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White Teeth

A Novel

Smith, Zadie

(Book - 2001)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
White Teeth
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From the Publisher: On New Year's morning, 1975, Archie Jones sits in his car on a London road and waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Cavalier Musketeer station wagon. Archie-working-class, ordinary, a failed marriage under his belt-is calling it quits, the deciding factor being the flip of a 20-pence coin. When the owner of a nearby halal butcher shop (annoyed that Archie's car is blocking his delivery area) comes out and bangs on the window, he gives Archie another chance at life and sets in motion this richly imagined, uproariously funny novel. Epic and intimate, hilarious and poignant, White Teeth is the story of two North London families-one headed by Archie, the other by Archie's best friend, a Muslim Bengali named Samad Iqbal. Pals since they served together in World War II, Archie and Samad are a decidedly unlikely pair. Plodding Archie is typical in every way until he marries Clara, a beautiful, toothless Jamaican woman half his age, and the couple have a daughter named Irie (the Jamaican word for "no problem"). Samad-devoutly Muslim, hopelessly "foreign"-weds the feisty and always suspicious Alsana in a prearranged union. They have twin sons named Millat and Magid, one a pot-smoking punk-cum-militant Muslim and the other an insufferable science nerd. The riotous and tortured histories of the Joneses and the Iqbals are fundamentally intertwined, capturing an empire's worth of cultural identity, history, and hope. Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant cafe, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute. A winning debut in every respect, White Teeth marks the arrival of a wondrously talented writer who takes on the big themes-faith, race, gender, history, and culture-and triumphs.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2001, c2000
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 0375703861
9780375703867
Branch Call Number: FICTION SMITH
Characteristics: 448 p. ;,21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Witty and perceptive book about race in London.

Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant cafe, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute.

Set in post-war London, this novel of the racial, political, and social upheaval of the last half-century follows two families--the Joneses and the Iqbals, both outsiders from within the former British empire--as they make their way in modern England.

Set in post-war London, this novel of the racial, political, and social upheaval of the last half-century follows two families--the Joneses and the Iqbals, both outsiders from within the former British empire--as they make their way in modern England.


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Jun 21, 2014
  • labrys rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

While Zadie Smite writes well and her world is full of vibrant details, the chapters are short and the POV shifts quickly between characters lending the novel a fragmented feel. I find her essays much more compelling.

May 31, 2014
  • bookwormjeph rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this initially- for the first 150 pages or so and then became a little bored with it and it felt like it was overly long and focused on the trivial. It was funny, quirky and highlighted real life cultural issues in a sharp edged parody - but ultimately not enough to sustain my interest.

Jan 25, 2014
  • shizuku_san rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I was surprised at how much the author could trace political and social changes through bread! It was pretty interesting, although I felt like the connection between his research and his conclusion wasn't as clear as it could have been.

Jul 12, 2012
  • smilegirl24 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book pulled me in early and didn't release me until the very last page. An incredibly detailed, funny, and thoughtful analysis of the position of immigrants in England, White Teeth manages to approach a difficult subject with humor and without offensiveness. Highly reccomended.

Feb 03, 2012
  • carmenweiss rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I read this pretty quickly, but don't remember enjoying it all that much.

Oct 01, 2009
  • lilybelle rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A perfect novel on imperfect characters living in an imperfect world.

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app09 Version eventuell-fix Last updated 2014/11/26 13:11