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)
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.
This is one of the worst pieces of garbage I have heard from Audible. No story line, nothing but trash talk. I could not last past the first ten minutes, if I get one more piece of junk like this I will stop using Audible. Movies are rated to warn people if they are getting garbage, so should the audible books. An author who needs to add 90% swear words just to fill out her book should try something other than writing for a profession. JD
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