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Roots [Paperback]

Alex Haley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Library Binding 14.90  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook 14.33  
Audio Download, Unabridged 22.74 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

21 Jan 1994

Tracing his ancestry through six generations - slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lawyers and architects - back to Africa, Alex Haley discovered a sixteen-year-old youth, Kunta Kinte. It was this young man, who had been torn from his homeland and in torment and anguish brought to the slave markets of the New World, who held the key to Haley's deep and distant past.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the U.S. National Book Award.

Frequently Bought Together

Roots + The Complete Roots Collection: Original Series (30th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (21 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099362813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099362814
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 12.8 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The book is an act of love, and it is this which makes it haunting" (New York Times)

"A gripping mixture of urban confessional and political manifesto, it not only inspired a generation of black activists, but drove home the bitter realities of racism to a mainstream white liberal audience" (Observer)

"Groundbreaking" (Associated Press)

"A Pulitzer Prize-winning story about the family ancestry of author Alex Haley... [and] a symbolic chronicle of the odyssey of African Americans from the continent of Africa to a land not of their choosing" (Washington Post)

Book Description

The radical, bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning account of Alex Haley's own twelve-year search for his family's origins - a powerful memoir, a history of slavery and a landmark in African-American literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most moving book you will ever read 31 Dec 2001
By A Customer
I finished reading this book a few months ago but it is still with me. I am still haunted by the images of the innocent and beautifully characterised Kunta Kinte being snatched from his village in Juffure. This book was my insight into American history and I was unable to put it down until it was finished. I lived the horrors with Kunta Kinte and followed all the subsequent generations through their lives, and I did become one of them. This is the most amazing book you will every read. Please read it, every thinking man and woman should read this and spare a thought for the atrocities that happened in the past.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read. 2 July 1999
By A Customer
I could not put this book down. I wish I had taken the time to read this book earlier in my life! It tells a wonderful tale of Kunte Kinte, an African man who is stolen from his African tribe in Ghana and made a slave in the 'new world.' I loved the story, even though it was one of the saddest stories I had ever read. By the end of the book I felt like I knew Kunte and his whole family extremely well. It's great when you read a book and it 'stays with you' for weeks afteward. I feel that way about 'Roots.' It really is a great book, one which left me with a great feeling of sadness for what Kunte's family (and so many others!) went through, but also with a feeling of hope for the future. The book is beautifully written. The description of Africa was lovely. If you're considering this book, you really should buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History's shame 24 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was still at school at about the same time that it was serialised on TV. The emotions are still as strong now, as then - I would place it together with Schindler's List for the shame, and anger, felt over mankind's damned cruelty and ignorance.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless and True 15 Aug 2003
Told in the true style of griots, this story gripped my emotions from beginning to end. The last time I read it was 6 years ago and never has a book stayed with me more than Roots. The first time I read it was actually whilst visiting Gambia and it made me a far more popular person with the Gambians, they are very proud to be linked with the names Alex Haley and Kunta Kinte and rightly so. We all know the story by now, but it is the passion of Alex Haley's writing which makes this such a compelling read, the love he feels for his subject draws the reader in with such power it is impossible to let go. This book was the first time I had really come into contact with the slave trade, and I can truthfully say something in this book changed me forever, I really had my eyes opened to the trade in human flesh and knew what humans were capable of doing to each other. I never wanted this book to end, but when it did I cried tears of joy, sadness and knowledge. Thank you so much Alex Haley for sharing your family's story with us, it is something I will never forget.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots: A must read CLASSIC 17 Mar 2006
Hayley's 'Roots' is easily one of the best and most vivid books I have ever read. It is a modern classic and it comes with my 100% recommendation.
Roots is a account of the life of Kunta Kente, a young African boy, captured and shipped to the US to work as a slave. The book details the start of his life from his birth in 1750 in a village called Juffire in Gambia in the West of Africa. As a young boy Kunta is captured and subsequently transport across the sea to be sold as a slave. Kunta is shipped to and sold in the State of Virginia, first by a harsh master and thus he runs away four times, with no place to go his is re-caught and eventually sold to a new 'master' who is much softer than the first. Kunta eventually accepts his fate and the book goes on to detail his working life with his new master, his marriage the housemaid Belle and the birth of their daughter Kizzy. In some ways the book has a happy ending as Kunte is eventually freed but at the end of the day this book is about slavery, a practise that was inhumane and unforgivable.
At times It is a shocking and graphic account of the maltreatment and suffering endured by those taken as slaves. Both in America but particularly the parts in which Kunta details his experiences on the ship across the Atlantic, where he estimates that the death rate could reach as high as 40%, given the unsanitary conditions, with bodies just chucked mercilessly into the sea. This disturbing account will stay with me always, it is appalling to think that so many thousands of innocent people undertook such horrific times, stolen from their homelands in order to ensure that the USA became the richest country in the World.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even better than the TV programme
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5.0 out of 5 stars Roots 4 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing read
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3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing 1 July 2014
By Katie G
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book but got a bit tedious in the middle, I really struggled to finish it. Very sad in places.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sad but absorbing
Compelling,sad but absorbing.
Published 5 days ago by robert pearson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic semi autobiography!
Fantastic book even though pre owned the hardback quality is great. Definitely one book that will stay with me for a long time.
Published 3 months ago by bargain hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
This book was recommended to me by a friend and wow what an amazing touching read.
Quick delivery too which was great.
Published 3 months ago by Susana De Freitas
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the best
I like very much this item. I recommend to everyone.
We learn a lot with this story. We can see what are people capable of everything to have what they want.
Published 6 months ago by Isabel Teixeira Abreu Cunha
5.0 out of 5 stars History book
An amazing story - combining history and fiction in a family saga. Very good and very sad. I would highly recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by krm
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots by Alex Haley
The book was excellent and as I purchased a second copy for Christmas for my son I am very pleased.
Published 8 months ago by A. McLoughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
Thank you for fast delivery, great value book is a great read, going to the Gambia so wanted to find out the history of slavery.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter sweet book
I just cant put into words about this book. One have to read it to get what am saying. It will bring tears to your eyes.
Published 10 months ago by Millicent Lettman
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 10 book
I've read a lot of books. I love reading. Roots is one of the best books that I've read. You know a good book because when you finish it it leaves an emptiness that is both sad and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by James C
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