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The Constant Gardener: A Novel de John le…
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The Constant Gardener: A Novel (2001 original; edició 2005)

de John le Carre

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,781801,916 (3.6)116
Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, John le Carre's new 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 Carre portrays, in "The Constant Gardener," the dark side of unbridled capitalism. His eighteenth 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.Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.… (més)
Membre:elaine3ee
Títol:The Constant Gardener: A Novel
Autors:John le Carre
Informació:Scribner (2005), Edition: Media Tie-In, Paperback, 482 pages
Col·leccions:Per llegir
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

El jardiner constant de John le Carré (2001)

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» Mira també 116 mencions

Anglès (66)  Francès (4)  Neerlandès (4)  Castellà (2)  Italià (1)  Alemany (1)  Noruec (1)  Grec (1)  Totes les llengües (80)
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My previous reading of le Carré has been limited to his political thrillers. This book is in some regards quite different, although I'd have to say that overall it does carry the same sensibility.

The enemy in this book is Big Pharma, and Africa is the land under attack. A multi-national is ruthlessly testing an anti-tuberculosis drug with lethal side-effects, especially for pregnant women, on impoverished native populations. Their objective is to work out the kinks quickly without bothering with proper clinical trials, before presenting it for sale in well-paying Western markets.

Note: [b:The Constant Gardener|19000|The Constant Gardener|John le Carré|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348649766l/19000._SY75_.jpg|1442776] was written in 2001, well before so much of the US was victimized by the opioid crisis unleashed by real world Big Pharma. The setting was different, but the greed and the human costs were uncannily similar, and the comparison was continuously on the edges of my mind as I read.

le Carré exposes these exploitative crimes by means of a love story set within the British embassy community in Nairobi. Tessa is the decades-younger wife of Justin Quayle, a career diplomat who has studiously created a pleasant but somewhat uninvolved life where his greatest passion is cultivating plants, not relationships. That changes once they meet, and the momentum of the book stems from Justin's attempts at becoming reconciled to his failure to commit fully to his love for Tessa, and to her zeal for confronting injustice.

Although his interior life was upended by his unanticipated love for her, externally Justin he attempted to maintain the same public face - until she was murdered while on a humanitarian mission. His determination to unearth the truth about what she was investigating and the circumstances of her death lead him to actions that are completely inconsistent with his prior understanding of himself.

But what of Tessa? Well, she's certainly more fully developed as a character than most women in le Carré novels. Coming from a background of extreme privilege she chooses to ignore her wealth and beauty unless they are used in the service of obtaining justice for the underserved. She defiantly pursues her own agendas rather than meeting the typical expectations of a spouse of an embassy official. This is what we see of her from the outside, but we are not privileged to an interior view. We learn much more of Justin than of her.

Which brings me to an element of the book that is, in a way, the most different from le Carré's spy novels. There is no moral ambiguity to the characters or the causes. Tessa is a paragon of virtue, as is Justin following her death. There are no real redeeming qualities to Big Pharma, and while some of its representatives may regret their involvement (Lara wholeheartedly and Lorbeer in a conflicted way), all are driven by greed.

By contrast, the cold war thrillers were haunted by a sense of whether the things that Smiley (and others) did in pursuit of their cause justified the outcomes. There is no question that this is a very different story and perhaps that equivocal quality would be inappropriate, but I will confess to becoming a bit discouraged with the unrelenting rightness of Tessa's/Justin's cause.

Or maybe that's just a form of compassion fatigue by the time I'd finished the book. There was so much to be outraged about, such a sharp demonstration of the weaknesses of the human condition, of "man's inhumanity to man" on so many levels. Of how easy it is to look the other way when its inconvenient.

As always, le Carré has much to share, and does it with his incomparable prose. ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
175/38 ( )
  Will_Trent | Jul 19, 2022 |
Excellent except for the long trail in the last 50 pages or so. The quest to uncover the conspiracy was the book's main interest (for me), and once that was solved, the protagonist's personal quest seemed a little tedious. ( )
  gtross | Apr 29, 2022 |
> La revue de presse (Le Figaro et AFP agence) - Publié le 14/12/2020
Ce thriller captivant, situé au Kenya, dépeint en particulier les machinations des multinationales du secteur pharmaceutique.
En 2005, dans une adaptation au cinéma, Ralph Fiennes a incarné le diplomate britannique enquêtant sur la mort de sa femme. Rachel Weisz a remporté un Oscar pour son rôle d'épouse militante au destin tragique.

> L'espion qui venait du froid, Un pur espion, La Taupe... Les livres qui ont fait la gloire de John Le Carré
Décédé à l'âge de 89 ans, le romancier britannique laisse derrière lui vingt-cinq ouvrages au succès colossal. L'ancien employé du MI6 a vu une grande partie de son œuvre adaptée au cinéma.
Maître britannique du roman d'espionnage et auteur au succès aussi bien critique que public, John le Carré est décédé à l'âge de 89 ans. Durant sa longue carrière, l'écrivain a publié 25 livres, qui se sont écoulés à quelque 60 millions d'exemplaires dans le monde entier. Voici un choix non exhaustif de ses œuvres les plus admirées, pour la plupart adaptées sur grand écran, depuis le début d ses débuts en 1961 jusqu'en 2011. … ; (en ligne),
URL : https://amp-lefigaro-fr.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.lefigaro.fr/livres/le-directe...
  Joop-le-philosophe | Jan 22, 2021 |
I can't decide if Tessa was an utter fool who committed suicide or an utter fool who was trying to be a hero. I realize that we only see her through the eyes of people who adored her unconditionally, but why were those people so damn blind? She was self-sacrificing to a terrifying fault. ( )
  rabbit-stew | Nov 15, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 80 (següent | mostra-les totes)
afegit per DouglasAtEik | editaThe Guardian, Giles Foden (Dec 23, 2000)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (12 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
le Carré, Johnautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lundwall, Sam JTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Moppes, Rob vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Taylor, MattAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wit, J.J. deTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
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--"Andrea del Sarto" by Robert Browning
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For Yvette Pierpaoli who lived and died giving a damn
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The news hit the British High Commission in Nairobi at nine-thirty on a Monday Morning.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated, John le Carre's new 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 Carre portrays, in "The Constant Gardener," the dark side of unbridled capitalism. His eighteenth 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.Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

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