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)
Most definitely. It took me a few years to actually finish the print version because I could not stick with it.
Archie was my favorite because he epitomized the "everyman" in all of us.
I could actually see the characters through her voice.
I would take Clara, because I would want to find out why she felt that she needed to marry Archie in order to "escape" her life. I'd ask if she thought that Archie was in fact necessary to save her life.
Zadie Smith's books are very complex, and after listening to this great performance of "White Teeth," I hope to have the chance to listen to her other works.
Yes, this is an excellent book: the plot, the language, the humour and intelligence, the sensitivity to different cultures...So many smart and hilarious lines. Sometimes I wished I had something to write down those brilliant lines. And the reader's performance was excellent! She did the accents so well! She just rbough the characters to life just with her intonations and accents. Just brilliant.
All! All characters are described so well - enough details without boring you and in such a funny and discerning manner too. If I had to choose a character it would have to be Assana.
Not really. It's very rich and flows very well so it wasn't a problem to listen to it over several sittings (or dog walks :). It's long so it would be difficult to listen to it in one sitting.
Brillian writing. Brilliant story. Brilliant reading.
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.
I drive a lot, so I listen to a lot of books. I am addicted to Audible!
This is my second time reading this book, and I feel that I could read it again and again. I first read this book in a post-colonial literature class and truly enjoyed it. Now, I find the book equally, or even more, thought provoking.
I wish there were more writers like Zadie Smith, but I truly cannot find one. The last time I read this book and On Beauty, I had a book "hang-over" and was left craving a similar narrative style paired with the literary depth. I wish Smith would write more books!
Humm... this is a difficult choice. I truly enjoyed the description of Trafalgar Square, where the statues (of Nelson, etc) face Westminster and Big Ben with their backs to the National Gallery. The text explained that only in England would people turn their backs on culture and look toward the future (or something like that). This is an interesting description as is deeply contrasts with the condition of the immigrant in the book; throughout the book, the immigrant families seem constantly tied down by their history and are unable to escape it. There are also allusions in this scene to the immigrant attempting to leave his or her mark in the country, but finding that, though he/she puts sweat and blood into it, the immigrant ultimately just makes a mess of things and is generally unsuccessful unless he/she assimilates into the dominant culture.
If they turned this book into a movie, I would be very upset. I think that the book is way too deep to be sliced apart and turned into a movie.
If you are not in the mood for a "heavy" or "deep" book, White Teeth might not be what you need at this moment. If you are an ex-English major that is fascinated by post-colonial literature and craving something thought provoking, then this is the perfect book for you!
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