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3.4 out of 5 stars
318
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 June 2002
I received this book as a gift and was looking forward to a good read. White teeth is well written and there are some funny parts.... but the trouble was I just didn't like any of the characters. It's the opposite of that good book you can't put down.
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on 6 August 2002
I was really looking forward to reading this book as I had heard so many good things about it. It started off quite well and instantly got me interested but unfortunately, this soon wore off. Smith tries to deal with some interesting issues but far too many for one book and it all becomes a jumbled mess in the end. The ending is disappointing and doesn't really conclude any of the topics she was trying to address. I didn't feel that the reader got to know any of the characters in depth to be able to form opinions or relate to them.
On the positive side, Smith was very confident in her writing and clearly knows a lot about different dialects and cultures. The irony in this book was also quite amusing.
On the whole I became bored with the book and in the end finished it out of determination rather than desire.
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on 17 August 2001
this is an epic tale and don't you know it when reading it. It has a good storyline but Zadie Smith has tried to cram too much information about too many characters in to the book, most of which is unneccessary. The change of main character is particularly confusing as the characters you get to know at the beginning are not the main characters at the end. A good account of life in multi-cultural Britain if a little far fetched in places
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on 18 October 2001
Whilst I accept that this was a debut book, the hype surrounding it, in hindsight, was appalling. I felt it was an embarrassing insult to minorities living in this country and Zadie Smith's intermittent babbling on for pages about drivel bored me as well as stunned me - however, around this, I have to admit, there was some quality writing. In summary, don't waste your time or your money!
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on 13 October 2006
This book dragged on for page after page; its far too long with one stereotype character brought in after another in a long never ending drawn out tale - I have given up !
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on 1 August 2001
When browsing through everyone else's reviews for this book, it gradually became clear to me that there is a fairly even love-it-or-hate-it split among Zadie Smith's readership. Now, I don't mean to rock the boat here, but the only emotion WHITE TEETH stirred in me was apathy.
Certainly, it would be easy to be blinded by the wall-to-wall critical praise, Smith's intelligent prose and intermittently humorous dialogue, and convince myself - as so many others have done -that it is a modern masterpiece...
I am nevertheless left in the middle ground. She is obviously very clever (never afraid to dazzle you with all those big words she knows), but as one other reviewer pointed out, her writing simply does not flow; it is as stilted and overwritten as a particularly bland essay. The dialogue of her diverse characters - as funny as it occasionally is - always feels like it belongs to a studious, present-day twenty-something. The much-praised 'characterisation' feels more like two-dimensional padding, and the narrative is tediously mundane - and suprisingly conventional - for such a 'cutting edge' debut.
Despite this, believe it or not, I don't hate it; I don't regret buying it and I feel guilty for only giving it a single star. Zadie Smith is obviously a talent to watch... - but this is a false, curiously dull blockbuster, and Ms Smith needs to learn that simplicity and ambiguity are preferable to the elaborate, derivative style she currently favours.
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on 17 October 2007
This book is quite famous for its "realism" and, indeed, it does reflect a spectrum of members of modern day society, from middle-class white people to immigrants, young "hoodies" and old people. And everyone single one is likeable and intersting. Smith has put herself right inside the minds of many different types of people and made their stories different, gripping and emotional, as well as injecting a lot of humour. The characters are realistic and most have a habit of speaking their minds, which makes for entertaining reading.

They all have their own individual tales, some of which are interwoven, and the way they all come together in some way to help create modern Britain as we know it is a clever and thought-provoking comment on society. Or just a down-to-earth, fast-moving read.
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on 6 November 2006
i absolutely love this book. i've lost track of how many times i've read it, and everyone i've recommended it to really enjoyed it as well. for that reason i was really surprised by some of the negative reviews it received. in my opinion this is an amazing book, her best so far. it's so fizzing with energy, and the characters feel so real. one of the major criticisms people seem to have is that there are too many characters and sub-plots vying for attention, but i thought that made it more interesting, and i felt i got to know each character well. it is also incredibly well-written and smith expresses herself beautifully... her prose is a pleasure to read.

anyone who saw the rubbishy tv adaptation, don't be put off by that! this book is just perfect.
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on 12 December 2006
I loved this book. I give 5 stars for writing such a broad, insightful and funny book. There are times when I laughed out loud at some of the pictures Zadie Smith paints. There are also some sombre moments when we read about the issues facing immigrants in England (one of the main families in the story) especially considering how much discussion there has been on multiculturalism and integration in the years following the publication of this book.

I see from the other reviews that some people didn't finish reading it and I accept that some sections are a little heavy going. Persevere! Hell, skip a chapter if you have to, its honestly worth the few slow movements. Smith was only 25 when she wrote this book and that just takes my breath away!
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on 15 January 2001
This is an interesting first novel by a young Londoner. Time will tell how her writing skills develop. I will certainly have a look at any upcoming novels she may write. The theme from our book club was something like " an intriguing book, but I would not recommend it". White Teeth covers many themes, including social , cultural , class and gender issues, and introduces many characters as well as sketching a number of plot lines. I would have liked to have each of the themes and plot lines elaborated much further.I felt that many characters were unceremoniously dropped, only to appear( or not) later, with little explanation. A similar thing happened with the plot lines, leaving the reader wondering what happened. Perhaps a sequel was intended.
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