Catherine's Reviews > White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
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's review
Jun 23, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: 2007
Recommended for: Anglophiles, future-lookers, past-examiners
Read in September, 2007

I started this book not thinking I would like it. Not sure why, but maybe because Joy didn't seem thrilled. Maybe because reviews were mixed. But in the end I enjoyed it quite a bit. At points it had a rather Salman Rushdie feel, but there was less fantasy and more realism involved. I found the dilemmas characters faced to be quite pertinent in today's world of melting pots and mixed identities. This story follows numerous generations of three families through their formative experiences, focusing on the youngest generation. Through it all Zadie Smith examines how our personas are affected by the past we conceive, the future we envisage, and the present we inhabit. I enjoyed the use of vernacular speech, which I often heard out loud in my head (probably terribly cliched).

A quote I liked: "Mad Mary was looking at him with recognition. Mad Mary had spotted a fellow traveler. She had spotted the madman in him (which is to say, the prophet)..."

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