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by Zadie Smith

One of the most talked about fictional debuts of recent years, "White Teeth" is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
Download White Teeth: A Novel epub
ISBN: 0965031004
ISBN13: 978-0965031004
Category: Cookbooks
Subcategory: Regional & International
Author: Zadie Smith
Language: English
Publisher: Rose & Rose Associates; First Edition edition (October 1, 2000)
Pages: 448 pages
ePUB size: 1316 kb
FB2 size: 1621 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 735
Other Formats: mobi lrf azw txt

Unlike anyone else writing then or since

There’s even a delicious endorsement from Salman Rushdie in the dust jacket

Admittedly a late comer to what is now widely established to be one of the most important books of the last 20 years, I am not going out on much of a limb by saying that White Teeth, the debut novel by a then-25 year old Zadie Smith, is an arresting, original, authentic book.

If you want a plot summary, don’t read this review—google the wiki page—I don’t give good plot descriptions. The reason to read this superb book about growing up an immigrant in England is not the (admittedly interesting) plot, but rather Smith’s superb ability to articulate the commonplace in a transcendent manner, including but not limited to:

• How she describes displacement
• How she deals with history and the white man’s role in it
• How she deals with religion(s)
• How she understands England’s existential angst about a lost empire
• How she presciently (the novel was published in 2000) identifies the coming eruption of Islamic emigres in the west, which caught everyone’s attention (although it certainly didn’t begin) when planes crashed into buildings in New York and Washington DC a year after her book came out and which continues to dominate, arguably to an increasingly greater degree, the media, national politics and international relations from London to Bagdad to Beijing to Delhi, from Washington to Damascus to Moscow to Tehran

The book lurches from European theatre of WWII to an early 19th century earthquake in Jamaica to Islamic extremists protesting science in modern London in search of…a message. That message is probably related to the age-old question of free will versus fate, which we see play out (not for the first time in literature but certainly with a fresh and interesting cast of characters) across several generations of immigrants to England. Smith’s greatest gift is creating engaging, layered characters whose lives you are interested in…but sometimes this is taken too far, like during the improbable convergence of the different families around the issue of Marcus Chalfen’s Future Mouse when Smith needlessly gives heated background on a newly introduced couple Joely and Crispin which prevents the plot’s progression to a less trammeled resolution (which, when it comes, Smith has crafted expertly and with terrific surprise…there’s an easter egg hidden at the end of this book).

There are times where it becomes obvious that this is a first novel and where some editing could have made it much tighter. The authors amazing powers of character development are lost on the Chalfen family, which is wholly unbelievable and reads in many places like a blackboard sketch the author made with the overtly didactic points she wanted to articulate). Smith occasionally spends too much time explaining in detail what characters think and why they think it, rather than letting this precipitate organically from their actions and words.

This is a powerful book and an insightful author—there are strokes of real brilliance. A theme that stuck with me was one of love, summed up by a pair of quotes in the latter part of the book:

“Oh he loves her; just as the English loved India and Africa and Ireland; it is the love that is the problem, people treat their lovers badly.” (p299)

“Greeting cards tell us everyone deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water.” (p382)

Smith is no shrinking violet and White Teeth tears at raw flesh—even more so in 2017.
I have read a lot of reviews on White Teeth; by Zadie Smith. Most detail her grasp, and definition of multi-cultural families grappling with their traditional heritage. Oh, pot--and there's a lot of that too--I say, this is a book about people, a book that stretches your tolerance for humanity. A story about betrayal, disrespect, blame, hopefulness ... A story about you, or me. Not only is the book written with a touch, so light and humorous, as to have you gasping and giggling with sheer delight; it is dark too. Dark with the effort, and incongruousness of living. Dark with the secret hope we have for Irie, and the revulsion we feel for Magid's father. Dark with the need we feel on every page to take the fate of the protagonists and force a better life on them. I loved every page, I was ashamed, enraptured and entranced by each and every character this author had drawn for our dissection. This is an engaging story, a fountain of excellent writing. A pure joy to read. A book you would be sorry to miss.
net rider
When "White Teeth" was published, it got a lot of buzz about taking on race, immigration, religion, politics, etc. Sounded like a drag, to be honest.

But after reading "On Beauty," which was less popular (but I loved)I decided to give White Teeth a try. It turned out to be a fast read with an abundance of fleshed out characters (although some remain rather one dimensional) and the "Themes" of racism, assimilation, etc, don't hit you over the head with an "ASSIMILATION IS BAD" message. If I have any quibble, it's that the white characters are never developed.

Well, not the only quibble. The ending is a mild let down, and the epilogue should really have just been edited out, but it is still a five star book that made me laugh, made me think, and totally made me care about the characters. After I read it, I gave it to a friend and we are still talking about it.

Finally, I hope I don't get banned for this, but this book had human Muslim characters in it, one of whom (Alsana) is hilarious and another who is all too human, that I really felt for. This is the first time I have ever been able to relate to a Muslim. I feel like I really had my mind broadened, eyes opened, etc.
Arguably, the best purely fictional novel (i.e. not SciFi or fantasy) that I have read in a long while. The work by this author is witty, a vocabulary builder (oleaginous and insouciance in the same book!), and just plain enjoyable. Her ability to develop the depth within each of her characters is unparalleled, and her knowledge of a wide range of subjects (including history and molecular genetics) is impressive--all adding to a wonderfully delightful story. A good read for me on my daily 3 hour commute to and from work.
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I would have loved it more if I hadn't had to write a research paper on it but hey, I can't be picky. There is a myriad different themes and lessons to be gleaned from this book. It took me a long time to figure out what my thesis should be since there are 100234230493 different things going in the book. You name it, this books got it, from: age, race, sex, class, history, identity, and even eugenics to top it all off. I feel sorry for anyone else that has to comb this book for a thesis (GOOD LUCK). I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, Zadie Smith has a narrative wit that can't be copied.