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White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Member Name: Daniel K
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Date: 03/08/02, updated on 23/03/03 (182 review reads)
Advantages: A good read, Interesting mix of characters, Quite funny
Disadvantages: A bit long, Disappointing ending
'White Teeth' is a good first effort from Zadie Smith, and i enjoyed reading this book, and had heard a lot of good things said about it; you only have to look at the sleeve to see this! I ended up buying it because i had to study it for an English Course at University, and i am glad i did get the chance to read it.
'White Teeth' is a humorous, witty book about the lives of several families living in North London over a period of time. It features lots of different characters from different ethnic backgrounds, but mainly revolves around two old friends, Archie and Samad, as well as both their families: their wives, Clara and Alsana, and later on, their children - Magid, Millat, and Irie, who dominate some of the storylines later on in the novel.
I was impressed with the first couple of chapters - a good introduction to both Archie, Samad and their wives. But i did lose interest a bit on the chapter about the second world war, it didn't really seem necessary, apart from setting up some plots later on. After this, the main emphasis of 'White Teeth' shifts towards Archie and Samad's children, and these bits are also interesting, but don't really go anywhere.
Parts of the novel also went back in time, such as Archie and Samad's experiences of fighting in the Second World War, which sets up some of the plots later on in the novel; also back to Jamaica in the early-twentieth century. A lot of 'White Teeth' tends to centre around several themes, such as families, history, traditions, religion, friendships, and this serves to keep up interest in the novel, as all these are recurring themes, although some feature more prominently.
The biggest disappointment of 'White Teeth' for me was the ending; i expected there to be a big outcome, as it seemed to build up for several chapters. Apart from that, the length of the book made it quite a long read for me, and you do feel that parts of it
could be missed out, but i enjoyed reading it, and there is plenty of storylines and humour in the book to make it an interesting and satisfying read. It doesn't really fit into one particular genre, so it would appeal to nearly everyone.
Overall, i think i would mainly recommend this to most people, mainly adults or young adults, as it is long, but also funny, humorous, and enjoyable. The main plots were interesting, too, and it keeps you interested for long enough, although it did get a bit tedious in places, but 'White Teeth' is a good read, and i think many people would enjoy reading it.