The Most Addictive Books of the Last 25 Years
Because wildly smart novels never go out of style.
In her daring debut novel, Zadie Smith takes us straight to 1970s multicultural London. At the center of this sprawling tale are two unlikely friends who met while serving in WWII: Englishman Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, a Muslim from Bangladesh. From the very first page, when Archie's suicide attempt is thwarted by a chain of events involving pigeon poop, we understood that this was no ordinary book. ("While he slipped in and out of consciousness, the position of the planets, the music of the spheres, the flap of a tiger moth's diaphanous wings in Central Africa, and a whole bunch of other stuff that Makes Shit Happen had decided it was second-chance time for Archie.") Smith's wit and audacity is simply irresistible—as she had written entirely in the language of charisma.