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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 (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By avoidthelloyd on 09-17-14


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.

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85 of 88 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 08-02-14


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.

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.


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31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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