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White Teeth: A Novel Audiobook, by Zadie Smith Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Zadie Smith Narrator: Lenny Henry, Ray Panthaki, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Arya Sagar Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9780525634140
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (48,424 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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On New Year's morning, 1975, Archie Jones sits in his car on a London road and waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Cavalier Musketeer station wagon. Archie--working-class, ordinary, a failed marriage under his belt--is calling it quits, the deciding factor being the flip of a 20-pence coin. When the owner of a nearby halal butcher shop (annoyed that Archie's car is blocking his delivery area) comes out and bangs on the window, he gives Archie another chance at life and sets in motion this richly imagined, uproariously funny novel.

Epic and intimate, hilarious and poignant, White Teeth is the story of two North London families--one headed by Archie, the other by Archie's best friend, a Muslim Bengali named Samad Iqbal. Pals since they served together in World War II, Archie and Samad are a decidedly unlikely pair. Plodding Archie is typical in every way until he marries Clara, a beautiful, toothless Jamaican woman half his age, and the couple have a daughter named Irie (the Jamaican word for "no problem"). Samad--devoutly Muslim, hopelessly "foreign"--weds the feisty and always suspicious Alsana in a prearranged union. They have twin sons named Millat and Magid, one a pot-smoking punk-cum-militant Muslim and the other an insufferable science nerd. The riotous and tortured histories of the Joneses and the Iqbals are fundamentally intertwined, capturing an empire's worth of cultural identity, history, and hope.

Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant café, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute. A winning debut in every respect, White Teeth marks the arrival of a wondrously talented writer who takes on the big themes--faith, race, gender, history, and culture--and triumphs. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Zadie Smith's fizzing first novel is about how we all got here—from the Caribbean, from the Indian subcontinent, from thirteenth place in a long-ago Olympic bicycle race—and about what "here" turned out to be. It's an astonishingly assured debut, funny and serious, and the voice has real writerly idiosyncrasy. I was delighted by White Teeth and often impressed. It has . . . bite. Salman Rushdie
  • A rich, ambitious, and often hilarious delight. The Independent
  • This is a strikingly clever and funny book with a passion for ideas, for language, and for the rich tragicomedy of life. . . . [Smith's] characters always ring true; it is her ebullient, simple prose and her generous understanding of human nature that make Zadie Smith's novel outstanding. It is not only great fun to read, but full of hope. Sunday Telegraph
  • A writer of mighty potential. The Times Literary Supplement
  • Poised and relentlessly funny. . . . A major new talent. The Guardian
  • Outstanding... refreshingly upbeat and deserving of all the attention it is getting. The Evening Standard
  • Outstanding... not only great fun to read, but full of hope. The Sunday Telegraph
  • The biggest literary talent for 2000... One of the most impressive first
    novels of recent years.
    The Observer Magazine
  • Funny, clever... and a rollicking good read. The Independent
  • Brilliantly written and hugely inspiring. RED
  • A vibrant, multicultural extravaganza. Marie Claire
  • Gleefully inventive... Zadie Smith's debut announces the debut of a significant new talent. The List
  • Bounding, vibrant, richly imagined and thoroughly engaging. The Telegraph
  • If you buy one book this year, WHITE TEETH should be it. Livewire Magazine
  • The first publishing sensation of the millennium. The Observer
  • Darting between decades, cultures and generations, this chronicle of immigrant London fizzes with life. Good Housekeeping

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey Grace | 2/13/2014

    " Spans space and time even more than "On Beauty". More accessible, but it is apparent that this was her first book. She is prone in this book (but not later works) to parenthetical expository remarks that are totally necessary, and seem to be her way of saying 'look how clever I am!'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 2/8/2014

    " Wonderful story about 2 men in England, Archie, white, working class and Samad, Bengali, also middle class, in North London. How they meet, become friends and raise their families is a complex story, filled with humor and cultural quirkiness. Could not put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Latiffany | 2/2/2014

    " This book has a beautiful story line and well developed characters. The problem is, the book is over written. Zadie Smith is without a doubt quite talented, but White Teeth illustrates that she is obsessed with the clicking sound that her keys make on her computer. At 448 pages, White Teeth is not the longest book I've ever read, but it is the only book that I have ever experienced that is beautiful, but packed with non essential information. A example: if Smith wrote, "The cat walked across the street." She is going to give you a history of the word the, the entire life of the cat, a full description of the walk and the entire history of the street. Apparently she feels that you have to understand all of that in order to find out why the cat went across the street. Again, I must stress, the story line is beautiful. The characters are hilarious and I fell in love with them. It was the writer that irritated me all the way to the end. I still would recommend it to a friend or fellow read-only if they have tons of time on their hands. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/29/2014

    " I went back and forth with White Teeth, but ultimately I enjoyed it. I initially had a problem because it seemed very much like one of those literary "terrible things happen to boring people" kinds of books, and I'm generally not interested in that type of thing. As the magical realism built and the characterization became stronger, however, I came to appreciate Zadie Smith's voice and style much more. It's an exceptionally competent first novel, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her books now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma G | 1/14/2014

    " I wasn't expecting to like this book. In fact the first time I picked it up I couldn't get into it at all, but I tried again and really enjoyed it. Well worth a read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kizz Robinson | 1/12/2014

    " I went in knowing nothing about the book and if I'd known about the Bangladeshi angle I probably would have skipped it. I can see the intelligence of the writing and the plot but the style just isn't one that turns me loose. Which can't be a surprise since it took me nearly a month to read something that ought to have been done in a week. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren orso | 1/12/2014

    " if you've ever wondered what a jonathan franzen book would be like if it were about real things that happen to people who aren't rich and white, well, here you go, sirs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi | 1/11/2014

    " I'm not quite sure why this book is on the "1001 Books to Read Before You Die" list. I enjoyed a few sections where the character descriptions were good and the overall racial diversity reflected in the book, but otherwise, I found it to be fairly boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy | 1/6/2014

    " one of my all-time favorites. she hasn't yet matched this genius yet.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 1/5/2014

    " Did I miss the memo proclaiming that modern literary novels must be at least 400 pages of intertwining plot lines and ridiculous characters? I feel I've read this book before and liked it better that time. Or maybe that was something slightly different by someone else... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samo | 12/29/2013

    " Izjemno zabavna knjiga, o iskanju osebne identitete, kar je v multikulturnih druzbah vedno tezja naloga. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/23/2013

    " I love anything that Zadie has written! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Walter O'Bryant | 12/1/2013

    " If I could write like Zadie Smith I'd be as arrogant as Ralph Ellison! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Steinberg | 11/25/2013

    " As always, Smith depicts characters with biting wit. Academia and social status are her targets in this novel and she creates a fascinating family with all sorts of human vanities to expose. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 SomerEmpress | 11/25/2013

    " I just really did not enjoy this book. I so terribly wanted to. It just became repetitive and exhausting to try to finish. I enjoy Zadie's style of writing, however, just not this particular book. "On Beauty" had me at hello! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Al Toby | 11/16/2013

    " Fantastic storytelling about misfits from incredibly diverse characters, who happen to be in one big "happy" family. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Trina | 3/14/2013

    " Started book twice but could not get passed first 25 pages "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 10/23/2012

    " archie and samad- two friends from really different backgrounds who raise their kids together, irie and the twins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 8/25/2012

    " It's the type of book that deserves to be read in one sitting. Zadie Smith is so funny. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katie Grainger | 8/22/2012

    " I was not amazed at this book I have to say I think that my expectations were a little to high from all the fantastic reviews. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 6/27/2012

    " Couldn't get into it for some reason. Probably would have liked it more if I made a point to finish it within a few weeks. Whoopsies! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelli Di | 12/4/2011

    " I started this book two times in hopes of figuring out why so many liked it. But I stopped reading it two times. I won't try a third time. Did not keep my interest at all. wordy wordy wordy wordy wordy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel Hall | 8/12/2011

    " Dialogue was smart and witty. However, too many unnecessary details. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jam | 6/29/2011

    " I really like Zadie Smith's writing style... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 5/26/2011

    " I laughed a lot while reading and felt like the characters dealt with real, universal problems. I enjoyed the book "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judith | 5/18/2011

    " This book was highly recommended but I found it highly disappointing. I guess I just don't get English humor. None of the characters felt real. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kwellis | 5/15/2011

    " I had to read this for one of my English classes - it had quite a bit of swearing and some sex, but overall, I enjoyed it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 5/6/2011

    " If I could give this 2 1/2 stars I could but my mouse won't let me, or maybe goodreads won't let me? Anyway, interesting premise just took way too long to read. I have another book by her, On Beauty, and I'm a bit hesitant to pick it up due to this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 5/4/2011

    " I stopped wasting my time about 150 pages into this one. I just didn't care about any of it, the story, the characters, the everything. Couldn't put it down soon enough! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carly | 4/26/2011

    " This book is definitely funny, precise and to the point. It captures a time and a place, but there is nothing behind the amusing characters, no depth. It is a highly entertaining read though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Genelle | 4/25/2011

    " This was a very interesting book, but it was so dense that it was hard to follow. I do have to give the author praise for turning out such an engaging book for her debut. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kendra | 4/21/2011

    " Great book. Read in college, good stuff! I think I liked this one better than "On Beauty." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitney | 4/15/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a hilarious and insightful glimpse into the lives of families who are crossing racial and class boundaries in England. It is extremely impressive for a first novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 4/14/2011

    " Library Book Club read. Multicultural England--strange people. Had trouble with the dialect and am sure I missed alot of what was there. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jackie | 4/10/2011

    " I tried hard to like this book and it did have a few good parts, but it just went on and on forever and felt like a chore to read. So glad I'm done with it! "

About the Author

Author Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is the critically acclaimed author of various bestselling novels, including White Teeth and The Autograph Man. She was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area.

About the Narrators

Lenny Henry began his career in the entertainment industry in 1975 and since then has gone on to appear in such programs as The Lenny Henry Show and Chef!.

Ray Panthaki is a voice talent and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator.

Pippa Bennett-Warner is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator.