By Zadie Smith
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The international bestseller and modern classic of multicultural Britain – an unforgettable portrait of LondonOne of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike.
Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.Tweet
I absolutely loved this book but warn you it is a demanding read. Zadie Smith must be a genius.To combine so much serious thought with humour is no mean feat. Without using spoilers, the whole of life is here to be explored, summarised and explained with a lucidity few of us could ever equal (perhaps Shakespeare). It is the humour that makes it all bearable and believe me, this is a very funny book.
In the end one person believes one thing and one person believes something else, Yin/Yang, good/evil but who is right and who is wrong very much depends on what you believe and there lies the nub. What is wrong with us humans that we go on living in the past, repeating all our mistakes ad infinity? Why do we go on regurgitating misery, hanging onto grudges centuries old when life already gives us plenty of misery anyway? It is all these very serious issues that Zadie Smith bravely tackles with lashings of humour.
As Irie says towards the end, if we could only let go of the past we could live in the present and look more hopefully towards a better future without torturing ourselves with guilt and hatred and grievances that we illogically hang on to, destroying something like a normal life. However, even that is too simplistic because we are all shaped by what has come before which the book demonstrates very well.
However, what I was left with in the end was enduring hope ; hope that things will and can only get better (in the words of wonderful Captain Tom who had clearly let go of the past) and this was because of the enduring friendship of two very ordinary blokes, Samad Iqbal and Archie Jones who are the central characters of this great book.
I actually found this book a little difficult to get into at first, but I'm so glad I persevered. It has turned into one of the best books I have ever read. It highlights the struggles face by first and second generation immigrants so artfully. The characters are so vivid; they are all flawed and 'real', yet you find yourself empathising with each one, even though sometimes the characters are not particularly pleasant. The story is told with such dry humour, and hilarious interjections are scattered throughout the book whereby you can get a clear sense of the authors perspective. It's an incredibly cleverly written book. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
funny & original , great characters. Charts the progress of 2 ethnically diverse families in London during the 70's, 80's ,90's.