Skip to content

The Best Quotes From White Teeth

I’ll be out on my annual summer vacation next week, reading White Teeth along the way, so I wanted to share with you some of the best passages in the novel before I leave.

This is an incredibly quotable novel. To me, it has the same feel and style of humor as Catch 22. I just love it.

Here are some of my favorite quotes so far–and some that might appear later in the book as well (thanks to GoodReads).

“You are never stronger…than when you land on the other side of despair.”

Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.

“If religion is the opiate of the people, tradition is an even more sinister analgesic, simply because it rarely appears sinister. If religion is a tight band, a throbbing vein, and a needle, tradition is a far homelier concoction: poppy seeds ground into tea; a sweet cocoa drink laced with cocaine; the kind of thing your grandmother might have made.”

“Then he gave her a kiss on the forehead that felt like a baptism and she wept like a baby.”

“When the male organ of a man stands erect, two thirds of his intellect go away. And one third of his religion.”

“Our children will be born of our actions. Our accidents will become their destinies. Oh, the actions will remain. It is a simple matter of what you will do when the chips are down, my friend. When the fat lady is singing. When the walls are falling in, and the sky is dark, and the ground is rumbling. In that moment our actions will define us. And it makes no difference whether you are being watched by Allah, Jesus, Buddah, or whether you are not. On cold days a man can see his breath, on a hot day he can’t. On both occasions, the man breathes.”

“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. Unrecognizable.”

Great stuff. I highly recommend this novel, especially if you enjoy a little witty, dark humor with solid character development.

More to come about White Teeth the week after next.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great quotations! They tempt me to break from my regularly scheduled quest with a diversion to White Teeth.

    At the risk of seeming a prig though, I wish to point out they are quotations (nouns), not quotes (verbs). It does seem priggish doesn’t it? Sorry. I know many dictionaries allow quote for quotation – the same ones that allow literally for virtually. It still makes my skin crawl a bit (quote for quotation that is; literally for virtually makes me want to scream). Quote vs quotation – just a pet peeve of mine (ie more my problem than yours). You probably know all this, and choose to conform to the common usage. But, if you’d like to amend your diabolical ways, that’d be peachy. Seriously, love your blog, keep it up, pip pip, cheerio, all that rot.


    June 25, 2015
  2. Great quotations…

    Liked by 1 person

    June 25, 2015
    • J.E. Fountain #

      I see what ya did there.


      June 25, 2015
  3. LLLL #

    “male organ of a man” REDUNDANT


    June 25, 2015
  4. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.


    June 26, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: