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2021 popular White Teeth: outlet online sale A popular Novel outlet sale

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Product Description

Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

Review

“A preternaturally gifted new writer [with] a voice that’s street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time.”–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Brilliant…. Smith is a master at detail…a postmodern Charles Dickens…[Smith''s] rich storytelling and wicked wit are suited to the sights and smells of the world that England has inherited.”– The Washington Post

“[A] vibrant, rollicking first novel about race and idenity…[Smith''s] prickly wit is affectionate and poignant.”– People

“[A] dazzling intergenerational first novel…wonderfully inventive…playful yet unaffected, mongrel yet cohesive, profound yet funny, vernacular yet lyrical. ”– Los Angeles Times

“[A] marvel of a debut novel. . .Reminscent of both Salman Rushdie and John Irving, White Teeth is a comic, canny, sprawling tale, adeptly held together by Smith''s literary sleight of hand.”– Entertainment Weekly

“A magnificent and audacious novel, jampacked with memorable characters and challenging ideas.”– The Atlanta Journal & Constitution

"Ambitious, earnest and irreverent. . . Smith has a real talent for comedy and a fond eye for human foibles."– The Wall Street Journal


“Wonderful…. Zadie Smith…possesses a more than ordinary share of talent.”– USA Today

"Smith has an astonishing intellect. She writes sharp dialogue for every age and race— and she''s funny as hell.”– Newsweek

“[
White Teeth ] is, like the London it portrays, a restless hybrid of voices, tones, and textures…with a raucous energy and confidence.”– The New York Times Book Review

"Fresh…spirited…this extravagant novel bursts with optimism about people, about language, and perhaps, above all, about novels and the joy, indeed the impertinence, of writing one.”– The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Blissfully confident, wide-ranging and funny from the get-go, White Teeth…promises–and delivers–a wildly inventive journey into a fresh imagination.”– Rocky Mountain News

“Brilliant…. Smith is a master at detail…. Like a postmodern Dickens, she has a flair for features, dress, dialogue, accents and human frailty.”– The Miami Herald

“It’s a treat to watch an immensely gifted young writer performing, for the very first time, such an admirably audacious and ambitious juggling act.”– Elle

“Absolutely delicious…. Smith’s voice is a perfect balance of tragedy and comedy.”– The Tampa Tribune and Times

“Gently observant and generous in its judgments…. Filled with vibrant life.”– The San Diego Union—Tribune

“Brilliant…. Bubbles and pops in its imaginative intensity.”– The Baltimore Sun

From the Inside Flap

Zadie Smith?s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith?s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England?s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn?t quite match her name (Jamaican for ?no problem?). Samad?s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal?s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London?s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

From the Back Cover

Zadie Smith''s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith''s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.
At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England''s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn''t quite match her name (Jamaican for "no problem"). Samad''s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal''s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London''s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

About the Author

Zadie Smith was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of  White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, Changing My Mind, NW, and most recently Swing Time.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Peculiar Second Marriage of Archie Jones

Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway. At 06.27 hours on 1 January 1975, Alfred Archibald Jones was dressed in corduroy and sat in a fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate face down on the steering wheel, hoping the judgement would not be too heavy upon him. He lay forward in a prostrate cross, jaw slack, arms splayed either side like some fallen angel; scrunched up in each fist he held his army service medals (left) and his marriage license (right), for he had decided to take his mistakes with him. A little green light flashed in his eye, signaling a right turn he had resolved never to make. He was resigned to it. He was prepared for it. He had flipped a coin and stood staunchly by its conclusions. This was a decided-upon suicide. In fact it was a New Year''s resolution.

But even as his breathing became spasmodic and his lights dimmed, Archie was aware that Cricklewood Broadway would seem a strange choice. Strange to the first person to notice his slumped figure through the windscreen, strange to the policemen who would file the report, to the local journalist called upon to write fifty words, to the next of kin who would read them. Squeezed between an almighty concrete cinema complex at one end and a giant intersection at the other, Cricklewood was no kind of place. It was not a place a man came to die. It was a place a man came in order to go other places via the A41. But Archie Jones didn''t want to die in some pleasant, distant woodland, or on a cliff edge fringed with delicate heather. The way Archie saw it, country people should die in the country and city people should die in the city. Only proper. In death as he was in life and all that. It made sense that Archibald should die on this nasty urban street where he had ended up, living alone at the age of forty-seven, in a one-bedroom flat above a deserted chip shop. He wasn''t the type to make elaborate plans - suicide notes and funeral instructions - he wasn''t the type for anything fancy. All he asked for was a bit of silence, a bit of shush so he could concentrate. He wanted it to be perfectly quiet and still, like the inside of an empty confessional box or the moment in the brain between thought and speech. He wanted to do it before the shops opened.

Overhead, a gang of the local flying vermin took off from some unseen perch, swooped, and seemed to be zeroing in on Archie''s car roof - only to perform, at the last moment, an impressive U-turn, moving as one with the elegance of a curve ball and landing on the Hussein-Ishmael, a celebrated halal butchers. Archie was too far gone to make a big noise about it, but he watched them with a warm internal smile as they deposited their load, streaking white walls purple. He watched them stretch their peering bird heads over the Hussein-Ishmael gutter; he watched them watch the slow and steady draining of blood from the dead things - chickens, cows, sheep - hanging on their hooks like coats around the shop. The Unlucky. These pigeons had an instinct for the Unlucky, and so they passed Archie by. For, though he did not know it, and despite the Hoover tube that lay on the passenger seat pumping from the exhaust pipe into his lungs, luck was with him that morning. The thinnest covering of luck was on him like fresh dew. Whilst he slipped in and out of consciousness, the position of the planets, the music of the spheres, the flap of a tiger-moth''s diaphanous wings in Central Africa, and a whole bunch of other stuff that Makes Shit Happen had decided it was second-chance time for Archie. Somewhere, somehow, by somebody, it had been decided that he would live.
~
The Hussein-Ishmael was owned by Mo Hussein-Ishmael, a great bull of a man with hair that rose and fell in a quaff, then a ducktail. Mo believed that with pigeons you have to get to the root of the problem: not the excretions but the pigeon itself. The shit is not the shit (this was Mo''s mantra); the pigeon is the shit. So the morning of Archie''s almost-death began as every morning in the Hussein-Ishmael, with Mo resting his huge belly on the windowsill, leaning out and swinging a meat cleaver in an attempt to halt the flow of dribbling purple.

''Get out of it! Get away, you shit-making bastards! Yes! SIX!''

It was cricket, basically - the Englishman''s game adapted by the immigrant, and six was the most pigeons you could get at one swipe.

''Varin!'' said Mo, calling down to the street, holding the bloodied cleaver up in triumph. ''You''re in to bat, my boy. Ready?''

Below him on the pavement stood Varin - a massively overweight Hindu boy on misjudged work experience from the school round the corner, looking up like a big dejected blob underneath Mo''s question mark. It was Varin''s job to struggle up a ladder and gather spliced bits of pigeon into a small Kwik Save carrier bag, tie the bag up, and dispose of it in the bins at the other end of the street.

''Come on, Mr. Fatty-man,'' yelled one of Mo''s kitchen staff, poking Varin up the arse with a broom as punctuation for each word. ''Get-your-fat-Ganesh-Hindu-backside-up-there-Elephant-Boy-and-bring-some-of-that-mashed-pigeon-stuff-with-you.''

Mo wiped the sweat off his forehead, snorted, and looked out over Cricklewood, surveying the discarded armchairs and strips of carpet, outdoor lounges for local drunks; the slot-machine emporiums, the greasy spoons and the minicabs - all covered in shit. One day, so Mo believed, Cricklewood and its residents would have cause to thank him for his daily massacre; one day no man, woman or child in the broadway would ever again have to mix one part detergent to four parts vinegar to clean up the crap that falls on the world. The shit is not the shit, he repeated solemnly, the pigeon is the shit. Mo was the only man in the community who truly understood. He was feeling really very Zen about this - very goodwill-to-all-men - until he spotted Archie''s car.

''Arshad!''

A shifty-looking skinny guy with a handlebar moustache, dressed in four different shades of brown, came out of the shop, with blood on his palms.

''Arshad!'' Mo barely restrained himself, stabbed his finger in the direction of the car. ''My boy, I''m going to ask you just once.''

''Yes, Abba?'' said Arshad, shifting from foot to foot.

''What the hell is this? What is this doing here? I got delivery at 6.30. I got fifteen dead bovines turning up here at 6.30. I got to get it in the back. That''s my job. You see? There''s meat coming. So, I am perplexed--'' Mo affected a look of innocent confusion. ''Because I thought this was clearly marked "Delivery Area".'' He pointed to an aging wooden crate which bore the legend NO PARKINGS OF ANY VEHICLE ON ANY DAYS. Well?''

''I don''t know, Abba.''

''You''re my son, Arshad. I don''t employ you not to know. I employ him not to know'' - he reached out of the window and slapped Varin, who was negotiating the perilous gutter like a tightrope-walker, giving him a thorough cosh to the back of his head and almost knocking the boy off his perch -''I employ you to know things. To compute information. To bring into the light the great darkness of the creator''s unexplainable universe.''

''Abba?''

''Find out what it''s doing there and get rid of it.''

Mo disappeared from the window. A minute later Arshad returned with the explanation. ''Abba.''

Mo''s head sprang back through the window like a malicious cuckoo from a Swiss clock.

''He''s gassing himself, Abba.''

''What?''

Arshad shrugged. ''I shouted through the car window and told the guy to move on and he says, "I am gassing myself, leave me alone." Like that.''

''No one gasses himself on my property,'' Mo snapped as he marched downstairs. ''We are not licensed.''

Once in the street, Mo advanced upon Archie''s car, pulled out the towels that were sealing the gap in the driver''s window, and pushed it down five inches with brute, bullish force.

''Do you hear that, mister? We''re not licensed for suicides around here. This place halal. Kosher, understand? If you''re going to die round here, my friend, I''m afraid you''ve got to be thoroughly bled first.''

Archie dragged his head off the steering wheel. And in the moment between focusing on the sweaty bulk of a brown-skinned Elvis and realizing that life was still his, he had a kind of epiphany. It occurred to him that, for the first time since his birth, Life had said Yes to Archie Jones. Not simply an ''OK'' or ''You-might-as-well-carry-on-since-you''ve-started'', but a resounding affirmative. Life wanted Archie. She had jealously grabbed him from the jaws of death, back to her bosom. Although he was not one of her better specimens, Life wanted Archie and Archie, much to his own surprise, wanted Life.

Frantically, he wound down both his windows and gasped for oxygen from the very depths of his lungs. In between gulps he thanked Mo profusely, tears streaming down his cheeks, his hands clinging on to Mo''s apron.

''All right, all right,'' said the butcher, freeing himself from Archie''s fingers and brushing himself clean, ''move along now. I''ve got meat coming. I''m in the business of bleeding. Not counseling. You want Lonely Street. This Cricklewood Lane.''

Archie, still choking on thank yous, reversed, pulled out from the curb, and turned right.
~
Archie Jones attempted suicide because his wife Ophelia, a violet-eyed Italian with a faint moustache, had recently divorced him. But he had not spent New Year''s morning gagging on the tube of a vacuum cleaner because he loved her. It was rather because he had lived with her for so long and had not loved her. Archie''s marriage felt like buying a pair of shoes, taking them home and finding they don''t fit. For the sake of appearances, he put up with them. And then, all of a sudden and after thirty years, the shoes picked themselves up and walked out of the house. She left. Thirty years.

As far as he remembered, just like everybody else they began well. The first spring of 1946, he had stumbled out of the darkness of war and into a Florentine coffee house, where he was served by a waitress truly like the sun: Ophelia Diagilo, dressed all in yellow, spreading warmth and the promise of sex as she passed him a frothy cappuccino. They walked into it blinkered as horses. She was not to know that women never stayed as daylight in Archie''s life; that somewhere in him he didn''t like them, he didn''t trust them, and he was able to love them only if they wore haloes. No one told Archie that lurking in the Diagilo family tree were two hysteric aunts, an uncle who talked to aubergines and a cousin who wore his clothes back to front. So they got married and returned to England, where she realized very quickly her mistake, he drove her very quickly mad, and the halo was packed off to the attic to collect dust with the rest of the bric-a-brac and broken kitchen appliances that Archie promised one day to repair. Amongst that bric-a-brac was a Hoover.

On Boxing Day morning, six days before he parked outside Mo''s halal butchers, Archie had returned to their semi-detached in Hendon in search of that Hoover. It was his fourth trip to the attic in so many days, ferrying out the odds and ends of a marriage to his new flat, and the Hoover was amongst the very last items he reclaimed - one of the most broken things, most ugly things, the things you demand out of sheer bloody-mindedness because you have lost the house. This is what divorce is: taking things you no longer want from people you no longer love.

''So you again,'' said the Spanish home-help at the door, Santa-Maria or Maria-Santa or something. ''Meester Jones, what now? Kitchen sink, si?''

''Hoover,'' said Archie, grimly. ''Vacuum.''

She cut her eyes at him and spat on the doormat inches from his shoes. ''Welcome, senor.''

The place had become a haven for people who hated him. Apart from the home-help, he had to contend with Ophelia''s extended Italian family, her mental-health nurse, the woman from the council, and of course Ophelia herself, who was to be found in the kernel of this nuthouse, curled up in a foetal ball on the sofa, making lowing sounds into a bottle of Bailey''s. It took him an hour and a quarter just to get through enemy lines - and for what? A perverse Hoover, discarded months earlier because it was determined to perform the opposite of every vacuum''s objective: spewing out dust instead of sucking it in.

''Meester Jones, why do you come here when it make you so unhappy? Be reasonable. What can you want with it?'' The home-help was following him up the attic stairs, armed with some kind of cleaning fluid: ''It''s broken. You don''t need this. See? See?'' She plugged it into a socket and demonstrated the dead switch. Archie took the plug out and silently wound the cord round the Hoover. If it was broken, it was coming with him. All broken things were coming with him. He was going to fix every damn broken thing in this house, if only to show that he was good for something.

''You good for nothing!'' Santa whoever chased him back down the stairs. ''Your wife is ill in her head, and this is all you can do!''

Archie hugged the Hoover to his chest and took it into the crowded living room, where, under several pairs of reproachful eyes, he got out his toolbox and started work on it.

''Look at him,'' said one of the Italian grandmothers, the more glamorous one with the big scarves and fewer moles, ''he take everything, capisce? He take-a her mind, he take-a the blender, he take-a the old stereo - he take-a everything except the floorboards. It make-a you sick. . .''

The woman from the council, who even on dry days resembled a long-haired cat soaked to the skin, shook her skinny head in agreement. ''It''s disgusting, you don''t have to tell me, it''s disgusting ... and naturally, we''re the ones left to sort out the mess; it''s muggins here who has to -''

Which was overlapped by the nurse: ''She can''t stay here alone, can she ... now he''s buggered off, poor woman ... she needs a proper home, she needs . . .''

I''m here, Archie felt like saying, I''m right here you know, I''m bloody right here. And it was my blender.

But he wasn''t one for confrontation, Archie. He listened to them all for another fifteen minutes, mute as he tested the Hoover''s suction against pieces of newspaper, until he was overcome by the sensation that Life was an enormous rucksack so impossibly heavy that, even though it meant losing everything, it was infinitely easier to leave all baggage here on the roadside and walk on into the blackness. You don''t need the blender, Archie-boy, you don''t need the Hoover. This stuff''s all dead weight. Just lay down the rucksack, Arch, and join the happy campers in the sky. Was that wrong? To Archie - ex-wife and ex-wife''s relatives in one ear, spluttering vacuum in the other - it just seemed that The End was unavoidably nigh. Nothing personal to God or whatever. It just felt like the end of the world. And he was going to need more than poor whisky, novelty crackers and a paltry box of Quality Street - all the strawberry ones already scoffed - to justify entering another annum.

Patiently he fixed the Hoover, and vacuumed the living room with a strange methodical finality, shoving the nozzle into the most difficult comers. Solemnly he flipped a coin (heads, life, tails, death) and felt nothing in particular when he found himself staring at the dancing lion. Quietly he detached the Hoover tube, put it in a suitcase, and left the house for the last time.





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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

J-Phi
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Witty Social Commentary Novel
Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2019
This is one of those novels that it’s hard to rate. It’s my first book by this author and coincidentally her debut novel from many years ago and some argue her best novel. And I understand why people will say this is a great work of literature. I think it’s pretty great... See more
This is one of those novels that it’s hard to rate. It’s my first book by this author and coincidentally her debut novel from many years ago and some argue her best novel. And I understand why people will say this is a great work of literature. I think it’s pretty great too. The author’s wit, intelligence, humor, understanding of human nature and ability use all of those skills and talents to express the themes of the immigrant experience, identity, belonging, and the nebulous grey interconnectedness of our histories and experiences in an entertaining way is amazing.

That said, I personally found this a little overwritten for a novel. It is a novel but written in the editorial style of an essay. And while that style is initially humorous and engaging- as though you’re having a one-sided conversation with the author about the plot, after a while, it becomes a little tiresome and too precious and a little too much of a good thing. Like we don’t need as many explanations of cultural references, we don’t need as much analyses of the minutiae of the character’s behaviors, like sometimes, we, the reader, could have been left to do a little inference by ourselves, left to form our own opinions and ideas about the plot and characters without being talked a little to death around every single issue. So whilst the editorializing and essaying were impeccably done and filled with wit and humor, for a novel, it becomes a little tedious and makes the book drag more than necessary. This is my primary issue with this book.

My secondary issue is that I didn’t really begin to enjoy or relate with the book till the 2nd half of it when we began to get the story from Irie’s perspective. Throughout the first half of the book, anytime we get the perspective of the female characters who are entrenched in reality, the book really shines. Unfortunately, much of the first half of the book is mired in the particularly unengaging main characters of Samad and Archie and their insignificant, quixotic adventures. As for the ending, for a book that was written with so much analysis and writing, it felt a bit rushed and sudden and abrupt and not as thoroughly plumbed and combed over as the rest of the book.

I did like this book and I think its discussions of ethnic identity and nationalism and belonging and assimilation and family and generational disconnects are really important and thought-provoking. It’s an incredibly witty book, I just personally found it a little in need of being pared back.
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Martin W. Cooper
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More relevant in 2017: Smith''s White Teeth tears at raw flesh
Reviewed in the United States on May 4, 2017
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... See more
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.
47 people found this helpful
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sara
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of the worst books I''ve ever Read
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2019
This book was terrible. I can''t believe this book has as many good reviews as it does. The plot seemed to go no where, it was extremely difficult to follow in some sections, the writing style is just bad, and quite frankly the book was boring. There was maybe 1 interesting... See more
This book was terrible. I can''t believe this book has as many good reviews as it does. The plot seemed to go no where, it was extremely difficult to follow in some sections, the writing style is just bad, and quite frankly the book was boring. There was maybe 1 interesting character in the whole book. It was long and it dragged. Do yourself a favor, skip this one.
28 people found this helpful
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Plubius
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Like Peeling an Incredible Onion
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2018
[tears included] This is far from a quick read, and even further from a light one. The accents are something to reckon with, and Smith''s willingness to jump from character to character does, at times, impede the natural flow of reading. This is not a book you... See more
[tears included]

This is far from a quick read, and even further from a light one. The accents are something to reckon with, and Smith''s willingness to jump from character to character does, at times, impede the natural flow of reading. This is not a book you fall into, simply put.

Yet the work is worth it, as the ending insists on intersectionality of its various plots--including a reveal that is one of the most satisfying I''ve come across (and unexpected). And within it all, the themes are sublime even while subtle, and Smith evinces the prowess that has long since earned her deserved recognition.

It took me far too long to encounter this novel, but I''m nonetheless grateful I did.
12 people found this helpful
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Linda
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
No plot!
Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2018
I read Zadie Smith''s On Beauty and loved it. I just gave up trying to read her debut novel White Teeth, which I started because it is on the list of 100 books nominated for the Great American Read. White Teeth has no plot. The two main characters Samad and Arrchie remain... See more
I read Zadie Smith''s On Beauty and loved it. I just gave up trying to read her debut novel White Teeth, which I started because it is on the list of 100 books nominated for the Great American Read. White Teeth has no plot. The two main characters Samad and Arrchie remain essentially the same throughout the many pages I''ve read so far and they weren''t that interesting to begin with. While there are sensational, comic riffs, there aren''t enough to hold my attention.
14 people found this helpful
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JL Britten
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Witty with numerous fun characters
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2018
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... See more
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.
7 people found this helpful
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fiorella
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Witty and insightful writer
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2020
This book makes racism and other forms of discrimination look like what they actually are, out-of-date and useless. Although not an easy read, it''s a worthwhile read, as it''s full of thought-provoking moments. The fact that I read this, her first novel, after... See more
This book makes racism and other forms of discrimination look like what they actually are, out-of-date and useless. Although not an easy read, it''s a worthwhile read, as it''s full of thought-provoking moments.

The fact that I read this, her first novel, after having read other books from Zadie that were released after White teeth, I believe gave me an advantage over what others may consider editing issues, long descriptions, etc.

I do not find any of that because I read it bearing in mind all this; and what she writes, and how she writes it, is just outstanding.
2 people found this helpful
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Bookish Girl
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Humanity drawn with style and panache.
Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2013
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... See more
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.
22 people found this helpful
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Julia Callister
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Don''t believe the hype.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2019
I found this book oddly unfulfilling. It started well, and I was interested in Archie''s story and his state of mind, but he got over that pretty quickly. The middle of the book could have done with some heavy editing and I found myself skim reading and wondering what I...See more
I found this book oddly unfulfilling. It started well, and I was interested in Archie''s story and his state of mind, but he got over that pretty quickly. The middle of the book could have done with some heavy editing and I found myself skim reading and wondering what I could read next. The story itself took so long to tell the end felt like a muddled anti climax. This book has been on my ''should read'' list for so long I''m pretty disappointed.
32 people found this helpful
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Fi0
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I am afraid that I gave up half way
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 23, 2019
Having been drawn to this book by the reviews I found it sadly disappointing. I struggled to find any real feeling -either positive or negative-for any of the characters and as it is a largely character rather than plot driven novel this left me feeling very unfulfilled....See more
Having been drawn to this book by the reviews I found it sadly disappointing. I struggled to find any real feeling -either positive or negative-for any of the characters and as it is a largely character rather than plot driven novel this left me feeling very unfulfilled. Ultimately I gave up just under half way through, only the second book I have left unfinished.
11 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
uncomfortable the tale made me...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2019
This is a powerful read. A truely funny, marvellous, tale and a difficult read. Difficult in the sense of requiring commitment and thought, as it deals with complex issues such as race, religion, culture, science, aspirations, longing and belonging. And big, big laughs....See more
This is a powerful read. A truely funny, marvellous, tale and a difficult read. Difficult in the sense of requiring commitment and thought, as it deals with complex issues such as race, religion, culture, science, aspirations, longing and belonging. And big, big laughs. Customers in my usual cafe looking at me strangely for laughing out loud at the antics and comments of the Chalfonts, ik-ball and Archie or the ''niece of shame''. Other times hiding how sad or uncomfortable the tale made me. Great book, essential reading.
8 people found this helpful
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Miriam Haider
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting and filled with cultural importance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2019
The book''s premise is important in understanding the history and links between so many different cultures, which aren''t usually spoken about namely, Bengalis and Jamaicans and their relationship with everyone around them. There are many twists but somehow I can''t say the...See more
The book''s premise is important in understanding the history and links between so many different cultures, which aren''t usually spoken about namely, Bengalis and Jamaicans and their relationship with everyone around them. There are many twists but somehow I can''t say the book wrapped up completely for me, the ending felt lacklustre and boring. Overall, it didn''t leave me feeling completely satisfied with its ending of forced relationships and uncertainty. But a good read for those interested in deep stories about families of different backgrounds and class differences and bonds between them.
11 people found this helpful
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J. M. Williams
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Slog
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2021
I found this book a terrible slog to read. I feel the same way about this book as the characters do about Mangal Pande. I enjoyed the ending but sadly it didn''t redeem the book for me. There''s not one character in this book that I honestly like. I also got pretty bored of...See more
I found this book a terrible slog to read. I feel the same way about this book as the characters do about Mangal Pande. I enjoyed the ending but sadly it didn''t redeem the book for me. There''s not one character in this book that I honestly like. I also got pretty bored of the constant mentions of how large Irie''s breasts are and the general objectification of female characters by male characters. I expected much more from this book.
3 people found this helpful
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