avery Brooks voice was very nice to listen to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Roots?

    Even though I knew it was coming, I hated when Kunta was captured. The story made it very real


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Bell and Kunta were walking after he had told her that he needed to talk to her and he was too afraid to talk to her. So she took over the conversation. I was thinking... typical guy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. It took me a while because I don't get chances often and it is quite long, but I do highly recommend it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Charlotte, NC, United States 10-30-12
    Jason Charlotte, NC, United States 10-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
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    "Nine out of Ten"

    Roots is a very good book once you get into the story - one of the best I've listened to in a long time. The story is a little slow in the beginning, but it picks up in dramatic fashion after the first section of the story has concluded. The last section of the book is a little slow as well - this is why I gave it a 9 out of 10 rating. I would definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula 10-30-12
    Paula 10-30-12
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    3
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    "Enjoyed the whole book!!"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book all the way through. I had already seen the Movie years ago, but enjoyed the Book more than I even did the Movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi United States 10-08-12
    Jodi United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story"

    I really enjoyed this book. It became a little slow as it got farther away from the main character but it reeled me back in as the last character went through all he did to find his roots. A must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary OXFORD, MI, United States 10-08-12
    Gary OXFORD, MI, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2015

    eansor

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    28
    3
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    Story
    "The Saga of an American Family"
    Would you listen to Roots again? Why?

    I remember watching the original broadcasts of the mini-series and was deeply moved by them. My children still remember us sitting down as a family some years later and watching the series when it came out on video. They too were deeply moved. I was very blessed to be raised in a family where racism was not a family value, and I've tried to raise my own children in the same fashion.

    I enjoyed this reading of this American classic very much. Avery did such a great job and made the characters come even more alive than the breath breathed into them by Mr Haley. Avery had a broad command of the dialects and accents of the times and delivered a fine acting performance. Even though there are so many fine books and audio performances to listen to in a lifetime, I would definitely listen to this fine story again. Not tomorrow, but certainly again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-06-12
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-06-12 Member Since 2012

    A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AMAZING!!!!"

    This book it why I love to read/ listen. I couldn’t get enough of it and it was hard to put down. I remember when this TV mini series came out in the 70’s and how everyone was glued to the TV each night waiting to see what was going to happen next. The book is so much better then the mini series. Unlike the mini series they only touched on his African life the book goes in detail what his life was like prior to being captured. It is written and told so well it’s as if you’re standing right there with Kunta Kinta and feeling and going through what he is. The narrator was PERFECT and I can see why he won an award for the telling of this story. At the end of the book Alex Haley told what it took for him to get all this information which I found interesting considering it was at a time when there were no computers. This is such a memorable read and so worth your time and credit, you will not be sorry!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike G. 10-01-12
    Mike G. 10-01-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "3/4 of the way through and still enjoying it"
    What did you love best about Roots?

    I almost put it down after about 4 or 5 hours. It started to drone on for a while, but then it picked up. From the details, it is obvious the author has taken liberties, but the story is good and the inclusion of facts makes the story very believable.

    I love the performer's voice. A couple of times I had to back up just a bit to make out what was said.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yorkiemom Atlanta, GA 09-26-12
    yorkiemom Atlanta, GA 09-26-12 Member Since 2009

    Karen H

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "A book that captured a nation"
    What did you love best about Roots?

    While, like much of America, I was caught in the saga of this American family, with the introduction of Kunta Kinte when the miniseries aired in the mid 70s, I had never read the book. I thought I might enjoy rekindling my love for this story and I was not disappointed. It is an American classic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The dignity of the central characters and how they are portrayed.


    Have you listened to any of Avery Brooks’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Well it's been done hasn't it? The tag is #epic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 09-24-12
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 09-24-12
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Story great, file not so much"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I am only 1/2 way through the 30 hours and can't wait to hear the rest. Narrator does a great job. In places I wonder if the title character still would really be having such halted English and weak voice after 25 years, but sometimes as he does the other characters so well I have a hard time believing it is the same person.

    The only thing really wrong with this is the recording itself has all the chapter titles confused, so if you trust the chapter listing of the narrator you will have no idea where you are in the book. Functionally this was not a problem except early on I had no idea if I was listening to the story in the correct order. It was not always clear from the story if maybe I had not missed a chapter. The support team confirmed the issue and were very quick to offer a refund while they work out the technical issue. Since the actual text is in the right order, I just kept listening, but since this is only my second book from Audible, I would have liked the file to be correct and not have to wonder if I had the full text in proper order.

    Also, and I have no idea if this is a file issue or equipment issue, but in my car, which connects to my iPhone, the file sometimes has horrible crackling. Never an issue with headphones and was not an issue with the first book I had, which I also listened to in the car. So it seems like the producer of this audio file had some quality issues.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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