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Roots: The Saga of an American Family | [Alex Haley]

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.
Regular Price:$34.96
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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 (2525 )
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4.7 (1591 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Human 07-06-12
    Human 07-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    14
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    "CRULTY, SUFFERING, HEARTBREAK, HUMILIATION"
    What did you love best about Roots?

    TELLS A STORY EVERYONE SHOULD HEAR


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    NO FAVORITE.
    THIS IS AMERICA'S HISTORY.


    What does Avery Brooks bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    IT IS EASIER TO USE IMAGINATION WHEN LISTENING.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    I HOPE LISTENING TO THIS BOOK MAKES PEOPLE TREAT EACH OTHER WITH EQUAL OPPORTUNITY,
    COMPASSION, RESPECT, LIBERTY, FREEDOM,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RiahWillow Thompsons Station, TN, United States 06-24-12
    RiahWillow Thompsons Station, TN, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2012

    One could say my tastes in books are nonsequators because I have no favorite author or genre. I hold over 300 books in my audible library

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Less about slavery, more about where you come from"
    What did you love best about Roots?

    How Alex Haley in the last few chapters tells how the story of his family history was orally passed down from generation to generation all the way from Africa to current day America. I am a genealogy buff and found myself envious of Mr Haley for having such a family that kept the history alive.

    Many people see this book as a book about slavery because of the movie that was derived from it, but it is more about knowing where you come from and being proud of your people no matter the struggle so that you can always strive to make them proud that they traveled through all they did so their ancestry can be successful and be proud of who they are as a family.

    THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT FAMILY!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Roots?

    When the family was sitting outside in the rockers telling the old tales and Alex Haley was sitting on the ground listening.


    Which character – as performed by Avery Brooks – was your favorite?

    Kunta Kinte


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Kunta and Bells daughter was dragged away to be sold never to be seen again, it reminded me of the moment in The color purple where the sisters are separated from each other. I was in tears.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not judge this book by the movie, the book has so much more substance than any movie ever could have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada 06-12-12
    Lisa Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada 06-12-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    39
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Roots is a must-listen!"
    Where does Roots rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    among the top ten


    What other book might you compare Roots to and why?

    I haven't read anything yet that compares.


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

    I haven't listened to any of his other performaces.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could sit still for 30+ hours, sure!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 05-25-12
    danny lawrence Charlotte, NC USA 05-25-12 Member Since 2006

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
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    5
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    "An American classic. Great family story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Roots to be better than the print version?

    This was so well done, I cant see the print version being better.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kunta Kinte. Despite the terrible situation he is forced into, he maintains his dignity,humanity, and love of family which he passes down to later generations.


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

    No. Avery Brooks did an outstanding job of bringing this story alive


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

    It is amazing what people are capable of doing to their fellow man, and even more amazing what people can endure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan des plaines, IL, United States 05-21-12
    susan des plaines, IL, United States 05-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AMAZING AND SAD AND WONDERFUL!"

    I was about 10 when the movie came out i never read the book so the listen was outttttttttttstanding , its a must have for everyone!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karltonwrites 05-13-12

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    42
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    "Epic"

    Roots is hypnotizing from beginning to end - it covers about two hundred years in the life of a family, but it's done with the sweep of those big books written in the '60's and '70's (Michener, Uris). The audiobook is read gracefully by Avery Brooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara GLENWOOD, MN, United States 04-09-12
    Barbara GLENWOOD, MN, United States 04-09-12

    BarbO

    ratings
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    1
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    "A most engaging listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this audiobook. It's a remarkable story and Avery Brooks is most amazing in his ability to deliver multiple characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kunta Kinte was hands down my favorite character. The perspective of his home in Africa and the pride of tradition along with that of all the new, strange, horrifying experiences once captured create a most vivid character.


    What about Avery Brooks’s performance did you like?

    I love how Avery Brooks delivers dialogue & has you believing he was a man, a woman, a child, a cracker...


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved in particular when Kunta Kinte would run and I'd be saying outloud,


    Any additional comments?

    This is a MUST listen. I happened to have several months of a long commute and I absolutely could not wait to get back in the car and jump back into the Kinte family story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie Kissimmee, FL, United States 02-16-12
    Jennie Kissimmee, FL, United States 02-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    22
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    1
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    "Must Listen!"

    This is a must listen. Absolutely fantastic history made only better by the narrator. You will feel like you are there throughout the story. I recommend this book to everyone I talk to. It will stay with you for a long time after to have finished listening. Get this one - you will not feel like you have wasted your credit / money!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Mesquite, TX, United States 01-20-12
    Sarah Mesquite, TX, United States 01-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Classic!"

    I still remember the day back in 4th grade when our teacher showed us edited parts of the TV series based off this excellent book...now that I am past 30 I discovered the book that inspired that series and formed my views of how tragic our past that we allowed slavery to occur with no effective opposition! I have read about how some of the book and author are challenged and discredited and I don't care in the least about that nonsense. Even if that is true it makes no difference because this is a beautiful story that needed to be told. It could have been true of any number of families and it does us good to hear it!!!! Great book and good narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 01-17-12
    Jessica minneapolis, MN, United States 01-17-12

    i'm listening

    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
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    181
    25
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    6
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    "I never made it off the boat"

    Let me start by saying that I would pay money to listen to Avery Brooks read a phone book. I have seen the mini series and I even have it on ITunes. But I couldn't listen to all of this. I tried.

    The very start of the story - herding goats in Africa was very dull. Too dull.

    Then there was the torturous boat. Too much graphic detail about all the putrid details of every kind of nasty fluid a sick and tortured body can produce and it went on forever. I couldnt. I just couldnt.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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