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White Teeth | [Zadie Smith]

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.
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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 (536 )
5 star
 (194)
4 star
 (149)
3 star
 (102)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (46)
Overall
3.9 (311 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (308 )
5 star
 (164)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Debra 03-07-09
    Debra 03-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    18
    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
  •  
    James Lambropoulos 07-20-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible Editing"

    The story was terrific. The narrator"s performance likewise. The editing of the audio file was terrible and distracting. Book chapters aligned in no way whatsoever with the file chapter markers. Section breaks in the text were often edited so closely together that the change in scene was not immediately apparent, because the narration continued as if it were all a single paragraph. This led to a situation where I could not trust what was happening during the climactic scene, because it went back and forth between two scenes across time, and I had come to feel suspicious of any abrupt changes in the narrative. Incredibly distracting, and an example of how lack of attention to the production itself can take away from enjoyment of the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria Carmichael, CA, USA 04-01-15
    Gloria Carmichael, CA, USA 04-01-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a beautiful wordsmith"

    Reading this book was for the most part a fabulous experience. I love the way she told such a well entwined story with so much humor and description. The narrator is one of the best I've ever heard. She really really makes the book come alive. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It felt as if the author suddenly had to rush off to the bathroom so she just ended it as quickly as she could with very little thought to the quality of the rest of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Lynne Columbia, MO USA 03-05-15
    Sara Lynne Columbia, MO USA 03-05-15 Member Since 2010

    Sara

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "beautiful"

    An incredibly sobering story of identity, masterfully delivered. I recommend it for all readers who wish to deepen their understanding of gender and race and culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maureen 03-04-13
    maureen 03-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    183
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite good"
    Would you try another book from Zadie Smith and/or Jenny Sterlin?

    Yes, I would try both a book by Zadie Smith and I also would try another book performed by Jenny Sterlin. I thought the characters were well written and Ms. Sterline gave a different voice to the characters bringing them to life.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james Chicago, IL, United States 02-25-13
    james Chicago, IL, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Audio file messed up"
    What disappointed you about White Teeth?

    The chapters don't line up to the audio breaks and I'm pretty sure it skips over some text toward the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Field, British Columbia, Canada 02-12-13
    Shelley Field, British Columbia, Canada 02-12-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long Listen - But Worth It!"
    Where does White Teeth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my third audio book. I was a bit concerned about the length and whether I would miss things in audio format. This was my favorite so far.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I most enjoyed how the story came full circle in the end. This book has many complex characters with tightly woven stories. And I really appreciated the cast of faulted but real female characters.


    Which character – as performed by Jenny Sterlin – was your favorite?

    I loved how the narrator performed Alsana.


    Who was the most memorable character of White Teeth and why?

    For me the most memorable character was Irie Jones. I loved how she became her own person toward the end of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul BETHESDA, MD, United States 02-11-13
    Paul BETHESDA, MD, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Terrific Read"
    Where does White Teeth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The author is clever, witty, articulate and imaginative. The reader is terrific. This book is a great read. Amongst the best I've read.


    What about Jenny Sterlin’s performance did you like?

    Overall terrific.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emilian O'Shea Ayotha Amirtha Gangai 01-29-13
    Emilian O'Shea Ayotha Amirtha Gangai 01-29-13 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Multicultural"
    What did you love best about White Teeth?

    The story line and the characters are fantastic, Samad Iqbal made me laugh so much with his continous contradictions!!


    What other book might you compare White Teeth to and why?

    Maybe the Satanic Verses for it's multicultural references


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Yes, the novel is funnier than what is narrated. She sometimes reads too slow, making some the dialogues dull when they’re actually hilarious.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 01-23-13
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 01-23-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great writing, superb narration"

    Zadie Smith is a great writer. She's funny, creates marvelous characters, and has a fantastic ear for diverse speech patterns. I've listened to over 100 audiobooks; this was one of my favorites so far. Jenny Sterlin, the narrator, does a wonderful job handling all the different accents and putting ironic inflections into her narration at just the right moments. I found the very end of the book a little unsatisfactory. There's some great plotting to get to that point, but then the climactic scene and the little coda that follows seem rushed. But that's a small criticism; overall, I thoroughly enjoy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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