We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Roots Audiobook

Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Regular Price:$34.96
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 the Critics Say

"Being the consummate actor, [narrator Avery] Brooks has immersed himself into the role of narrator. In fact, it is difficult to describe what Avery Brooks does in this audiobook. He neither narrates nor performs, rather, he conjures. He brings the plethora of characters to life as memory, as history, as the pawns of diaspora. His narration begins in reverential tones as an homage to a literary masterwork, yet he ends it as a roar against racism." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (3118 )
5 star
 (2244)
4 star
 (591)
3 star
 (174)
2 star
 (53)
1 star
 (56)
Overall
4.7 (2145 )
5 star
 (1641)
4 star
 (348)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (32)
Story
4.7 (2127 )
5 star
 (1716)
4 star
 (283)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (26)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    DK 03-16-14
    DK 03-16-14 Member Since 2013

    No spoilers! Love HOT, sexy books w/a plot. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. I also review in exchange for books-lots of fun surprises!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    841
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    813
    812
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    103
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful & Complicated Book Pay Attention30+ Hours"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Roots to and why?

    I cannot think of anything that is as well documented and personal as Alex Haley's Roots.


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

    He is a fantastic narrator. A smooth, warm sound with distinctive voice for each character male, female, black, white, young and old. Perfection...


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

    No, over 30 hours long-this is very detailed and it is very important to pay close attention. It is heavy 'listening'.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very descriptive, vibrant story. It is history 'come alive' - the good, bad and the ugly... a portrayal of Alex Haley's unique story of his family's history.

    Highly recommend for any student of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Speedway, IN, United States 02-26-14
    Pam Speedway, IN, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "absolutely loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to Roots the most enjoyable?

    A great story about an American family. Very touching.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should read or listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stephen new york, NY, United States 11-18-13
    stephen new york, NY, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Hadn't Realised How Good this Book Is."
    Where does Roots rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Roots is in the top 5 of over 300 books I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    For me, not being an American, this book is a real eye opener and a reasonably well told story.


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

    A magnificently crafted performance. One of the best readers around. wish he did some more.


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

    The selling of Kizzy.


    Any additional comments?

    A worthwhile experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chasidyCormier Euless, Tx, United States 11-12-13
    chasidyCormier Euless, Tx, United States 11-12-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "TOUCHING ,HONESTY, TRUTH!!"
    Would you listen to Roots again? Why?

    Yes. This is an amazing insight on the roots of African American people. A lifelong journey!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kizzy. She was the definition of a real woman.


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

    This book made me laugh, cry, and realize!!


    Any additional comments?

    I watched the movie Roots twice. The movies are extremely long but well worth the watch! The book is the same, I LOVE IT!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina Burnsville, NC, United States 11-04-13
    Gina Burnsville, NC, United States 11-04-13 Member Since 2013

    I love Jesus, family, animals, nature ~ I'm in school for Web Technologies and Information Systems Technology. I love web design and writing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply the best story"

    I loved Roots when I was a young girl and still love it today. It is an amazing saga of one young man and his voyage from his home in Africa to the slave quarters in America. The story is often sad, but always hopeful. I truly LOVE this story and can't imagine a better story to listen to. I recommend this to anyone who cares to hear a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Low New York 10-01-13
    Beverly Low New York 10-01-13 Member Since 2014

    HI!!!!!! I love to read!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OH Listen to This!"
    What did you love best about Roots?

    The whole story, traditions and how people took care of eachother under the harshest of times.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well, I saw the mini-series years ago and It was phenomenal...but this starts out earlier when Kunte was in Africa. So you really get the feel of family and tradition on that end first which makes the rest all the more intense!


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

    This was my first experience with Avery Brook's, at first I thought it was a little slow but then as I continued I realized what he was aiming for...this book is real and the more facts and less animation, the better. What an amazing story of finding out where you come from, digging and digging, Avery will make you cry your heart out!


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

    Well, there were so many times when I was very sad and then times when I was happy, but I can only tell you this...By the end of the book I was holding my head in my hands sobbing. This should be required reading, my father is 84 and I bought him a speaker for his Kindle because he has a hard time hearing and ear buds are not for him. He is loving this book!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you Alex for this exceptional work, hard work, almost impossible work...You have made it so that this book is in my heart, not just my mind. You had so little to work with but your will was amazing, the fruit does not fall far from the tree and I know that Kunte is smiling down on you!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 08-30-13
    Jasmine 08-30-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    142
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed Feelings"

    When I first started Roots, I loved it. I was reading a part in less than a week (each part was at least 7 hours long)...that is until I got to the last part. It was becoming so hard to listen to as the generations continued. The story sounded less and less authentic and personable as the generations went on. Still, the narration by Avery Brooks was flawless. My issues with the book are with the author - especially after learning that there were accusations against him of plagiarism; however, I would recommend everyone to read this. It invoked in me a desire to learn about my past and it made me proud knowing that as an African American female, we as a society have come so far. One of the most memorable sections of the book was Kinte's childhood in Africa. The people, customs, and traditions were so rich!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin 08-04-13
    Kristin 08-04-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written history"

    An excellent story that adds so much humanity to such a perfidious "trade". Amazing narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss Toni San Diego 06-30-13
    Miss Toni San Diego 06-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Let the Truth be Told!"

    I've seen the movie several times throughout my life and every time I feel new emotions. The story and narration of this book put me over the edge and challenged me in every way possible. Now, I know the history and truths goes deeper than this story reveals, however, I still found myself there from the very beginning. I appreciate how the book tells the story of Kunta's life in Africa up until manhood, something the movie doesn't share. The narration was awesome! I felt the fear in the mother's voice, the pain in the men and women who suffered the treachours reality of being captured, treated like animals, and raped over and over again. I was there in the fields, the shacks, the celebrations. It amazed me how through it all the men and women continued to smile and thank God for life. Sometimes in life we need a reality check and this story definitely does the job. We cannot run from our history nor be ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, we need to embrace our history, love our culture and where we come from, and establish the confidence to want to seek more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 06-14-13
    Bebe El Dorado, AR, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    191
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book stays with you"

    I listened to this book 4 years ago while I was planting my garden. Every time I'm in the garden, I think about this book. When I'm hot and tired and decide I'll go inside, shower, and drink a beer, I think about how the slaves couldn't do that.

    One of the things that really struck me about this book was that when someone was sold, he/she was "sold" out of the story and never heard from again.

    I'm a Southerner and a Christian. I do wish my area of the country would quit being so behind the rest of the country and trying to hide it behind their religion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.