• by Alex Haley
  • Narrated by Avery Brooks
  • 30 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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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- avoidthelloyd

Wonderful Listen

I know that since its publication there has been a good deal of controversy surrounding this book. Alex Haley was accused of plagarism regarding a few paragraphs from a book titled THE AFRICAN. He was reported to have paid a settlement as a result. Also, many question the historical veracity of some of the characters and details in the story, of which Haley makes no apology, employing necessary poetic license to bring this story to life. And he succeeded marvelously in his effort.

Roots is a tremendous novel, beautifully written and entirely engaging througout. The reader, Avery Brooks does a masterful job, actually enhancing the listening experience. I was amazed at how he effortlessly switched between the accents of the Africans, slaves and southern whites.

Without hesitation, I recommend this audiobook.
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- John "Longtime Audible enthusiast!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.