We have decided to start a book club (of tiniest proportions) with girls at work. Every month one of us will choose a book and we will read and discuss it at lunch time of the last Friday of the month. Which is the basic concept of book clubs in general I guess. The only adjustment we have made is an addition of pizza and a glass of wine. Also this means I will be regularly posting my opinion (can’t really call it a review – firstly, I have no idea how to write one and secondly, I would have to pay attention to the books – which may become problematic if I am not enjoying them).
The first book that has been chosen (recommended by a flatmate of my colleague) is ‘White teeth‘ by Zadie Smith. Highly acclaimed and successful British author, Zadie Smith. I was familiar with her, and one of her later books ‘On Beauty’.
Therefore I was left absolutely unenthusiastic. I read about five pages of ‘On Beauty’ that I picked it up at a charity store (because I liked the cover) before I returned it. My newly found literary soul mate, also a member of the newly established book club, picked up another copy of ‘On Beauty’ at a different charity shop, also because she liked the (same) cover, and yes, she put it down disappointed after reading few pages. Oh, and her name is also Eva (scary, isn’t it?).
So. I wasn’t exactly happy with the first choice. But I started reading ‘White teeth’ and I didn’t stop till the end. (I did not attempt to chew through the preview of the next book that was added as a teaser after the finish.) It took me two weeks. Only two of us (Eva and Eva) have succeeded to do this so far. There are still almost two weeks to go (which gives me the opportunity to return to Game of Thrones – yay!) but there isn’t much chance that the remaining four girls will get to the final dot….there is too much quadrupled moaning involved.
The characters were well portrayed…they were also over the top and empty (and I wasn’t aware this can be achieved at the same time); the only person that actually appeared credible was Irie (English/Jamaican….same as the author actually…hmm). I liked some of the language; there were some really strong sentences that shone through the very uneventful plot. I know, I know. If I break it down, there was quite a lot of going on. But. It was so shallow. There was so much potential for storytelling but the stories fell through a sieve with too many holes and what was left was just too thin and raw, wrapped up in unnecessary fluff. I liked the idea of analogy with the teeth and calling flashback chapters root canals. Problem with that was, that the dentist’s drill had barely scraped the enamel of the tooth in these chapters. In my opinion the book should be edited and re-released as a collection of short stories instead of this displacement of events.