White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
A good line or two:
Once the car started to fill with carbon monoxide, he had experienced the obligatory flashback of his life to date. It turned out to be a short, unedifying viewing experience, low on entertainment value, the metaphysical equivalent of the Queen's speech. (p. 11)
Got me thinking about:
How I couldn't get through On Beauty when I tried it 10 years ago. The characters were just so fucking irritating. How these characters are too but at least there are a whole slew of 'em so you don't have to spend too much time with any of them!
How supremely intelligent and thoughtful Smith sounds in every single interview I've ever read with her.
How damn good she is at dialogue.
In front of the wood stove over two gloomy days.