Oh my goodness, how I loved White Teeth: A Novel. It was beautiful. I can't honestly say anything else without completely geeking out over it.
I actually listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Jenny Sterlin who was fantastic. Each of the characters had a remarkably distinct voice, which is partly due to Smith's expert characterization, and partly due to Sterlin's talented voice acting.
One thing I loved about the novel is that the story is not told in a completely linear fashion. Smith takes her readers through the lives of Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, painting their portraits without describing every moment in order. She builds suspense, making us question what we think we know about these characters, and drawing us into their story so that we can't turn away. There were many moments while I was listening to this audiobook when I did not want to get out of the car because I wanted to find out what would happen next.
I'm trying to be objective and find something about this book that I didn't love, but it's difficult. The one thing I took issue with was the way that the story ended for Irie (Archie's daughter). Without giving away the ending, I felt that it was a bit stereotypical for her to end up the way she did. It made me feel like we were back in the 1960s rather than the early 21st century.
All in all, if you haven't read this, (I'm about 10 years late on this) you should. It's a wonderful book.