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)
White Teeth has real guts as a story. 2 self absorbed families with second generation migrant children, you can't help but adore each of the characters even while infuriated by their faults (which are many). I loved this story. An easy read with such beautiful prose & a fantastic storyline that leaves you quietly smiling.
Archie & Clara's meeting & subsequent marriage is a disaster waiting to happen - and yet, in all of the events of the book it turns out to have some of the sanest consequences.
The reveal at the end (no spoilers) was my favourite scene. Every single character in the book appears in this scene & while there is no full resolution there is an oddly satisfactory conclusion.
Clara & her daughter are adorable character who you just love & who you'd like to rescue from the dysfunctional family situation of both Hortense & Archie. Archie & Samal are delightful while frankly irritating. The relationship between them is unique in that the only people they do not irritate are each other. Apologies for spelling of names - only problem with reading books in audio (outweighed by the benefits of course).
Read this book.
living in los angeles I drive a lot, so audio books save me from a lot of frustration!
This satiric look at British culture bounces all over the place, but although somewhat lacking in structure, the author's voice is so unique that I could listen to it all over again. The narration was one of the best I have ever heard.
I truly did like "On Beauty" and though that I'd try another Zadie Smith. I listened to the sample before buying, and the reader was pleasant enough. BUT that was the reader doing the third-person narrative. Had no idea of quite how horrible she'd be with the voices. I thought I'd get used to it, but just got more and more annoying. Had to give up.
This book is as good as its reputation, if not better. This is a generational saga in the best sense of that concept, full of compelling and affecting characters. If you are not British or live in Britain, the book benefits especially from the audio performance, because of all the different accents of all the characters involved. Riotously funny, but also tragic and sad, "White Teeth" is a portrayal of our times, of any big cosmopolitan city where past tradition and the modern world collide in explosive ways.
The book kicks off with a suicide attempt and then flashbacks to World War II to return to a present day London where racial, religious and generational tensions simmer; but its greatness does not reside in its topicality, but in its finely etched character portrayals of 2 families, that of the bengali soldier who fought for the British in World War II, his long suffering but astute wife and their twin sons; and that of Archie, the suicidal soldier from World War II who marries a stunning but toothless beauty from Jamaica, and their sensitive daughter, and let's not forget about the Jehova Witness grandma from Jamaica, and dozens of memorable supporting characters.
Smith takes jabs at the failings and sometimes ridiculous conduct of their characters, but firmly grounded in humanity and compassion (although to tell the truth, most of the men in the book are jerks or idiots), which gives the book a tremendous energy and vitality. Towards the end you fear the plot is heading towards a predictable ending, but fear not, there is a final twist.
Justly acclaimed as one of the great books of the Decade of the 00s, Jenny Sterlin reading is also a tour de force; her voice takes some getting used to at the beginning, but very quickly one is dazzled by the care and precision put into each character's individual voice. A must hear!
I thought I'd really like this book. I enjoyed it initially, but then it started to drag and I've now lost interest entirely. I made it through about 4 hrs. and am giving up.
I have read so many audiobooks in the last years and even though I didn't always like them, I was always able to finish. Not with this one! I barely got through the first hour. There is no plot, the intonation of the reader is annoying (mimicking a Southern accent) and it just dragged on.
Yes but not the audio book. I find the narrator extremely distracting and a bit over dramatic. In fact, I don't like to listen to this book at all because the narration is confusing and overly done, for my taste.
I thought this book would NEVER end. Why I finished it, I know not. Guess after investing so much time in it, I figured I'd hang in till the end. First of all, the narrater was excellent. Her various accents added much to the humor of the story. The writer is also way above average - many, many funny moments, great character development. Yet the story was just a waste. I kept waiting for a tidy ending - it never happened. Suffice it to say, I was relieved and glad to be finished with this.
Book came highly recommended, and I am absolutely bored with the story line and characters. I've completed seven hours of listening and I'm not compelled to listen any further. It's slow and the characters are fully developed, but not yet interesting.
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