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riley

riley

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The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion
Melvin Lerner

White Teeth: A Novel

White Teeth - Zadie Smith I generally like this but there are some issues. She says, for example, that Samad's wife stopped speaking to him directly, but then she continues to do so. What she means by speaking directly is not what I would have understood. I guess that's my fault, but I don't know. Also, she claims you can walk around Jamaica in a day. Sounds like she's never been there. These are nitpicks, I know. The bigger issue is that it definitely feels fictitious. Yes, all novels are, but this has the feel of being constructed, without much of the usual post-modern stuff that shows she's aware of it. It is here and there but not consistent. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. There is entirely too much self-aware stuff these days, but I feel like if you're going that direction you should really go that direction. As the ending becomes clearer it seems more and more contrived. However, I thought she handled the ending rather brilliantly. I always like a good ending and I find it often makes up for a lot of the defects of the rest of a book or story (a personal preference for some reason). The ending raises this significantly in my estimation because, though it was contrived, it was a good kind of contrived. I still think the novel is over-hyped. I have read lots of better novels (though I don't know that I have read many or any from this century as yet) but this is certainly a good book, despite its flaws. It is funny and engaging even if it isn't particularly profound as I was led to believe by the hype.