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The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener

Scritto da John le Carré

Narrato da Michael Jayston


The Constant Gardener

Scritto da John le Carré

Narrato da Michael Jayston

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (46 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
17 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 14, 2012
ISBN:
9781442359130
Formato:
Audiolibro

Nota del redattore

A hunt for answers…

It begins with a murder: Le Carré beautifully captures devastating loss and the intense hunt for answers in his novel-turned-Academy-Award-winning film.

Descrizione

Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, this John le Carré's novel opens with the gruesome murder of the young and beautiful Tessa Quayle near northern Kenya's Lake Turkana, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover and traveling companion, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa's much older husband, Justin, a career diplomat at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive.

A master chronicler of the deceptions and betrayals of ordinary people caught in political conflict, le Carré portrays, in The Constant Gardener, the dark side of unbridled capitalism. His 18th novel is also the profoundly moving story of a man whom tragedy elevates. Justin Quayle, amateur gardener and ineffectual bureaucrat, seemingly oblivious to his wife's cause, discovers his own resources and the extraordinary courage of the woman he barely had time to love.

The Constant Gardener is a magnificent exploration of the new world order by one of the most compelling and elegant storytellers of our time.

Pubblicato:
Aug 14, 2012
ISBN:
9781442359130
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Honorable Schoolboy; and Smiley’s People. His novels include The Constant Gardner, The Little Drummer Girl, A Perfect Spy, The Russia House, Our Game, The Tailor of Panama, and Single & Single. He lives in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    John le Carre is one of the better authors working today, somewhat handicapped by the end of the Cold War, but still able to write extremely well in this tale of mismatched and misjudged marriage, where a low-level functionary in a back-water British state department overseas job is married to an activist wife, who manages to get in harms way by pushing too far, or at least further than the system is willing to go with her. The main part of the story then is how the husband traces her route, learning more about her (and himself) as he goes, in effect falling in love all over again, and at the same time relearns and rediscovers himself, for better or worse. le Carre unwinds the story line, a master story-teller, and much of this is character driven, as you come to understand the main players and their places in the story, and it all pretty much in the end falls into place, a twist here and there, but looking back, also some amount of inevitability. We may all miss the slow unwinding of British Spy/Bureaucrats jousting with their own organization and the Soviets, but this novel has many of the same elements, government against itself and big business, and oh yes, a spy here and there, against the whole backdrop of Africa and the problems of the poor, and just staying alive. Very well written, very entertaining and intellectually satisfying to read. One of le Carre's better books.
  • (2/5)
    I found le Carre to be too heavy-going for me - slow progression of the plot, uninspiring unravelling of the mystery, flat characterisation. Perhaps my watching of the film first has influenced my reading of the novel to this degree, however I can't help but think that the film did more justice to the mystery side of things.
  • (3/5)
    This one was a book club pick, to be read and then when we got together we watched the movie. The book is a 700+ page meh fest. It?s not bad, perse, but it?s not good either. And frankly it?s supposed to be all suspenseful, but really isn?t because you know who killed Tess straight off. It?s no big shock at all. I really just didn?t care about any of the characters, and actively hated others. But it was readable and passed decent time while I was trapped in a boring hotel in the middle of nowhere Missussauga for a week.The movie was even worse only because of the fact that I had just read the book so any tiny wee bit of suspense and thrill that might have been in the movie was obliterated. It was apparently nominated for Oscars, but I really have no idea why. The movie did, however, redeem itself and the book with it?s ending - an original bit that never happened in the book. So ya for that.
  • (4/5)
    This book was recommended to me by my mom. I haven't seen the movie and this is my first John le Carr?.This book was amazing in that it managed to be interesting even though absolutely nothing happened. After the first 100 pages, the whole plot was explained and nothing really new happened in the last 400. Except the first 100 pages were the boring part. Why were the first 100 pages told from the point of view of a minor character? Any importance that character might've played was wiped away in an easy paragraph later on. Actually, all major facts were given away quite easily. There really was no suspense. And then, after 450 pages of nothing happening, the book just ended.The writing was beautiful and intriguing and I found myself not wanting to put this down and looking forward to picking it up again. I kept expecting something interesting to happen. It never really did, but I liked it despite it's lack of suspense.
  • (4/5)
    I've read my fair share of garden variety political thriller books, and Le Carre's was similar while remaining different. I was reminded of Ludlum's Bourne books, and yet, I enjoyed how Le Carre managed to romanticize the whole battle. It was good, the pharmaceutical angle was interesting, I was duly entertained. Now I just need to see the movie.
  • (2/5)
    I read this for a book club, against my better judgement. There's not much to say, really. A thriller is a thriller. The plot was average, thriller-type stuff, and so was the ending. The characters were average, thriller-type characters and they did thriller-type things. I have a hard time understanding why everyone got so excited about this book.
  • (4/5)
    Absorbing, polemical thriller about the abuse of the third world by unscrupulous drug companies. Criticised by many as "not as good as the Smiley novels", this is nonetheless an exciting and interesting tale which will have you asking questions.
  • (3/5)
    I saw the film first and was drawn to the performances of the main actors which along with the editing made story live and credible. The book by comparison felt more wooden and plodding. The words didn't light my head as the film did. Perhaps if I had read it first I may be more critical of the film. However, not the case for say Dan Brown whose prose is plodding but whose structure and ideas created brilliant images for me. The film also worked and didn't disappoint. However, read the book if you can as the subject of the west mistreating Africans for its own profits and health is a serious matter
  • (4/5)
    Saw the film first, so maybe I missed out on some of the suspense, but still found the book to be an enjoyable page turner. I like Carre's dialogue in particular. I would like to read some more of his stuff I think.
  • (5/5)
    One of the first of Le Carre's social novels. Now also released as a film. Vastly different to his early spy thrillers, but also very similar in style. It is written in Le Carre's slow third person prose. Watching characters from over their shoulder and many paragraphs of their inner most thoughts, the turmoils of being human in a world that is never black and white, and where signals can be easily misinterpreted. The basis of the book is Kenya - Nairobi. The opening chapters could almost be one of his early spy thriller. The politics and lives of governemnt officials, holding parties and trying to see through another day. But then comes the news that Tessa Quayle nee Abbot the beautiful wife of one of thier staff Justin, has been found murdered up country in the wild areas. After various flashbacks the point of view changes and Justin takes centre stage. Justin who's only hobby had been gardening of the title, trys to ressurect the research that Tessa had been conducting in private, to find out, in the spirit of conspirancy theories everywhere, if this what had caused her to be killed. He travels around the world as only an inherited fortune can allow you to do, meeting secretly with the various players in the game. Detail slowly emerge that maybe everything was not as it should be in the murky world of pharma corporations and Africa. The book is fiction. This must be bourne in mind all the time. Yet it is also a very powerful commentry on modern society and the power of multinational companies. As le Carre says in the afterword, not all of them, but some. He names no names, but I doubt any american reading this can avoid thinking of Vioxx. Slow and ponderous it is also a gripping read. The atmosphere of life in africa is only sparing described, but the people and policies of international politics and the workings of government policy are rendered in vivid detail as always.
  • (3/5)
    First-world greed milks third-world need. Spies, murder, international conspiracy, etc. Probably well-done for its genre, but not my cup of tea.
  • (1/5)
    This has to be the most boring book that I have ever read. The only reason I finished reading it was (being an eternal optimist) that I thought nothing could be this bad - there must be a plot twist or ending that would redeem this book. The end was _so_ anticlimactic , I couldn't believe this book actually got published.
  • (4/5)
    John le Carr? is incapable of writing a bad sentence, and frequently writes good ones. This gives him a major head start on the pack and always has. Yes, he writes thrillers, but they are highbrow thrillers which attempt to do more than while away a few hours in the airport lounge. This book took me a fortnight to read, which is unusual for me. It is not a page-turner. More precisely, I found turning the pages to be a good idea, but not absolutely essential. The highlight for me was the masterful way in which grief was explored: Justin for his murdered Tessa. The lowlight was the over-elaborate way the plot was spun out with what the author considered to be subtle nuances of characterisation and colour; some worked, others got on my nerves. Particularly irritating - because incomprehensible - was the cagey way Justin responded to the police, as though he didn't want Tessa's murderers found. This labouring of tension - taking secrecy and subterfuge to the limit and then slightly beyond - is a gripe I've had with several other of his works as well. But the ending was very fine, and the book is staying in my memory warts and all.
  • (4/5)
    This was a suprisingly effective and moving thriller. I read it prior to seeing the movie. Actually, I was finishing it up just as the lights dimmed for the film. I'd never read much Le Carre but this book put me in the mind of a pop Graham Greene. It's a perfectly paced thriller that manages to be socially conscious and entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    Slow start and quite complicated but great story. Loved the film when I saw it a few years ago. Plan to watch it again.
  • (3/5)
    This novel was a chilling, fictional story of the fight against a pharmaceutical company, and the corporate and political corruption that destroyed a man's life. This wasn't an action-packed-bullets-flying-all-over mystery book. This was the story of a man (Justin) who simply wanted to know who murdered his wife and why. Justin must wade through a world where human life is expendable and money and political power is key. I thought the dialog was realistic, humorous at times, and heartbreaking in sections (espc. when Justin is interrogated about his wife's murder). Overall, I thought the lead characters were fleshed out, the dialog sharp, and the story entertaining.
  • (3/5)
    This was not the story I wanted to read right now. Possibly ten years ago would have been better. First of all, I did not finish this story. The delivery of thoughts and information is choppy, jumpy, disjointed, and the story is depressing like crazy. I know of issues with giant pharmacopeia and their manipulations and I don't want to read this story about it. I could not find a character to care about, and that is essential to me.However, that does not mean others won't enjoy it very much. If you enjoy conspiracy, layers of plot and grand vistas, you will probably enjoy this one.
  • (3/5)
    The first 75% of the book was good but the last part was not satisfying. I just didn't like the ending. My least satisfactory LeCarre book.
  • (4/5)
    One of the reviewers on Amazon complained that this book had little to do with gardening. Good grief!

    I think Le Carre has made the transition from Cold War spy novels to contemporary issue thrillers quite handsomely. In this book, he really goes after the pharmaceutical companies, accusing them not only of unethical practices using Africans as guinea pigs, but also suggests they would kill anyone whom might deign to challenge their unholy hegemony.

    It's also truly a great love story. The relationship of trust and reliance that emerges gradually through the course of the novel between Tessa and Justin is really wonderful. Unusual perhaps; striking, nevertheless.

    This is a tale of grand corruption on an international scale but also a celebration (albeit tragic) of the idealistic individual. But I warn you, it's a dark tale.
  • (4/5)
    The wife of a British diplomat in Nairobi is found brutally murdered, and her husband pieces together the events of the last months and days of her life to try to find out who did it. Meanwhile, those involved in the conspiracy around her murder thwart his efforts.If Carre were not a master writer, this would be a pretty uninteresting book... But Carre is a master writer, and the characters are vivid and the suspense is well-crafted. There is nothing profound or earth-shattering about this book, but it is an engaging page-turner.
  • (3/5)
    THE CONSTANT GARDENER. A brisk but rickety, uneven read. Le Carre's got an excellent, twisty mind for subterfuge and intringue and gimlet-eyed maneuvering, as well as a (usually) supernatural ability to twist a phrase. These are great things, and he's unstoppable once he brings his big guns out. But here, he gets so bogged down in stamping SAINT and SINNER on the foreheads of each of his characters that he swerves into patches of smarmy sanctimony. The realities underlying the plot of his book are, in themselves, so fucking grim that Le Carre's attempts to jerk our strings plays out as unseemly and hammy. SIDENOTE: Also! Gotta say that I'm sick of stories about the Beloved White Saviors (hi Tessa!) of Poor Impoverished, Corrupt, Helpless Africa (hi Wanza! And, you know. All the other African characters of any real significance!). Made my skin crawl in the same way as THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Because, seriously, if Le Carre strung any more garlands around Tessa's neck (HER SERVANTS - IE BLACK PEOPLE - LOVED HER SO MUCH. SO DID OTHER BLACK PEOPLE. WHATTA LADY.) he'd have garroted her. But, yeah. Kipling already played out this burden. Let's get real, and let's not simplify it to some overemoted crap. It's not angels versus demons, it's complex and it's people versus people.
  • (3/5)
    This book took me an age to get through. I read it on recommendation from my boyfriend because we wanted to watch the film but wanted to read the book first. The first part of the novel, i.e. the part which doesn't follow Justin on his journey is very dull. It plants the seeds of something great, which is why I carried on reading, however its not until about 200 pages in that the pace picks up, when Justin starts investigating his wife's murder. The book is thought provoking and the imagery of Africa is outstanding but I expected much more from the story.
  • (4/5)
    Le Carre has been hit and miss for the past decade but this is definitely one of his better recent books. THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a more emotional offering than the author's earlier fare; there's a strong sense of moral outrage (a trait also in evidence in his three subsequent novels). Le Carre has left the Cold War and entered the Hot Zone of the present day--his prose is more impassioned and his message never more relevant.
  • (2/5)
    I found this book tricky to follow at times. I was well into the book before I felt I had a good grasp of who the characters were and what they were about. It took solidmonth to finish this story, not because of its length, but because I never really had that have-to-read-it-every-chance-I-get kind of feeling. It dragged on for me.
  • (2/5)
    This book was kind of disappointing to me. I thought it would be almost an epic book. Instead it was a medium book that extended more than it could. The prolongation of the story withdrawed any suspense of it.
  • (4/5)
    I have heard some say that of all LeCarre's books, this is the weakest. I confess that, while I'm familiar with the names of many of his other books, this is the first of his I've read. I have to say, I really loved it. It is a tender piece of storytelling, subtle in all the right ways that make the imagination work to fill in the rest, resulting in intense and complicated emotion. The story is about the death of Justin Quayle's wife, and his search to find out the truth. On his journey, he takes us along the emotional and circumstantial road of their union. By all appearances it was, at least for her, a marriage of convenience. For him, quiet, soft spoken, it was of the heart. But the words, never spoken, leave a chasm after her death of unresolved conflicts, both emotional and real. Was her involvement as a human rights activist what lead to her death? Or was it something more? Was she the constant wife, or did her affections lie elsewhere? His work as a diplomat, and hers with human rights, meant that they knew little about the professional sides of each others' lives. But did they know each other at all? It's a moving, gripping story, full of suspense and intrigue and yet paints a picture of a very intimate relationship, that, despite its flaws, its necessary sacrifices, was something worth remembering, worth fighting to understand, and, perhaps, renders life not worth living without.
  • (2/5)
    Struggled to get through this.
  • (4/5)
    Great story, but typically dark
  • (5/5)
    A delight to listen a great actor reading in different accents to distinguish characters. Le Carré would have been please with such a good preference of his work. Highly recommended
  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Le Carre' is a gifted storyteller. This book is captivating, compelling and complex (any other "c" words I could use in that alliteration?). It is not a feel good story, if that is what is desired; the ending is frustrating, but exactly what needed to happen.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile