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
I watched the movie with my family when I was a child, and never forgot it. It touched all of us then, and it shakes me now. Twice I had to wipe the tears away while listening on my ipod, and countless times I found myself saying, "oh my God" and shaking my head in disbelief. This is a story like no other, and the narrator, Avery Brooks, was masterful with his engaging deep voice and emotionally charged inflections that easily transformed from man to woman to child, in pain, in joy, in desperation, in love, and everything in between.
DO NOT PASS THIS UP - IT'S ONE OF THE ABSOLUTE BEST!
This American masterpiece should be required reading in high school. Outstanding prose, suspense, emotion and true American history.
One thing I brought away from this classic was that black Americans and white Americans are neither black nor white. The genes have been so mixed that we are all a combination of many ethnic backgrounds.
For some reason I found the audiobook too tedious to listen to. Maybe because I knew what would happen and didn't want to go through it all again. Somehow, the book has not aged very well.
The only thing I can say of this novel is WONDERFUL. Masterfully written and read! Get out your tissues, get comfy .... and enjoy! A MUST READ/LISTEN. I like to think that had I lived in this time period and been FORCED to live the humiliation, degradation, de-humanization etc... experienced by my forfathers so detailed here that I would have had the nerve to be one of those with the strength to just make the JUMP into the belly of the sea creatures. Their treatment is so detailed that (knowing that it was reality) .... makes me want to PUKE. However at the same time we must never forget for history tends to repeat itself. NEVER AGAIN!!!
A very powerful, long, but worthwhile read (Yes, I listened to the entire 33 hour audiobook) and despite the court controversy surrounding it (and Haley) that parts of the book were lifted from another book, The Africans, it's a powerful depiction of slavery and the lives of a people that have managed to spring forth in spite of it.
This is a sad tale about a shameful part of American history. The story is powerful and pulls you in from the beginning and does not lag at all, despite the books length. The reader is excellent.
I read this when it first came out and loved it. I saw the mini-series and fell in love with the characters. With the historic inauguration of President Barak Obama I decided it was time to revisit a classic from my adolescence. I have a long commute that I have begun to look forward to, so I can get back to the story. It is wonderfully engaging and very well read by the reader. Kunta Kinte has come a long way, baby.
This book is should be required listening for anyone who has an ounce of interest in slave trade or the middle passage. It is a story of trials and tribulations. Moreover it is a story of overcoming and eternal love.
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