We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
product image

White Teeth

Archie's life has disintegrated. Fresh from a dead marriage, middle-aged Archie stretches out a vacuum hose, seals up his car and prepares to die. But unbeknownst to him, his darkest hour is also his luckiest day. With the opening of a butcher's shop, his life is saved and soon he is on his way to beginning a new life with a young Jamaican woman looking for the last man on earth.
Regular Price:$46.87
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Archie's life has disintegrated. Fresh from a dead marriage, middle-aged Archie stretches out a vacuum hose, seals up his car and prepares to die. But unbeknownst to him, his darkest hour is also his luckiest day. With the opening of a butcher's shop, his life is saved, and soon he is on his way to beginning a new life with a young Jamaican woman looking for the last man on earth.

Drawing you in with the immediacy of her tantalizing wit, Zadie Smith sets herself apart as a defining voice of contemporary literature. Her internationally acclaimed novel boldly and humorously bridges three London families across a cultural and generational divide.

©2000 Zadie Smith; (P)2001 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"The scrambled, heterogeneous sprawl of mixed-race and immigrant family life in gritty London nearly overflows the bounds of this stunning, polymathic debut novel." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (436 )
5 star
 (151)
4 star
 (116)
3 star
 (92)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (41)
Overall
3.9 (223 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.1 (219 )
5 star
 (109)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rachel COLUMBUS, OH, United States 09-14-12
    Rachel COLUMBUS, OH, United States 09-14-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever, but crude"

    I was unable to finish reading this book, so can not give an overall view of it. But I CAN say why I gave up on it.

    Although I found the characters to be interesting and the narrative to be clever and funny, the constant crudity and obscenities grated on me. If crudity and obscenities bother you, this is NOT the book for you. If you like politically incorrect social satire, and don't mind a bit of crudity, I think you might like this book. :)

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1583
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    340
    275
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    415
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Smart, Catch-22-esque"

    A smart, hilarious, and surprisingly knowing novel for such a young author (who belongs to my own generation), White Teeth is one of my favorite books. Beginning with the absurd failed suicide of a haplessly indecisive middle-aged Englishman named Archie, who reminds me a little of Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then moving on to his friend Samad, a hilariously self-important, argumentative Bengali (whose "slapping your salami" discussion had me snorting with laughter and trying not to drive off the road), the story eventually comes to encompass the key members of three colorfully fractious families, across several generations.

    This book is similar to Joseph Heller's Catch-22 in that it uses exaggerated characters and absurd situations to make its point. But, in my opinion, Smith writes with a keen eye for satire and an effortless authority that suggests much personal experience with born-again Jamaican grandmothers, irascible Indian housewives, white hippie-scientists with overly progressive parenting styles, and other figures that populate multicultural, urban Britain. Some readers might fault her for being a little too cynical with her characters, who are put into caricature boxes that they never quite manage to escape, or a little too self-indulgent (which I thought was true in spots) but, overall, I enjoyed her wit and felt that it was rooted in compassion, offering surprisingly mature insights into culture clashes, growing up, growing older, and the mental contortions people put themselves through in order to put on a front for the world or themselves, despite what they actually feel inside.

    White Teeth isn't a very plot-driven book, taking snapshots of its central figures and their lives through multiple decades, but it's this epic sweep, I think, that really gives Smith's novel resonance. From beneath the comic posturing and postulations of her characters emerges a true sense of the vital undercurrents of history, as seen by a member of the generation about to inherit it. Few writers in their 30s show such talent, let alone those among Smith's 20-something peers (back when she wrote the book, that is). Vibrant, funny, and moving -- highly recommended.

    The audiobook rendering was excellent, and might even make the listening experience preferable to reading the print version. The narrator did a great job with all the accents.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Holland Decatur, GA USA 09-22-10
    Robert Holland Decatur, GA USA 09-22-10 Member Since 2009

    quiltchannel.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Multicultural comedy of manners (and more)"

    I have listened to On Beauty and loved it, but White Teeth really bites into the depth of the divide between east and west, Muslim and Christian (and atheist) with a marvelously rendered set of characters. The plot does have a long developmental arc, but that seems beside the point. The characters and the subplots are of sufficient interest in themselves. The resolution was a bit over the top, but this book isn't about realism. All of the loose ends were tied up in a not-too-tidy bundle, because this story is anything but tidy.

    Jenny Sterlin does a great job with the narration.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 12-13-09
    Sherray NewYork, NY, United States 12-13-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    161
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "White Teeth"

    I liked the comedic parts of this book,but felt that it could have been a little better plot-wise.The sudden political parts confused me,when the narrator went from a paragraph about the family and then to something about a war and somewbody being a captain....if it wasn't for that,I'dve given it another star.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yudeshtra Ilala Ridge, South Africa 02-24-11
    Yudeshtra Ilala Ridge, South Africa 02-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Entertaining and enjoyable novel."

    Colourful and entertaining! a Good read. I enjoyed the blend of cultures and religions. Zadie Smith has a good grasp of inter-race relationship between 1st generation foreigners living in London.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jolinda Ramona, CA, USA 11-09-07
    Jolinda Ramona, CA, USA 11-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "disappointed"

    After reading On Beauty, which was FABULOUS, I could hardly wait to read White Teeth, Zadie Smith's first book. What a disappointment! I found it very difficult to follow the transitions between characters and didn't find any of the characters interesting enough to make me want to follow them. There was very little light or redemption in site and the characters were not only bleek and seedy but boring as well. In the end, I gave up about 2/3 of the way through, telling myself "this is just more than I wanted to know about turtles".

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 07-23-07
    Suzanne 07-23-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wow, what a book!!"

    I do not know how she does it, but Zadie Smith captures you and you are there. You know these people.

    Thank you Ms. Smith

    Suzanne

    12 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra St. Louis, MO, United States 05-07-10
    Sandra St. Louis, MO, United States 05-07-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "I just didn't get it!"

    I wanted to like this book. Between the reviews on here and on Amazon, I thought I was going to like it. The narrator had a really annoying accent, but that aside, I could not get into the story. The characters are shallow and not well developed enough to make you care about the story. When the author does spend time developing characters, it seems like a misguided focus on mundane aspects of their lives. I even tried fast forwarding through a large part of the middle of the story, hoping it would get better later, but that did not happen. I could not spend over 23 hours of my life on this book. 9 hours were enough to make me want my credits back!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley La Crosse, WI, United States 03-28-09
    Bradley La Crosse, WI, United States 03-28-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "White Teeth"

    A good read, a fantastic reader, but all the absurd coincidences and implausible plot turns ruined it for me in the end.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 03-07-09
    Debra 03-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    "Could not finish it"

    Although the author's talent is evident and there were some good spots in the story I got to a point where I just could listen no longer. I kept asking myself, where is this going. Answer, nowhere.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 41 results PREVIOUS1235NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.