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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Not Zadie Smith's words...."
This is one of my favourite novels, and this version destroyed it! Although it claims to be unabridged, this is not the case, as in many places it has been Americanized - "Quality Street" was read as "Quality Street candy", words such as windshield, trash were inserted.
These are not the terms used in the novel itself, I was extremely disappointed to find that this 'unabridged' version is very different to what Smith actually wrote. This may seem like a small thing, but use of American English dramatically alters the tone, especially as the novel is meant to reflect contemporary England!
I do not reccomend at all!
"Teeth and Roots"
I did enjoy a less chocolate box presentation of my home country and i instantly found things that i recognized.
The most interesting thing was the fact that both the school and the Chalfen family make huge bounding assumptions about Jones and Iqbal families, assuming that the parenting is poor and unfeeling because of economic status and from ethnic minority groups, but they themselves ignore their own dysfunction.
Embarrassing their children, causing problems between Irie & Millat and their parents, then assuming that the dysfuction can be placed on their ethnic roots. They fail to see this but are geneticists and pride themselves on erudition.
The Narrator, the West Indian accents were butchered, i wish they hadn't been attempted. the South Asian accents were slightly better. All in all it was ok, if a little distracting
Read the book a few years ago and loved it and have really enjoyed listening to it now. Maybe I found it more interesting listening to it since I was familiar with the story line. I do agree that it isn't a very direct story line but it doesn't have to be. I believe that the book lives off the characters and that the voices given to them in this audiobook make them even more vivid.Personally, I found the different accents well-performed and the voice of the reader really good.
"Immigrant drudgery, dreams, dilemma and Drama..."
It ranks one among top ten. To be honest I have read it in print form ten years ago. I picked it up on a whim despite knowing what was in store. But did I ... the narrator gets a perfect ten from me. Jenny Sterlin , the narrator makes this audio book stand out from its print edition. What a performance ... the audio book brings out the London of the 80's and 90's so vividly in front of you. Each character there is personified so bautifully that i think i know them all so close to my heart. Few books have been narrated so well as this one. A must read ... ah .. sorry .. A must listen .
The story talks about immigrants and their struggle to retain their identity with their past roots while at the same time establish one in the present. It gets even more complex with the second and third generation immigrants who are farthest from their genetic and geographic roots, yet are drawn into the struggle.
Jenny Sterlin .. you rock. Among audio books you are by far one of the best I have heard. It must have been a great effort to bring out the nunaces of all the complex characters and their accents. From Clara to Samad, Hortense to Alsana, Archie to the Chalfens each of them is so different .. yet Jenny Sterlin delivers it so effortlessly by bringing out the subtle nuances in pronounciations and accents.
I think and laughed and cried many times over. Immigrant struggle is close to my heart and having lived in london i can relate to each of these characters like they were my next door neighbours.
White teeth as a book in print version was a well deserved best seller. It's audio version is even better. This book is best relished in its audio version than in the print form.
"A very tedious read! Despite perseverance - awful!"
A more articulate narrator
Less non eventful contributions to the storyline
A number of them....................
So looking forward to listening to this book - a real disappointment!
"Awful but I had to finish it"
I would change the fact that I ever bought this book
Not written it
No no no no no no no no no no
This book was awful. Dreadful story, awful characters but must have something as I had to listen until the end. ( I really wish I hadn't).This book was set in England and really annoyingly every now and again American words were used. 'Bangs', 'Block', 'Trunk'.
"Its not you Zadie...its me"
A sophisticated Lady perhaps
She was great but I gave up after 3 hours im afraid
not really...so if i'm coming across as a uncultered peasant.
i kept drifting off....losing interest hope you enjoy it though!
"can't believe I finished it!"
I found this book boring, and directionless. Really wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Can't think of anything positive to say about it at all. Weird characters. Reader sounded miserable.
"Not exactly gripping"
I probably shouldn't have chosen this. I sometimes read contemporary fiction, and I thought I'd see how the audio format suited it.
It just wasn't gripping enough. The characters were well painted, but not particularly attractive, and their lives weren't interesting enough for me to care what happened. The pace of the audio format was too slow for the narrative, so I got impatient. The conclusion, which brought some of the earlier plot strands together, I thought was lame.
The reading itself was in an English voice but seemed to be from an American version - 'diaper' for 'nappy', 'trunk' for 'boot' of the car and so on, although the book's setting is London. There are a several accents - Bangladeshi, Jamaican, London - and occasionally I wasn't sure which I was listening to.
It's a very popular book, so I'm content to think I'm the exception rather than the rule. Just not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. I'd better stick to the likes of P.G.Wodehouse and Daphne du Maurier.
A real modern classic. Wonderful characters, story and prose. Jenny Sterlin's performance is superb. If you like Middlemarch I think you'll like this epic saga. It quite funny too.
Report Inappropriate Content