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 adored this book. It was quite different from the mini-series of the '70s. The first quarter of the book is entirely devoted to Kunta's upbringing in the Gambian jungles of Africa. It makes the impact of what happened to him -- and his subsequent genealogical generations -- that much more heartbreaking.
This is a huge book, and as such, can drag a bit here and there. But Avery Brooks as narrator does a wonderful job of keeping the audience engaged. I would eagerly listen to any of his narrations. The end of the book, however, is a bit disappointing in that you get the feeling that Haley knew this work of art was getting entirely too long in the tooth. The last three generations are somewhat rushed and not as fully developed as though that came before.
That said, this book could probably have been another 500 pages long (however many listening hours that would translate into). So the fact that Haley rushed things somewhat in the end, wasn't wholly unwelcome.
Wonderful book, heartbreaking, and eye-opening. It displays in all glory that humanity is a double-edged sword. Everyone should read or listen to this book -- you won't regret it.
An amazing story that had me in tears, and left me on the edge of my seat after listening to it. The range of emotions I experienced with this book were beyond any of my reasonable expectations. A must have book.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
Please DO NOT look up this book on Wikipedia before reading it! It will dilute the impact of the story. Trust me! I haven't read such a lengthy novel since World Without End and this is comparable. The time frame spans around 200 years. This story gives the reader a renewed perspective of slavery and racism and heightens our sensitivity to the issue. The narrator did a superb job handling the African accents as they transformed into American southern accents. There were some harsh interjections of historical accounts that felt forced, but added to the situation. I listened comfortably on 1.5X speed. Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to use a credit on this one. If any of this review helped, please click YES below. Later.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
THE PRETTIER SHE IS.
A lot of you probably think that Jim, The Impatient would not listen to a book 30 hours long. You would be wrong. If well written I can listen forever. This is very well written, is interesting and should be required reading in our schools. Just like the Holocaust, we should be reminded just how evil man can get, in order to keep us from doing it again. You can read books of history which give you the numbers and the straight facts, but only in a book like this can you live it and half way understand. This story will remain in my head until I die.
TENDING RICE WAS WOMEN'S WORK
The first couple of hours are good, but not as good as the rest of the book. The story really starts to happen when the main character grows up. The introduction is poor. The individual that does the intro, makes it sound like the book has all it's facts wrong and makes you wonder if you should listen on. Listen on. The last chapters do seem rushed and makes you believe Haley should have finished the book earlier and written another book to cover the rest of the material. The last hour is Haley explaining what he went through to write the book. I always appreciate it when the author does that.
The narrator is excellent.
AIN'T I TELLING YOU AS FAST AS I CAN.
If you've been intimidated to read Roots because of the book's size, definitely listen to it! I realized how little I actually knew about the slave experience. This is just fascinating. Easy to follow and an intriguing story.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Having seen the series on TV and read the novel twice since it was released, you'd think I would have had enough of "Roots".
Listening to the excellent narration simply adds to the enjoyment I've had for this wonderful piece of historical fiction.
There are a hundred reviews, most of the 5 star category and there is a reason for that.
It's a wonderful listen-I expect I'll listen to it again in a few years.
Worth the credit more than almost any book I've purchased on audible.
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. If I could give it 6 stars, I would. Everyone should read this book. It would open our eyes to the feelings of others, and it would help us see that we are all far more alike than we are different.
The narrator, Avery Brooks of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" fame, is absolutely phenomenal. I laughed and I cried, but I cried a lot more than I laughed. It was one of those books that I hated to see come to an end.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
I loved this book. Avery Brooks did a fantastic job reading this novel it was hard to pull myself away from the story. A great deal of research went into this novel, and Alex Haley's story at the end of the novel was truly appreciated. Worth the many hours of listening. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks there are no consequences to our actions. Strong families make for strong communities. Incredible writing and reading.
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