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Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own. AZadie Smith's dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith's voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own. Zadie Smith's dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to.


White Teeth Ebook

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White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Copies 20 - 75 of White Teeth by Zadie Smith"A rich, ambitious and often hilarious delight' Independent on Sunday "A rollicking, thunder. eBook . Home; White Teeth One of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics .

Kitchen sink, si? Apart from the home-help, he had to contend with Ophelia's extended Italian family, her mental-health nurse, the woman from the council, and of course Ophelia herself, who was to be found in the kernel of this nuthouse, curled up in a foetal ball on the sofa, making lowing sounds into a bottle of Bailey's. It took him an hour and a quarter just to get through enemy lines and for what?

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A perverse Hoover, discarded months earlier because it was determined to perform the opposite of every vacuum's objective: spewing out dust instead of sucking it in. Be reasonable. What can you want with it? You don't need this. Archie took the plug out and silently wound the cord round the Hoover. If it was broken, it was coming with him. All broken things were coming with him. He was going to fix every damn broken thing in this house, if only to show that he was good for something.

He take-a her mind, he take-a the blender, he take-a the old stereo he take-a everything except the floorboards. It make-a you sick.. And it was my blender. But he wasn't one for confrontation, Archie. He listened to them all for another fifteen minutes, mute as he tested the Hoover's suction against pieces of newspaper, until he was overcome by the sensation that Life was an enormous rucksack so impossibly heavy that, even though it meant losing everything, it was infinitely easier to leave all baggage here on the roadside and walk on into the blackness.

You don't need the blender, Archie boy, you don't need the Hoover. This stuff's all dead weight. Just lay down the rucksack, Arch, and join the happy campers in the sky. Was that wrong? To Archie ex-wife and ex-wife's relatives in one ear, spluttering vacuum in the other it just seemed that The End was unavoidably nigh.

Nothing personal to God or whatever. It just felt like the end of the world.

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And he was going to need more than poor whisky, novelty crackers and a paltry box of Quality Street all the strawberry ones already scoffed to justify entering another annum. Patiently he fixed the Hoover, and vacuumed the living room with a strange methodical finality, shoving the nozzle into the most difficult corners. Solemnly he flipped a coin heads, life, tails, death and felt nothing in particular when he found himself staring at the dancing lion.

Quietly he detached the Hoover tube, put it in a suitcase, and left the house for the last time. But dying's no easy trick. And suicide can't be put on a list of Things to Do in between cleaning the grill pan and levelling the sofa leg with a brick. It is the decision not to do, to un-do; a kiss blown at oblivion. No matter what anyone says, suicide takes guts. It's for heroes and martyrs, truly vainglorious men. Archie was none of these. He was a man whose significance in the Greater Scheme of Things could be figured along familiar ratios: Pebble: Beach.

Raindrop: Ocean. Needle: Haystack. So for a few days he ignored the decision of the coin and just drove around with the Hoover tube. At nights he looked out through the windscreen into the monstropolous sky and had the old realization of his universal proportions, feeling what it was to be tiny and rootless. He thought about the dent he might make on the world if he disappeared, and it seemed negligible, too small to calculate.

He squandered spare minutes wondering whether "Hoover' had become a generic term for vacuum cleaners or whether it was, as others have argued, just a brand name.

And all the time the Hoover tube lay like a great flaccid cock on his back seat, mocking his quiet fear, laughing at his pigeon-steps as he approached the executioner, sneering at his impotent indecision. An unlikely compadre possibly, but still the oldest friend he had a Bengali Muslim he had fought alongside back when the fighting had to be done, who reminded him of that war; that war that reminded some people of fatty bacon and painted-on-stockings but recalled in Archie gunshots and card games and the taste of a sharp, foreign alcohol.

Try a new life. That is what you need. Now, enough of all this: I will match your five bob and raise you five. The place they sat in, where they met each evening for dinner, was half cafe, half gambling den, owned by an Iraqi family, the many members of which shared a bad skin condition. Marrying Alsana has given me this new lease on living, you understand? She opens up for me the new possibilities.

She's so young, so vital like a breath of fresh air. You come to me for advice? Here it is. Don't live this old life it's a sick life, Archibald. It does you no good. No good whatsoever Samad had looked at him with a great sympathy, for he felt very tenderly for Archie. Their wartime friendship had been severed by thirty years of separation across continents, but in the spring of Samad had come to England, a middle-aged man seeking a new life with his twenty-year-old new bride, the diminutive, moon-faced Alsana Begum with her shrewd eyes.

In a fit of nostalgia, and because he was the only man Samad knew on this little island, Samad had sought Archie out, moved into the same London borough. And slowly but surely a kind of friendship was being rekindled between the two men. He flicked them with the thumb of his left hand in one elegant move, making them fall to the table in a fan shape. Who'd have me now? It was hard enough convincing anybody the first time. You have not even met the right one yet.

This Ophelia, Archie, she is not the right one. From what you leave me to understand she is not even for this time ' He referred to Ophelia's madness, which led her to believe, half of the time, that she was the maid of the celebrated fifteenth century art lover Cosimo de' Medici.

This is just not her day! Maybe not her millennium. Modern life has caught that woman completely unawares and up the arse. Her mind is gone. And you? You have picked up the wrong life in the cloakroom and you must return it. Besides, she has not blessed you with children..

But there are second chances; oh yes, there are second chances in life. Believe me, I know. You," he continued, raking in the lop's with the side of his bad hand, 'should never have married her. Finally, two days after this discussion, early on New Year's morning, the pain had reached such a piercing level that Archie was no longer able to cling to Samad's advice.

He had decided instead to mortify his own flesh, to take his own life, to free himself from a life path that had taken him down numerous wrong turnings, led him deep into the wilderness and finally petered out completely, its bread crumb course gobbled up by the birds. Once the car started to fill with gas, he had experienced the obligatory flashback of his life to date.

It turned out to be a short, unedifying viewing experience, low on entertainment value, the metaphysical equivalent of the Queen's Speech. A dull childhood, a bad marriage, a dead-end job that classic triumvirate they all flicked by quickly, silently, with little dialogue, feeling pretty much the same as they did the first time round.

He was no great believer in destiny, Archie, but on reflection it did seem that a special effort of predestination had ensured his life had been picked out for him like a company Christmas present early, and the same as everyone else's. There was the war, of course; he had been in the war, only for the last year of it, aged just seventeen, but it hardly counted.

Not front line nothing like that. He and Samad, old Sam, Sammy boy, they had a few tales to tell, mind, Archie even had a bit of shrapnel in the leg for anyone who cared to see it but nobody did.

No one wanted to talk about that any more. It was like a club-foot, or a disfiguring mole.

It was like nose hair. People looked away. If someone said to Archie, What have you done in life, then, or What's your biggest memory, well, God help him if he mentioned the war; eyes glazed over, fingers tapped, everybody offered to buy the next round. No one really wanted to know. Summer of Archie went to Fleet Street with his best winkle-pickers on, looking for work as a war correspondent.

Poncey-looking bloke with a thin moustache and a thin voice had said, Any experience, Mr. And Archie had explained. All about Samad. All about their Churchill tank. Then this poncey one had leant over the desk, all smug, all suited, and said, We would require something other than merely having fought in a war, Mr.

War experience isn't really relevant. And that was it, wasn't it. There was no relevance in the war not in '55, even less now in ' Nothing he did then mattered now.

The skills you learnt were, in the modern parlance, not relevant, not transferable. Was there anything else, Mr. But of course there bloody wasn't anything else, the British education system having tripped him up with a snigger many years previously.

Still, he had a good eye for the look of a thing, for the shape of a thing, and that's how he had ended up in the job at Morgan Hero twenty years and counting in a printing firm in the Euston Road, designing the way all kinds of things should be folded envelopes, direct mail, brochures, leaflets not much of an achievement, maybe, but you'll find things need folds, they need to overlap, otherwise life would be like a broadsheet: flapping in the wind and down the street so you lose the important sections.

Not that Archie had much time for the broad sheets If they couldn't be bothered to fold them properly, why should he bother to read them that's what he wanted to know?

What else? Well, Archie hadn't always folded paper. Once upon a time he had been a track cyclist. What Archie liked about track cycling was the way you went round and round.

Round and round. Giving you chance after chance to get a bit better at it, to make a faster lap, to do it right. Except the thing about Archie was he never did get any better.

Which is a pretty good time, world-class standard, even. But for three years he got precisely The other cyclists used to take breaks to watch him do it.

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Lean their bikes against the incline and time him with the second hand of their wrist watches. That kind of inability to improve is really very rare. That kind of consistency is miraculous, in a way.

Archie liked track cycling, he was consistently good at it and it provided him with the only truly great memory he had. In , Archie Jones had participated in the Olympics in London, sharing thirteenth place Unfortunately this fact had been omitted from the Olympic records by a sloppy secretary who returned one morning after a coffee break with something else on her mind and missed his name as she transcribed one list to another piece of paper.

Madam Posterity stuck Archie down the arm of the sofa and forgot about him. His only proof that the event had taken place at all were the periodic letters and notes he had received over the years from Ibelgaufts himself.

Notes like: 17 May Dear Archibald, I enclose a picture of my good wife and I in our garden in front of a rather unpleasant construction site. Though it may not look like Arcadia, it is here that I am building a crude velodrome nothing like the one you and I raced in, but sufficient for my needs.

It will be on afar smaller scale, but you see, it is for the children we are yet to have. I see them pedalling around it in my dreams and wake up with a glorious smile upon my face! Once it is completed, we insist that you visit us. Who more worthy to christen the track of your earnest competitor, Horst Ibelgaufts? And the postcard that lay on the dashboard this very day, the day of his Almost Death: 28 December Dear Archibald, I am taking up the harp. A New Year's resolution, if you like. Late in the day, I realize, but you're never too old to teach the old dog in you new tricks, don't you feel?

I tell you, it's a heavy instrument to lay against your shoulder, but the sound of it is quite angelic and my wife thinks me quite sensitive because of it. Which is more than she could say for my old cycling obsession! But then, cycling was only ever understood by old boys like you, Archie, and of course the author of this little note, your old contender, Horst Ibelgaufts He had not met Horst since the race, but he remembered him affectionately as an enormous man with strawberry-blond hair, orange freckles and misaligned nostrils, who dressed like an international playboy and seemed too large for his bike.

After the race Horst had got Archie horribly drunk and procured two Soho whores who seemed to know Horst well "I make many business trips to your fair capital, Archibald," Horst had explained. The last Archie had ever seen of Horst was an unwanted glimpse of his humongous pink arse bobbing up and down in the adjoining room of an Olympic chalet.

The next morning, waiting at the front desk, was the first letter of his large correspondence: Dear Archibald, In an oasis of work and competition, women are truly sweet and easy refreshment, don't you agree? I'm afraid I had to leave early to catch the necessary plane, but I compel you, Archie: Don't be a stranger! I think of us now as two men as close as our finish! I tell you, whoever said thirteenth was unlucky was a bigger fool than your friend, Horst Ibelgaufts P.

Please make sure that Dana and Melanie get home fine and well Daria was his one. Terribly skinny, ribs like lobster cages and no chest to speak of, but she was a lovely sort: kind; soft with her kisses and with double-jointed wrists she liked to show off in a pair of long silk gloves set you back four clothing coupons at least. She turned, smiled. And though she was a professional, he got the feeling she liked him too. Maybe he should have left with her right then, run to the hills.

But at the time it seemed impossible, too involved, what with a young wife with one in the oven an hysterical, fictional pregnancy, as it turned out, a big bump full of hot air , what with his dodgy leg, what with the lack of hills.

Strangely, Daria was the final pulse of thought that passed through Archie just before he blacked out. It was the thought of a whore he met once twenty years ago, it was Daria and her smile which made him cover Mo's apron with tears of joy as the butcher saved his life. He had seen her in his mind: a beautiful woman in a doorway with a come hither look; and realized he regretted not coming hither.

If there was any chance of ever seeing a look like that again, then he wanted the second chance, he wanted the extra time.

Not just this second, but the next and the next all the time in the world. Later that morning, Archie did an ecstatic eight circuits of Swiss Cottage roundabout in his car, his head stuck out the window while a stream of air hit the teeth at the back of his mouth like a wind sock. He thought: Blimey. So this is what it feels like when some bugger saves your life. Like you've just been handed a great big wad of Time. At the traffic lights he flipped ten pence and smiled when the result seemed to agree that Fate was pulling him towards another life.

Like a dog on a lead round a corner. Generally, women can't do this, but men retain the ancient ability to leave a family and a past. They just unhook themselves, like removing a fake beard, and skulk discreetly back into society, changed men.

In this manner, a new Archie is about to emerge. We have caught him on the hop. For he is in a past-tense, future-perfect kind of mood. He is in a maybe this, maybe that kind of mood. Approaching a forked road, he slows down, checks his undistinguished face in the wing-mirror, and quite indiscriminately chooses a route he's never taken before, a residential street leading to a place called Queens Park.

Go straight past Go! Tim Westleigh more commonly known as Merlin finally registered the persistent ringing of a doorbell. He picked himself off the kitchen floor, waded through an ocean of supine bodies, and opened the door to arrive face-to-face with a middle-aged man dressed head-to-toe in grey corduroy, holding a ten pence coin in his open palm. As Merlin was later to reflect when describing the incident, at any time of the day corduroy is a highly stressful fabric. Rent men wear it.

Tax men too. History teachers add leather elbow patches. To be confronted with a mass of it, at nine in the a. Then, when the circle was completed, he would nod several times. We're in a mellow place, here. Know what I mean? Archie shook his head, smiled and remained where he was. Are you high on something? Merlin pulled on a joint and looked amused.

The white bedsheet hanging down from an upper window. Across it, in large rainbow coloured lettering, was painted: welcome to the 'end of the world' party, Merlin shrugged. Bit of a disappointment, that. Or a blessing," he added amiably, 'depending on your point of view. It was kind of a joke, you see, more than anything. I flipped a coin and thought: why not?

Besides, I think you're a little advanced in years.. Kind of a commune scene. I can't just let anyone in off the street, you know?

White Teeth

I mean, you could be the police, you could be a freak, you could ' But something about Archie's face huge, innocent, sweetly expectant reminded Tim what his estranged father, the Vicar of Snarebrook, had to say about Christian charity every Sunday from his pulpit.

It's New Year's Day, for fucks sake You best come in. Detritus of every variety animal, mineral, vegetable lined the floor; a great mass of bedding, under which people lay sleeping, stretched from one end of the hallway to the other, a red sea which grudgingly separated each time Archie took a step forward.

Inside the rooms, in certain corners, could be witnessed the passing of bodily fluids: kissing, breast-feeding, fucking, throwing up all the things Archie's Sunday Supplement had informed him could be found in a commune. He toyed for a moment with the idea of entering the fray, losing himself between the bodies he had all this new time on his hands, masses and masses of it, dribbling through his fingers , but decided a stiff drink was preferable.

He tackled the hallway until he reached the other end of the house and stepped out into the chilly garden, where some, having given up on finding a space in the warm house, had opted for the cold lawn. With a whisky tonic in mind, he headed for the picnic table, where something the shape and colour of Jack Daniels had sprung up like a mirage in a desert of empty wine bottles.

Just as Archie reached for the Jack Daniels, the white woman shook her head and made the signal of a stubbed out cigarette. Some evil bastard put his fag out in some perfectly acceptable whisky.

There's Babycham and some other inexorable shit over here Archie smiled in gratitude for the warning and the kind offer. He took a seat and poured himself a big glass of Liebfraumilch instead.

Many drinks later, and Archie could not remember a time in his life when he had not known Clive and Leo, Wan-Si and Petronia, intimately. With his back turned and a piece of charcoal, he could have rendered every puckered goose pimple around Wan-Si's nipples, every stray hair that fell in Petronia's face as she spoke.

By ii a. In return, they told him he was in possession of a unique soul for a man of his age. Everybody agreed some intensely positive karmic energy was circulating in and around Archie, the kind of thing strong enough to prompt a butcher to pull down a car window at the critical moment.

And it turned out Archie was the first man over forty ever invited to join the commune; it turned out there had been talk for some time of the need for an older sexual presence to satisfy some of the more adventurous women. That'll be me, then. I'd rather go to bed than get into this. Freed finally of this obligation, he sat on the stairs, letting the row continue above while he placed his head in his hands. He would have liked to have been part of a commune.

If he'd played his cards right instead of starting a ding-dong, he might have had free love and bare breasts all over the gaff; maybe even a portion of allotment for growing fresh food.

For a while around 2, a. Nobody's fault, thought Archie, mulling over the balls-up, nobody's fault but my own, but he wondered whether there wasn't some higher pattern to it.

Maybe there will always be men who say the right thing at the right time, who step forward like Thespis at just the right moment of history, and then there will be men like Archie Jones who are just there to make up the numbers. Or, worse still, who are given their big break only to come in on cue and die a death right there, centre stage, for all to see. A dark line would now be drawn underneath the whole incident, underneath the whole sorry day, had not something happened that led to the transformation of Archie Jones in every particular that a man can be transformed; and not due to any particular effort on his part, but by means of the entirely random, adventitious collision of one person with another.

Something happened by accident. That accident was Clara Bowden. But first a description: Clara Bowden was beautiful in all senses except maybe, by virtue of being black, the classical. Clara Bowden was magnificently tall, black as ebony and crushed sable, with hair plaited in a horseshoe which pointed up when she felt lucky, down when she didn't. At this moment it was up. It is hard to know whether that was significant. She needed no bra she was independent, even of gravity she wore a red halter neck which stopped below her bust, underneath which she wore her belly button beautifully and underneath that some very tight yellow jeans.

At the end of it all were some strappy heels of a light brown suede, and she came striding down the stairs on them like some kind of vision or, as it seemed to Archie as he turned to observe her, like a reared-up thoroughbred. Now, as Archie understood it, in movies and the like it is common for someone to be so striking that when they walk down the stairs the crowd goes silent. In life he had never seen it. But it happened with Clara Bowden.

She walked down the stairs in slow motion, surrounded by afterglow and fuzzy lighting. And not only was she the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, she was also the most comforting woman he had ever met. Her beauty was not a sharp, cold commodity.

She smelt musty, womanly, like a bundle of your favourite clothes. Though she was disorganized physically legs and arms speaking a slightly different dialect from her central nervous system even her gangly demeanour seemed to Archie exceptionally elegant. She wore her sexuality with an older woman's ease, and not as with most of the girls Archie had run with in the past like an awkward purse, never knowing how to hold it, where to hang it or when to just put it down.

She gave him a wide grin that revealed possibly her one imperfection. A complete lack of teeth in the top of her mouth. Have Clive and dem people been talking foolishness at you? Clive, you bin playing wid dis poor man? Clive and I have different views about a few things.

Generation gap, I suppose. Rorty that defines the limits of what they might do or say--the doctrines of Islam and the Watchtower Society, of PETA or clinical science.

In the worst cases, their adherence to these vocabularies allows Smith to slip them into easy "types" see: Mr. This is, generally speaking, the goal of any omniscient narrator, but the way that Smith goes about writing this one in particular imparts a certain sense of smugness the parenthetical asides to the reader, the knowing winks, the jokes at the expense of easy targets that isn't always present.

The metastable personality is the natural reaction to uncomfortability with final vocabularies, but it itself is of course just as self-defining as any of them albeit in the opposite direction. It instinctually yearns for instability, but prefers to admire chaos from afar rather than living in it.

The metastable personality knows that in order to maintain coherence it must remain stable, and that the only way to remain stable is to balance itself on the disbelief of all known final vocabularies. Smith writes off worldview after worldview, but is of course unable to articulate her own because her own is simply the absence of adherence to any such worldview. This isn't so much a criticism of Smith's work as it is an explanation of why it is the way it is, and why it can be read as contempt.

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Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate.After the race Horst had got Archie horribly drunk and procured two Soho whores who seemed to know Horst well "I make many business trips to your fair capital, Archibald," Horst had explained.

It does you no good. And like a cat she responded to the dusty sunbeam that was coursing through a high window on to the waiting couples. Why had the Lord waited so long? Enter your postcode: WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog, helping you find library materials online.

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