Robert Greenberger's Reviews > White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
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liked it

I've seen good things written about Zadie Smith, especially related to her debut novel. When I decided I needed something modern for my British Literature class, this came to mind.

Having just completed it, I have no idea how to teach it. I was so incredibly let down after all the fever-induced hype, especially all the back cover quotes. What did they see that I missed? Why do I feel nothing for this novel?

It's a generations-spanning work as two unlikely men are thrown together at the end of World War II and become friends. We watch them take wives, sire children, hate their jobs, suffer indignities, and family drama. We then follow the wives and then the children and it's all messy, set against the second half of the 20th century. It's hard to remember it's set in England because cultural, political and world events seem nonexistent, we're trapped in this small melodramatic bubble.

There's no one to like, no one to root for, as everyone is casting about, adrift yearning for meaning to their lives. It's a bleak and largely unpleasant look at British society.

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Reading Progress

January 24, 2021 – Started Reading
January 24, 2021 – Shelved
January 24, 2021 –
page 55
January 27, 2021 –
page 104
January 31, 2021 –
page 165
January 31, 2021 –
page 165
February 3, 2021 –
page 240
February 9, 2021 –
page 323
February 13, 2021 –
page 394
February 14, 2021 – Finished Reading

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