Customer Reviews for

White Teeth

Average Rating 4
( 102 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 102 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    Really good, but maybe a tad overrated

    3 1/2 stars, really. Without a doubt, this is an ambitious and successful debut by a talented writer. Smith's voice is distinct and engaging, as well as funny in that sly British way (no American guffawing here). However, I was not 100% in love with 'White Teeth.' I'm not sure why, although it may have something to do with the fact that I invested so much time and energy to the characters (their lives, histories, relationships) only to have the ending kind of dribble to a close. Still, it was an enjoyable read¿¿I'm not sorry I read it and I would recommend it to others. Just be aware that depending on your tastes, it may not quite live up to all the glowing reviews.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2006

    Good but no strong plot

    I really liked Zadie Smith's writing style in that her descriptions were fantastic. The only thing this book was missing was a plot which is fairly important in my opinion. There were too many lulls to make me excited to pick it up to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2005

    Flawed Characters

    Zadie Smith¿s writing style is without a doubt enjoyable. I laughed out loud. However, my opinion agrees with at least one other review listed here, and I quote the other reviewer because she says it perfectly, ¿if an author chooses to make certain cultures so significant/central to her work, she should at least try to present them accurately.¿ Her references to multiple cultures and religions are founded on shallow research if any at all. My advice to Smith would be to do the research by going to the source next time. Reference is made to stereotypical beliefs instead of actual truths about certain groups of people. Unfortunate for Zadie Smith, this would leave the millions of readers with those backgrounds or beliefs feeling misunderstood and misrepresented. If you are unfamiliar with the cultures and religions represented in this book you will certainly enjoy it. If you are Jamaican or if you have a background with or you are one of Jehovah¿s Witnesses you will find gaping wholes in some of the characters presented.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2002

    Very Enlightening

    I thought this book was very enlightening on how minorities in the UK view life and live it. It was pretty long, I'll admit I did a bit of scimming through some pages, but the characters were very colorful, vibrant and definitely enjoyable. I would like to learn more about the author and her background. I wonder how she seemed to know so much about different cultural backgrounds. Besides evident research, she seemed to know first-hand in some way. Overall, the book is definitely readable, but I'd suggest borrowing it from the library instead of paying the $14.00.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    A book worth reading, if you have some time.

    There were times while reading this book that I was happy to put it down. But there were parts that were riveting. All in all, a solid debut novel by a young novelist. I wouldn't say great, but it's not bad.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2001

    A Pretentious Work of Staggering Boredom

    Smith's prose reads as if she was paid by the word; was Random House unable to afford an editor? Some may say it is an extraordinary work considering Smith is in her early twenties--I would contend it would be extraordinary if her editor was 12. Pretentious phrasing and awkward metaphors plague the novel. Overall, despite significant themes and a serious message about race, class, and gender, White Teeth makes the reader want to use a thick black marker to edit each page. If it was the last book on earth, I would not read it again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    Mediocre

    From the reviews I heard I expected not to be able to put this book down. However, quite to the contrary it took me forever to read it. It was an ok read nothing to rave about.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2000

    stereotypes

    Great technique.Very well written.But ultimately disapointing.Loaded with silly stereoypes about asians in the uk.No wonder that Rushdie liked it.Must work on her empathy level before writing another book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    I absolutely love this book! It's funny and seems to have someth

    I absolutely love this book! It's funny and seems to have something for just about everyone. I was continually amazed by it and would recommend it to almost anyone. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Great Writing, author achieves brilliant analysis of multiple cultures.

    As an example of contemporary writing and cohesion Smith reaches excellence. Her ability to show the reader the intricacies of so many cultures is amazing. I enjoyed the novel immensely.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    I liked the style and development of the characters. Well done d

    I liked the style and development of the characters. Well done debut.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Excellent read.

    This novel is highly entertaining and insightful; it's darkly comic without cynicism; Zadie Smith creates colorful, complex, and engrossing characters that are more than a match for her lively and inventive narrative voice. I'm looking forward to reading more of Smith's work.

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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    While I thought this book was well-written, the plot was dull. I

    While I thought this book was well-written, the plot was dull. It was
    difficult to finish as I was not interested in the story.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Worthwhile Purchase

    White Teeth by Zadie Smith meets the basic criteria I normally look for in a novel. Zadie Smith's debut is character-based, and does not necessarily focus on plot. I am especially keen to immigrant family sagas, which White Teeth also fulfills, following both the Iqbal and Bowden family histories. The story is driven by the characters' reactions to historical events (ex: the Kingston earthquake in 1907). Although the characters are interesting in the way they react, they do not seem all that unique, especially the minor characters. Archie, Samad, Clara, and the rest of the cast are borderline caricatures that follow the most mundane of racial stereotypes. Smith wisely spreads the story arch around an array of characters rather than specifically focusing on a single character, otherwise we would see how one-dimensional each character is. Zadie Smith more than compensates for her characters with her style of writing. She uses some really interesting techniques that often break conventional rules, and it really works. However, a lot of the metaphors seem all over the place, and forced in certain spots, especially the metaphors regarding teeth. Overall, most of the novel is pretty messy. At times it feels like the story barely holds itself together, yet at other times it seems strong and well-formulated. If you're interested in fiction revolving around Dubois' "double-consciousness" then this is the perfect novel you're looking for. The book is about the difficulties of being influenced by two cultures. Smith shows this on a larger scale, Jamaicans and Asians in England, and on a smaller scale with the Chalfen family. Chalfenism represents how the English involve themselves in the affairs of other cultures under the guise of helping the less fortunate when they are really just helping themselves. Once an culture or individual becomes tangled in the web of "involvedness," it is nearly impossible to become uninvolved.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Enjoyable

    I enjoyed White Teeth, especially the beginning of the book.I found that the idea was original, and there was a tour de force in the first part of the book that seemed to die down a bit by the end, where I found the book a bit tiresome and stereotypical. But this is the author`s debut work (Zadie Smith is British and wrote this while still at Cambridge University) and I think for a first novel, it is exceptionally well written. At times it reminded of Rushdie`s works, which overall, was a bit disappointing because I thought she has the talent to go on a different path. But it is a good read and I recommend it.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    TEDIOUS!

    Very disappointing to me......400+ pages carries more information than was necessary....redundant in parts.

    interesting characters but many too many.....each with a different agenda.
    missed a good deal as humor & idioms unfamiliar to me......unless i painstakingly read word for word.

    cultural comparisons quite good....more realistic than i would have thought.

    overall, a real jumble of motifs, places, time periods, characters...no easy flow or transition from topic to topic. a Book Club might find this feature perfect if ea member took responsibility for 1 area...then sharing might be beneficial.

    More enjoyable & worthwhile was ON BEAUTY by same author. I read that first so my expectations may have been too high for Smith's first novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2009

    disappointed

    Excessive characters and plot lines made this book a bit tedious. There were parts that were beautifully written and the immigrant theme resonated with me, but Smith could have written 3 books instead of including so many stories, characters, and themes in 1 book. Couldn't wait for it to end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    Great Great Great

    I wouldnt label myself as a 'reader' but i finished this book in two days. Major page turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2007

    Different

    A book about race and immigrant life in London, WHITE TEETH is one of the most fascinating reads I've come across in a long time. I'm attracted to novels set in different locales and those that venture into territory I'm not familiar with, so this novel was perfect for me. The author does a bang up job of incorporating just about everything into this novel: culture, technology, religion--all of it relevant to the story. The only other novel that did this for me was 'Bark of the Dogwood' which also incorporated these things and actually compelled me to read it twice. I highly recommend WHITE TEETH for anyone interested in an incredible examinnation of the human spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2006

    A Riveting read

    White Teeth fully qualifies as a refreshing as novel. . The characters are lively, identifiable and rich. I also found the dialogue to be rich, one of the reasons that kept the book interesting throughout the read. I was entranced as to what is coming next and kept on reading and reading until the last page.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 102 Customer Reviews
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