White Teeth

by Zadie Smith | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140276335 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Sunneschii of Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on 9/10/2005
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Sunneschii from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Saturday, September 10, 2005
Amazon says: White Teeth' is a comic epic of multicultural Britain which tells the story of immigrants in England over a period of 40 years.

I discovered this book and the BBC TV-series in Australia and liked it there a lot! The book is just so.. different!

Journal Entry 2 by Sunneschii at Café Gloria (OBCZ) in Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, September 12, 2005

Released 15 yrs ago (9/13/2005 UTC) at Café Gloria (OBCZ) in Zürich, Zürich Switzerland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Kommt morgen mit ans Meetup :-)

Journal Entry 3 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Picked up from the meetup last night, thanks Sunneschii

Journal Entry 4 by nice-cup-of-tea from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Sunday, June 25, 2006
I loved this book, full of characters and storylines which grab your imagination and don't let you go :-) It is indeed a "full story" (see below!) Definitely a keeper and re-reader.

Favourite Quotes
p.175
"As a kind of pre-emptive defence mechanism, Londoners have learnt not to look, never to look, to avoid eyes at all times so that the dreaded question 'What are you looking at?' and its pitiful, gutless, useless answer - 'Nothing' - might be avoided."

p.252
"...full stories are as rare as honesty, precious as diamonds. If you are lucky enough to uncover one, a full story will sit on your brain like lead. They are difficult. They are long-winded. They are epic. They are like the stories God tells, full of impossibly particular information. You don't find them in the dictionary."

Amazon.co.uk Review
Epic in scale and intimate in approach, White Teeth is an ambitious novel. Genetics, eugenics, gender, race, class and history are the book's themes but Zadie Smith is gifted with the wit and inventiveness to make these weighty ideas seem effortlessly light.
The story travels through Jamaica, Turkey, Bangladesh and India but ends up in a scrubby North London borough, home of the book's two unlikely heroes: prevaricating Archie Jones and intemperate Samad Iqbal. They met in the Second World War, as part of a "Buggered Battalion" and have been best friends ever since. Archie marries beautiful, buck-toothed Clara, who's on the run from her Jehovah's Witness mother, and they have a daughter, Irie. Samad marries stroppy Alsana and they have twin sons: "Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks."

Big questions demand boldly drawn characters. Zadie Smith's aren't heroic, just real: warm, funny, misguided and entirely familiar; reading their conversations is like eavesdropping. A simple scene, Alsana and Clara chatting about their pregnancies in the park: "A woman has to have the private things--a husband needn't be involved in body business, in a lady's ... parts."

Samad's rant about his sons--"They have both lost their way. Strayed so far from what I had intended for them. No doubt they will both marry white women called Sheila and put me in an early grave--acutely displays "the immigrant fears--dissolution, disappearance" but it also gets to the very heart of Samad.

White Teeth is a joy to read. It teems with life and exuberence and has enough cleverness and irreverent seriousness to give it bite. --Eithne Farry --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis
In the author's words, this novel is "an attempt at a comic family epic of little England into which an explosion of ethnic colour is injected". It tells the story of three families, one Indian, one white, one mixed, in North London and Oxford from World War II to the present day.


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