HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

White Teeth (2000)

by Zadie Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,269217374 (3.74)2 / 671
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.… (more)
Recently added byjenihenz, private library, E_squiggle, NihilistChic, Rennie80, mcanly, bobbedh, GiovanyGracia
  1. 61
    Small Island by Andrea Levy (CVBell)
    CVBell: Like White Teeth, Small Island illuminates the Caribbean immigrant experience in England, and like Zadie Smith, Levy is a major talent.
  2. 42
    Brick Lane by Monica Ali (Booksloth)
  3. 20
    The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow (sduff222)
  4. 20
    Apples by Richard Milward (rory1000)
  5. 00
    The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie (ateolf)
  6. 00
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (renardkitsune)
  7. 11
    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers will enjoy White Teeth and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand for their character development and humor, along with lighthearted treatment of serious topics such as race relations, religious fanaticism, self-understanding, and similar aspects of modern English life.… (more)
  8. 00
    The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen (rjuris)
  9. 12
    A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvvette Edwards (vimandvigor)
    vimandvigor: multi-ethnic cast of characters; set in London; literary writing style.
hopes (29)
To Read (143)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (203)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
This is a funny book. White Teeth is about a whole bunch of things -- growing up an immigrant in 1980s London, the feelings of displacement at trying to make a living in another country, World War II, Muslim fundamentalism, atheism, science, and alienation. Archie Jones marries Clara, a Jamaican immigrant and daughter of Jehovah's Witness Hortense while his best friend and Bengladeshi immigrant Samad Miah Iqbal marries (the much younger) Alsana via an arranged marriage. They have Irie and the twins Magid and Millat, respectively. As Samad watches the children grow up, he wrestles with feelings of alienation and makes a fateful decision to send one son back home to Bangladesh to be raised "properly" while keeping the other one in London. They all intertwine with the Chalfens, an Oxford-educationed Jewish-English family.

The plot is a bit thin as is in any post-modernist novel drawn as a "portrait of a life" but the characters are compelling and distinct. Where these novels fall down are thin characterizations that cannot carry the narrative but that is not the case here. The women, especially, are clear and real and each one different than the rest. They aren't just thin caricatures designed to hang off the main character's arms and spout platitudes. They feel like flesh and blood.

For a longish book, it is a surprisingly quick and easy read. Highly recommended. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
I have heard nothing but praise for this book and was excited to read it. It didn't draw me in as expected. I found it hard to really care about any of the characters, and my reading went very sloooowly. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
A great story, well written and very readable, that creates an atmosphere you can almost touch. There is a marvellous array of characters, but it is the author’s treatment of almost all of them that makes this book, for me, 4 rather than 5 stars. She treats all but one with a huge dose of contempt and a lot of sarcasm. They are caricatures; type-casts with few redeeming features. Still, 4 stars for me is still enjoyable and I”m glad I read it. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
There is just so much to unpack in this novel. Smith really gives readers a lot to think about. The ending is one that I simultaneous like and dislike, but maybe as I think on the book more I'll have a more decisive feeling about it later.

One thing I found interesting about many of the characters is that while they seemed very plausible and realistic, they sometimes came very close to toeing the line between realistic and becoming caricatures - though Smith never crossed this line in her writing and I feel that having her characters come off this way was very deliberate.

There were just so many lines in this book that really made me stop to think and/or were just beautiful prose. Remembering that this is her debut novels makes me very excited to read more of her books in the future.

Content Warnings: racism, mentioning animal experimentation, fatphobia ( )
  Sara_Cat | Mar 6, 2021 |
This book is a mix of races, religions and ages. It follows two families. The men were in a war together. They marry and have kids. The kids then grow up with their issues. You get everyone's thoughts on things as time passes. It honestly took me a good while to get into the story. I did end up liking it. I'm not sure if there was an overall message, but most everyone in the book was a somewhat new perspective from many of the books that I've read. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Feb 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Zadieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Akura, LynnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brinkman, SophieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elden, Willem vanContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grimaldi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Gli Oscar Mondadori (Piccola biblioteca Oscar, 269)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
'What's past is prologue'
-- The Tempest, Act II, scene i
In this wrought-iron world of criss-cross cause and effect, could it be that the hidden throb I stole from them did not affect their future?
-- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
Dedication
To my mother and my father
And for Jimmi Rahman
First words
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 judgment would not be too heavy upon him.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.74)
0.5 11
1 68
1.5 10
2 191
2.5 53
3 613
3.5 165
4 1081
4.5 147
5 593

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,229,857 books! | Top bar: Always visible