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
"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)
There are some interesting ideas and insights in this book. Unfortunately, they're completely swamped by the many obvious, implausible, silly, and downright ridiculous elements that I found myself more and more anxious to finish the book. Not so I could find out how it ends, but just so it would end. I kept thinking this must have been written for 'young adults,' but clearly it wasn't. It's just not very well written.
A good fictional representation of how immigrants in England relate today and connect to the colonial history of the lands they are from. It was an engaging read but the ending kind of tried to do too much and lost me. Also, as someone from Jamaica, I felt some aspects of the culture and story there were not as accurate as they could be but still enjoyed most of the story.
slow tedious dialogue punctuated by short bursts of narrative progression.
started three times. I tried... really I tried...
couldn't finish it.
Entertaining with twist and turns. Surprising ending. Characters were well played by the narrators. Interesting story line with all of the different lives woven in.
White Teeth was the worst book I have ever listened to. I try not to fall into the trap of complaining about the narrator. However, the narrator's constant switching between horrible English & Indian accents was sickening. DO NOT waste your credit on this book.
Pros: This book had some really interesting and colorful characters. There were laugh out loud moments, especially involving Alsana (my favorite character).
Cons: This story and characters tried really hard to go somewhere and certainly thinks it was a deep book that went somewhere. For me, it never got there. I waited for hours listening... Fading off while the author went on long tangents. The characters never developed. I didn't care about any of them.
Further, the reader was almost impossible to listen to. Her ability to do accents was great, but she was loud and shrill in her natural stance, even when the characters were not. Her voice irritated me so that I needed to walk away frequently or lower the volume or take my headphones out. And she had this back of the throat saliva slapping sound, like a bubble popping behind her tongue that needed to be swallowed. So gross. Drink some water when you narrate!!
This is an astonishingly good novel, with incredibly quirky characters, but I think it's even better heard. This is one of the most creative and superb narrations I've encountered. The narrator is more actress than reader, and she understands just how to get the most out of each word. Switching back and forth between the Kindle version and the Audible, I can see that the narrator also makes the book more clear. I bought this book because it has been so well reviewed by literary critics, but I strongly encourage interested people to listen. As good as it is on the page (and it is), it comes to life through the narration.
Other that the Billy Crystal book this is the only book I couldn't finish since I joined Audible many many years ago. I just couldn't get to where I cared about the characters.
I am a lover of history and the fantastic tales of human achievement (or folly). Sometimes, a grand author captures my imagination.
In this novel, Zadie Smith has woven a spectacular narrative around a set of idiosyncratic characters in their daily wacky lives spanning generations. It is a hilarious and yet sometimes frustrating novel (in a good way if that is possible) which encompasses many a human trait. Ridiculous as it sounds, but once you enter this world, it is almost impossible to escape.
The story weaves around two families with the patriarchs having met and formed a lifelong friendship in WWII. As they grow older, marry, migrate, have children, and fight their inner demons, we are presented with a captivating story of London in the 70s, 80s and 90s. It is a very British story that highlights a liberal Englishman and a Bangladeshi immigrant who is overcoming his own unique challenges. The story is made more colorful by the crazy and sometimes violent wives, improbable science, and children of mixed marriages fighting for their own identities.
I loved this story and you will laugh as much as I did whilst reading this wonderful book.
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