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Roots: The Saga of an American Family

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Alex Haley

Starred Review.It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Alex Haley's groundbreaking historical novel (based on his own family's history) was first published and became a worldwide phenomenon. Millions have read the story of the young African … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Alex Haley
Publisher: Wings
1 review about Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Amazing story and research, but missing something

  • Nov 27, 2001
Rating:
+3
Alex Haley is to be congratulated at this well researched and stirring family saga. Just the fact that he was able to use his family's oral history to trace this wonderful story is an achievement most modern authors are unable to lay claim to. And it is a fabulous story, rich in detail and for the first few generations after Kunta Kinte we really get to know the characters.

But it is the very fact that we know intimately only the first few generations that makes this fine work lack something. There is a disproportionate amount of time focused on Kunta Kinte, and whereas this is important, as his is the most harrowing and heart rending story, I feel it takes a little too much of the book. And towards then end, the characters get barely a mention. I should imagine that Alex's father has a story which is equally worth telling, but the latter generations are glossed over. I would really like to know more about these people too.

So it is a magnificent achievement, easy to read and riveting. But it loses steam about half way through, and there is little flesh in the story towards the end. I do recommend it - it is a justly famous and wonderful book - I just feel it misses the opportunity to have been a truly spectacular book

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