Monday, July 6, 2015

White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith is, I think, the current holder of the “Least Likely but Most Interesting Book Found in a Chambersburg Thrift Store” title.  (That’s a little misleading, because that town’s second-hand stores are strangely above average in terms of inventory and selection.)  So you know this is a real winner.

I say it’s a pretty unlikely find because it’s a British author, edgy, something of a tough read, and the subjects are Muslim immigrants in London.  Just not a lot in common with your average Central Pennsylvanian, lol.  But I am so glad I found it, and even happier that I put it on this year’s reading list.  One of the better dollars I have ever spent.

When you take the story as one big whole, it does get shaky.  The plot becomes far-fetched, especially at the end.  Extremely, incredibly far-fetched.  But Smith is just such a darned joy to read.  Her sentences have a strong rhythm and she’s very clever.  Plays with words and meanings, and there’s a lot of zip and snap to her style.  Just slightly reminiscent of Arundhati Roy in effect, although the mechanics are completely different.

Oddly, the interludes that occur during the Second World War were some of the most appealing to me.  I’m not sure why.  Along with the parts that feature Irie.  Irie steals the show in her own quiet way. 

Final call:

I didn’t mark that many quotes from White Teeth, but that’s because I could easily have found hundreds and became overwhelmed.  Go find some good quotes for yourself J

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