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Il giardiniere tenace by John Le Carré

Il giardiniere tenace (original 2001; edition 2001)

by John Le Carré

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3,685651,427 (3.59)99
Title:Il giardiniere tenace
Authors:John Le Carré
Collections:Your library
Tags:Diplomacy, Detective Story, Pharmaceutical Industry, Africa, Multinational companies

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The Constant Gardener by John le Carré (2001)


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English (57)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
I am probably one of very few who have not seen the movie version of this book, so it was new for me. Tagged as a murder mystery, suspense, thriller, it met my expectations. Tessa, the beautiful young wife of a British bureaucrat in Kenya, is murdered along with her driver and African colleague as they try to expose a pharmaceutical company's efforts to test a drug on an unwitting African population. Many of these human "guinea pigs" are dying from the drug's poisonous effects. As the husband, Justin Quayle, tries to find out who and why, he discovers a coverup that goes right up the chain of the government service he works for. The audio version kept me entertained for a few long car rides. ( )
  NanaCC | May 16, 2016 |
Despite le Carres' good character development, I was not as drawn into this story as I should have have been. It was good enough to keep me reading to the end with interest. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Mar 2, 2016 |
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. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Really good read. Gripping plot. ( )
  clarkland | Jan 5, 2016 |
this got significantly better for me but the first almost 200 pages were a real slog. although i enjoyed his writing, and recognized that he really is quite a good writer, i just had a really hard time with the foundation laying he did. and now that i'm done, i still think he could have done it better. but it certainly did improve, around page 200. i have no idea why the cover says "love at any cost" and why some reviews call this a love story (maybe the movie focuses on this?) but this is a story about corporate greed and corruption, big pharma and their bigger interest in making money than in helping people, and the fight against this. a very individual crusade, really. my kind of story, which is why i got more interested when that became more apparent. still, i always thought it should have been better, held my interest more, in spite of it being well written. i do like, because it's realistic that it ended the way it did, without justin (or tessa) winning the battle, and with all the big money and big corporations coming out ahead. as much as that sucks, it's way more real. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Aug 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
le Carré, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lundwall, Sam JTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moppes, Rob vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wit, J.J. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?
--"Andrea del Sarto" by Robert Browning
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743287207, Paperback)

British diplomat Justin Quayle, complacent raiser of freesias and doting husband of the stunning, much younger Tessa, has tended his own garden in Nairobi too long. Tessa is Justin's opposite, a fiery reformer, "that rarest thing, a lawyer who believes in justice," whose campaigns have earned her a nickname: "the Princess Diana of the African poor." But now Tessa has turned up naked, raped, and dead on a mysterious visit to remote Lake Turkana in Kenya. Her traveling companion (and lover?), the handsome Congolese-Belgian doctor Arnold Bluhm, has vanished. So has Quayle's complacency.

Tessa had been compiling data against a multinational drug company that uses helpless Africans as guinea pigs to test a tuberculosis remedy with unfortunately fatal side effects. Her report was destroyed by her husband's superiors; was she? It's all somehow connected to the sinister British firm House of ThreeBees, whose ad boasts that it's "buzzy for the health of Africa!" John le Carré symbolically associates ThreeBees with an ominous buzz in the Nairobi morgue: "Over [the corpses], in a swaying, muddy mist, hung the flies, snoring on a single note."

The home office tries to take Quayle in out of the cold. He cleverly eludes their clammy embrace, turns spy, and takes off on a global chase to avenge Tessa and solve her murder. Le Carré has lost none of his gift for setting vivid scenes in far-flung places expertly described: London, Germany, Saskatchewan, Kenya. His sprinting thriller prose remains in great shape. And thanks to his 16 years in the British Foreign Office, his merciless send-up of its cutthroat intrigues and petty self-delusions is unbelievably good--or rather, believably so. This is global do-gooder satire on a literary par with Doris Lessing's The Summer Before the Dark.

But you want to know if The Constant Gardener is as good as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Very nearly. Africa's nightmare is more complex than the cold war chess match, and the world pharmaceutical circus is tougher to dramatize than the old spy-versus-spy-versus-spymaster game. Still, le Carré can write a smart, melancholy page-turner, and his moral outrage (the real subject of his books) burns as brightly as ever. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When the young and beautiful wife of a much older embassy worker and amateur gardener is found murdered near northern Kenya's Lake Turkana, his personal pursuit of the killers not only sets him up as their next target, but as a suspect among his embassy colleagues.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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