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At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends Archie Jones and Samad Ibal 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 uite literally giv One star Of course this is not a one star wretched ignominous failure this is a mighty Dickensian epic about modern Britain But not for me It s a uestion of tone I have now tried to read this one twice and each time I find I m groaning uietly and grinding my teeth Zadie Smith s omniscient narrator alas for me has an air of horrible smirkiness like a friend who just can t help pointing out all the less than pleasant attributes of everyone else all in the name of life affirming humour allegedly but gradually wearing you down Didn t anyone get sick of this apart from me I hear this kind of humour in current British comedy all the time When it s cranked up to the max and runs at 200 miles an hour it s great as in the recent political satire movie In the Loop recommended but when it s on a low leisurely level as in a big sprawling novel it just gets on my wick It might be a symptom of the cultural cringe I discuss a propos The Age of Elegance British writers can no longer take their country and culture that seriously they feel somehow that it s just not very cool and so their default attitude is self deprecation You don t get this in big novels about modern America American Pastoral We Were the Mulvaneys and The Corrections and Freedom spring to mind Franzen for instance uses humour all the time and excoriates large areas of American society but there s no perpetual undermining of his own characters for the sake of inexpensive laughs My head says I should like White Teeth but my heart says Zadie Smith was a literary ad man s dream come true For a good funny book about multicultural Britain see The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi For a great review of White Teeth which elouently puts the case against whilst trying not to see Ben s review herehttpwwwgoodreadscomreviewshow Marriage by Deception you down Didn t anyone get sick of this apart from me I hear this kind of humour in current British comedy all the time When it s cranked up to the max and runs at 200 miles an hour it s great as in the recent political satire movie In the Loop recommended but when it s on a low leisurely level as in a big sprawling novel it just gets on my wick It might be a symptom of the cultural cringe I discuss a propos The Age of Elegance British writers can no longer take their country and culture that seriously they feel somehow that it s just not very cool and so their default attitude is self deprecation You don t get this in big novels about modern America American Pastoral We Were the Mulvaneys and The Corrections and Freedom spring to mind Franzen for instance uses humour all the time and excoriates large areas of American society but there s no perpetual undermining of his own characters for the sake of inexpensive laughs My head says I should like White Teeth but my heart says Zadie Smith was a literary ad man s dream come true For a good funny book about multicultural Britain see The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi For a great review of White Teeth which elouently puts the case against whilst trying not to see Ben s review herehttpwwwgoodreadscomreviewshow

Free read ê PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ð Zadie Smith

White Teeth

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 existen Oh Zadie Smith be still my beating heart I devoured this fabulous novel Smith is truly a master of plot and her ability to capture the voices of each individual character is inspirational Never before have I read a novel which such a rich and diverse dramatis personae I fear that this review is going to become a list of superlatives so I ll uell it here by saying I loved this and I need to read Smith now

Zadie Smith ð 5 Read

Es Archie a second lease on life and produces Irie a knowing child whose personality doesn’t uite 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 Ibal’s every effort to direct them and a renewed if There are parts of this book fully deserving of unadulterated love and veneration worthy of 4 stars in the least The fact that the real Indian Jamaican and Bangladeshi diaspora are reproduced here and not the imagined Indian Jamaican and Bangladeshi diaspora of white writers too reluctant to put in the reuisite amount of research for getting the most inconseuential tidbits right has much to do with it In addition Zadie Smith succeeds in keenly evoking their history language cultural ethos the stench of their festering old wounds inflicted by an undo able past and their bizarre hypocrisies making the leap across land and oceanic borders into alien territory exempted from being dissected by the scalpel of western reason in the name of minority rights There s the undeniable truth of centuries of conditioned servility hatred of the power which established the ground rules of the abusive relationship called colonialism and the unfathomable responsibility of bearing the burden of yesterday they can t help but reenaact the dash they once made from one land to another from one faith to another from one brown mother country in to the pale freckled arms of an imperial sovereign There s the Bengaliness of the family to be religiously guarded against the sallies of Western liberalism imminent dilution of the much treasured Bengali DNA in the gene pool staved off at all costs And there s war to be waged on foreign territory for another inch of land another notch up on the dignity scale for yet another step of the socioeconomic ladder Whenever stung by the prick of casual racism whenever thwarted they will go back to their institutionalized tendencies of seeing things in black and white and studiously avoiding mentions of a gray area they won t think twice before disregarding their favorite Gandhiji s famed An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind They will seek out the greener pastures of first world optimism but resist synthesis tugging at the roots of old grudges again and again so that the present and the now can be drawn and uartered on the altar of historyAnd then you begin to give up the very idea of belonging Suddenly this thing this belonging it seems like some long dirty lieand I begin to believe that birthplaces are accidents that everything is an accidentBut then there are the just roll with it parts which deserve no than 2 stars the cocksure and smug tone in which the narrator recounts this multi generational saga of families caught in the chaos of modern day materialism vs heritage the unrealistic often two dimensional characterization and the zany Britcom feel to the episodes which warrants a suspension of disbelief and gives rise to the nagging suspicion that this was written with the idea of a film or tv series adaptation in mind As much as Smith s light hearted tongue in cheek clever mockery of roots and righteous reliance on said roots for existential validation is absolutely legitimate and spot on it is awfully disingenuous to think roots can and should be so easily discarded Assimilation reuires time and the immigration conundrum will never be felt as acutely by second generation immigrants like Smith herself as by their progenitors This is where I prefer Jhumpa Lahiri s narrative voice her later works over Smith s no inflection of moral and intellectual superiority no pronouncing of judgement on flawed choices but a restrained attempt at humanizing all characters Since the 4 star and 2 star ratings are eually bona fide in my eyes a 3 star it is More so because I can t remember the last time a woman writer of contemporary literary fiction made me laugh so hard The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, yesterday they can t help but reenaact the dash they once made from one land to another from one faith to another from one brown mother country in to the pale freckled arms of an imperial sovereign There s the Bengaliness of the family to be religiously guarded against the sallies of Western liberalism imminent dilution of the much treasured Bengali DNA in the gene pool staved off at all costs And there s war to be waged on foreign territory for another inch of land another notch up on the dignity scale for Hers to Protect yet another step of the socioeconomic ladder Whenever stung by the prick of casual racism whenever thwarted they will go back to their institutionalized tendencies of seeing things in black and white and studiously avoiding mentions of a gray area they won t think twice before disregarding their favorite Gandhiji s famed An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind They will seek out the greener pastures of first world optimism but resist synthesis tugging at the roots of old grudges again and again so that the present and the now can be drawn and uartered on the altar of historyAnd then Her Small-Town Hero you begin to give up the very idea of belonging Suddenly this thing this belonging it seems like some long dirty lieand I begin to believe that birthplaces are accidents that everything is an accidentBut then there are the just roll with it parts which deserve no than 2 stars the cocksure and smug tone in which the narrator recounts this multi generational saga of families caught in the chaos of modern day materialism vs heritage the unrealistic often two dimensional characterization and the zany Britcom feel to the episodes which warrants a suspension of disbelief and gives rise to the nagging suspicion that this was written with the idea of a film or tv series adaptation in mind As much as Smith s light hearted tongue in cheek clever mockery of roots and righteous reliance on said roots for existential validation is absolutely legitimate and spot on it is awfully disingenuous to think roots can and should be so easily discarded Assimilation reuires time and the immigration conundrum will never be felt as acutely by second generation immigrants like Smith herself as by their progenitors This is where I prefer Jhumpa Lahiri s narrative voice her later works over Smith s no inflection of moral and intellectual superiority no pronouncing of judgement on flawed choices but a restrained attempt at humanizing all characters Since the 4 star and 2 star ratings are eually bona fide in my eyes a 3 star it is More so because I can t remember the last time a woman writer of contemporary literary fiction made me laugh so hard


10 thoughts on “White Teeth

  1. says:

    White Teeth is an expansive detailed and beautifully written attempt to encapsulate the social chaos that blossoms at the bridging of generation

  2. says:

    One star Of course this is not a one star wretched ignominous failure this is a mighty Dickensian epic about modern Britain But not for me It's a uestion of tone I have now tried to read this one twice and each ti

  3. says:

    As many other reviewers have commented I wanted to like this book than I did It approached greatness in many ways the clever and often hilarious dialogue the uirky characters the creative family histories the rich

  4. says:

    “the wicked lie that the past is always tense and the future perfect” ― Zadie Smith White TeethI planned on writing my full review of this book a couple days after I read it in October of 2014 I was afraid

  5. says:

    There are parts of this book fully deserving of unadulterated love and veneration worthy of 4 stars in the least The fact that the real Indian Jamaican and Bangladeshi diaspora are reproduced here and not the imagined Indian Jamaican and Bangladeshi diaspora of white writers too reluctant to put in the reuisite amount of research for getting the most inconseuential tidbits right has much to do with it In addition Zadie Smith succeeds in kee

  6. says:

    This book started bad for me and just got worse I found the characters to be boring and two dimensional Actuall

  7. says:

    The last time I read a book with this much narrative confidence power and authority was back in January when I tackled Midnight’s Children It's rare that a book comes with a voice this strong Like Rushdie’s novel Smith creates a present that is pervaded by the past Her characters are very aware of their ancestry and

  8. says:

    Just because everyone says it's good doesn't make it readable Just because it has an 'ethnic' plot doesn't make it realistic Just bec

  9. says:

    Oh Zadie Smith be still my beating heart I devoured this fabulous novel Smith is truly a master of plot and her ability to capture the voices of each individual character is inspirational Never before have I read a novel which such a rich and diverse dramatis personae I fear that this review is going to become a list of

  10. says:

    I'm about a decade late to Zadie Smith's White Teeth one of those books friends recommended or I picked up at the library then put back and moved on to a different title My reticence to read the novel revolved around the plethora of book clubby texts that could best be classified as “somewhat patronizing novels about other cultures featuring triumph in the face of great poverty and hardship” I hate these books But White Teeth