The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
|Author: John Le Carre|
| "The Constant Gardener" is a magnificent exploration of the new world order by one of the most compelling and elegant storytellers of our time. The novel opens in northern Kenya with the gruesome murder of Tessa Quayle -- young, beautiful, and dearly beloved to husband Justin. When Justin sets out on a personal odyssey to uncover the mystery of her death, what he finds could make him not only a suspect among his own colleagues, but a target for Tessa's killers as well. |
A master chronicler of the betrayals of ordinary people caught in political conflict, John le Carre portrays the dark side of unbridled capitalism as only he can. In "The Constant Gardener" he tells a compelling, complex story of a man elevated through tragedy, as Justin Quayle -- amateur gardener, aging widower, and ineffectual bureaucrat -- discovers his own natural resources and the extraordinary courage of the woman he barely had time to love.
Tessa Quayle, the lovely wife of a member of the British Foreign Service based in Nairobi, is killed in a mysterious car accident near a lake in Kenya. Tessa was an activist who had recently come across sensitive documents exposing an international corporate conspiracy to exploit Kenya's poor. Tessa's husband, Justin, has been a mild-mannered official for decades, but when he decides to get to the bottom of Tessa's death, he discovers that he has an unexpected capacity to go against the grain. He'll need it, as his journey to the truth takes him through many levels of corporate and diplomatic intrigue in Kenya, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, and Canada. This novel by master of the spy thriller John Le Carre was adapted into a 2005 film starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz.
"The novel dramatically bares what the accumulation of fact or a high-minded dialectic will never disclose. No serious novelist can do more. To be sure, Le Carr? has never quite gotten his due in literary England.... [But] that realm's neglect may ultimately be proof of Le Carr?'s genius." - Shannon Hamrick 12/14/2000 San Francisco Chronicle
Le Carr? is...a thoroughgoing literary artist....He deserves to be considered a major writer....[H]e sits more comfortably in the company of Bellow and Roth and Updike than the Forsyths and Ludlums of the world. THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a worthy addition to his large and consistently impressive oeuvre." - Erik Tarloff 12/31/2000 New York Times Book Review
"THE CONSTANT GARDENER reveals a new and far more Dickensian le Carr?....But where in Dickens the desire to improve the real world--to weigh in on the subject of debtor's prisons or child labor in factories--never interfered with creating a supremely inviting fictional world, one senses an impatience in THE CONSTANT GARDENER, as if le Carr? were chafing at his eagerness to have us admire his heroine as he does, to get us to believe. Taking sides with the angels, his novel unabashedly wears its heart on its sleeve." - Rand Richards Cooper 01/07/2001 Los Angeles Times
"Because he writes elegantly and because his characters engage us, we do not stop to wonder how well le Carre's discourse holds up. Though sentimentality is hard to resist, hostility to authority is not always a virtue, and the superior righteousness of the oppressed remains, as the Scots say, unproven." - Eugen Weber 01/14/2001 Chicago Tribune
"With THE CONSTANT GARDENER, le Carre proves once more that the themes of deception and betrayal that run through his work need nothing as dramatic as the Cold War for their expression; unbridled capitalism works just as well in exposing the flaws of human morality." - Chris Petrakos 01/14/2001 Houston Chronicle
"THE CONSTANT GARDENER exposes an ugly secret in which, knowingly or not, we are all complicit." 01/04/2001 Times Literary Supplement
"Richly detailed, full of righteous fire to offset its desperate prognosis, THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a very impressive piece of work. It is certainly on of John le Carre's best." - Sean O'Brien 01/15/2001 Guardian (London)
"THE CONSTANT GARDENER's conclusion may be somber, but the book breathes life, anger and excitement until the casual, near brutal realism of its last sentence." - Nigel Williams 12/17/2000