LIFESTYLE | White Teeth Review

I've been wanting to read some of Zadie Smith's work for some time and where better to start than with her début novel White Teeth? Another fab charity shop find, I couldn't wait to read.

White Teeth Book Review


It's quite hard to sum this book up as so much happens but I'd say it's mainly the story of the families of Archie and Samad Iqbal, two unlikely best friends living in North London. It covers 'deep' subjects (race, faith, cultural identity and gender to name a few) but Smith turns these heavy situations into something humorous where I was literally laughing aloud at some points. Usually when you read criticisms of society they're very ranty or sombre so I think this was clever of the author as it's a way to get and keep people's attention onto serious matters.

People have criticised the characters for being almost caricatures at certain points but for me it worked because it's a funny book...I can't think of many funny novels or films where the characters weren't a bit over the top! And I love, love, love Smith's talent for dialogue, she captures the voice of each character so well...especially impressive considering there are a lot of them! It's told in third person but each section switches to focus on different characters and sometimes different time periods too, we find ourselves back in the 1800's all the way to the year 2000. I did find myself having to do a bit of work to remember who was who etc but I didn't mind.  When I was reading it I was thinking how the book would make a great TV programme (I since found out it was turned into a series, I'd love to watch it if I can!)

My only criticisms would be that I think the book is a tad too long and very slow paced at times. I also feel that the ending was very rushed, it almost felt like it was like 'Arghh running out of space, better just squeeze this in quickly!' if you get what I mean haha. But I still really enjoyed reading it, I think if you like funny books about families you'd like it too!

Have you read White Teeth or any more of Zadie Smith's work? I really want to read her other books for sure!



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33 comments:

  1. I've never heard about this book, but sounds interesting :)

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  2. I've been meaning to read this! Sounds interesting the way it switches between different characters and time periods. I rarely read books that are actually funny so this would make a lovely change. xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.co.uk

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  3. Ah how strange, because I'm currently reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith! I'm only 26 pages in ha, because it is another slow book which is probably why I'm only 26 ages in but hopefully I'll read more because she seems like an incredible writer! xx

    Sam | Samantha Betteridge

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  4. I read this when this came out, so it was ages ago, but I do remember liking it:D She has a way with words.

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  5. How weird - I just finished reading White Teeth too! I agree with everything you said; it's almost flawless but the ending is a bit rushed. I've read NW as well which is quite similar though less funny than White Teeth, it's definitely a must-read though as her writing is just as good in it!
    Megan x
    London Callings

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  6. It was obligatory reading in uni - I remember thinking it was an amazing book :)

    Edita

    www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

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  7. I have this on my shelf (also a charity shop find!) and I have no idea when I'll be in the mood to finally pick it up but I'm pretty excited to! xx

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  8. I've heard so many good things about this book my reasing list is too big, I have so many unfinished books on my bedside table. Maybe it's one for my holiday? ;)


    Tara x

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  9. I've read White Teeth and to be honest I really wasn't a fan. I got very bored of it towards the end! I'm currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which I'm really enjoying.

    Faye x

    i wish i could wink

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  10. It sounds really good. I'll add it to my never ending to-read list. :) Have you read anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? She also covers issues of race with whipsmart dialogue and humour. I read Americanah and it's really good. xx

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  11. Glad to hear people can write and lighten up the subject of race, discrimination, religion so the reader can enjoy it but also get educated xx
    M

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  12. Say Cheesy Cake26 March 2015 at 20:54

    Hi Josie, love your detailed review. I haven;t read any of Zadie Smith's works but I am going to check them out.

    Jo | Say Cheesy Cake
    Say Cheesy Cake on Bloglovin

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  13. I remember my mum having this book on the bookshelf years ago but I never read it for some reason! I really need to get back into reading because I haven't read much this year to be honest! xxx

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  14. This sounds so good! I always love your book reviews Josie, you capture the essence of the story and elaborate your views up so very well, giving us a great glimpse into the book and making me want to reach out and read ;) I haven't seen anything by this author before but she definitely sounds very talented and unique <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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  15. I never read anything by Zadie Smith, but this book sounds really interesting!

    RachelShuchatMakeup

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  16. Never heard of this book! I'll have to look into it but it sounds interesting! I just finished up a book so I definitely need to get one soon :)

    Enclothed Cognition

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  17. It's defo worth giving it a go :) x

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  18. It's quite a long book so it's good the way you're not kind of stuck with the same character all the way through! x

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  19. What a co-ink-i-dink! I think she's worth persevering with because she raises such important issues. I want to read On Beauty now! x

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  20. She's so talented! I wish I could write like her x

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  21. That's strange! I definitely want to read more of her work, that's on the wishlist now! x

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  22. Thank you! It's defo worth the hype x

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  23. It's great when uni books are actually interesting to read! Feels less like work and more like fun :) x

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  24. I'd love to know what you think when you get round to reading it! x

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  25. I think it'd be a good holiday read, it's kind of deep but still really relaxed if that makes any sense haha! x

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  26. A lot of people said they got bored towards the end and I can see why! I've heard such good things about The Goldfinch, will defo keep an eye out x

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  27. No but I really, really want to! I just have this weird thing where I'll only buy books from charity shops so until I find her she'll go unread haha x

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  28. Thank you! She's definitely one to read x

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  29. I hardly read at all last year but this year I've really gotten back into it! Deleting my Kim Kardashian game may have helped haha x

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  30. Thank you Sophie! She's definitely very talented, so wise too. x

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  31. What book have you just finished? Could do with some recommendations! :) x

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  32. It sounds interesting. Adding this to my TBR list ;)

    Dara | Hola Darla | @DarlaOct

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