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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 (2749 )
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4.7 (1782 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 09-24-12
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 09-24-12
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    2
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    "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
  •  
    Marlène United States 09-09-12
    Marlène United States 09-09-12 Member Since 2016

    orchid62

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    "Wanna slip into the life of a slave?"
    Where does Roots rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have and for many hours. In fact I could hardly put my headphones down! Not one slave's life but a lineage of them. Great story and great characters. How helpless they were and the women slave condition (inimaginable today... at least in my country) submitted to their owner's whim. Dreadful way of life but would I as a "white" do better now givent the time customs? I hope so!
    Again great story from an African snatched from his village to the free grand-grand-grand-parent that still carries some old tales finally researched after more than a hundred years. And after 12 years of research became a book!
    Hard and emotionally tough at times but so true to the story. Worth every minute and every cent.


    What did you like best about this story?

    its reality


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

    the accents and interpretation


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

    both but more cry


    Any additional comments?

    get it either in paper or audio!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn de Lacolle, QC, Canada 09-08-12
    Karyn de Lacolle, QC, Canada 09-08-12
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    "A truly inspirational story"
    Where does Roots rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    this book is one of the best that I have listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the way he made the characters come alive. Everyone had hisor her own story to tell. I also felt the touched by his reaction to being welcomed into Kunte Kinte's home village. He gave us his family history with loveand devotion and I am sure that the ancestors were made proud.


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

    I have never listened to his audio performances before. I have always liked him on screens big and small.


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

    The story has already reached the television in an epic mini-series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abby 07-19-12
    Abby 07-19-12

    New to audible but love the convenience of listening to books while doing mundane household tasks. Mother of 3 whose nest is 2/3 empty as the grown children move on to bigger and better things.

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    "A generational story like no other."
    Where does Roots rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is an excellent audiobook.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The family love amongst the hard times and poverty is truly heartwarming.


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

    This is my first.


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

    Many moving moments through the generations but it was incredibly moving to hear Alex Haley tell about how he came to write this family history and to hear about his travels as he researched for the book. This part actually choked me up.


    Any additional comments?

    With faint memories of this TV Mini-series I had seen as a teenager it was great to hear this book to remember the details much better now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Human 07-06-12
    Human 07-06-12
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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 Daniels Thompsons Station, TN, United States 06-24-12
    RiahWillow Daniels 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

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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
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    "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!

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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
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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!

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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

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