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Il giardiniere tenace by John Le Carré
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Il giardiniere tenace (original 2001; edition 2001)

by John Le Carré

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3,411601,584 (3.59)90
Member:slowfox
Title:Il giardiniere tenace
Authors:John Le Carré
Info:Mondadori
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
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 (52)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Read during Summer 2002

It's a good sign when you can't put it down about 30 pages into it. Even though this is many years after Our Game, it was a good followup about discovering a person you thought you knew already. Here it is the violent death of Tessa Quayle that sets her husband Justin on a personal voyage to learn who she really was. It was hard to get over my distrust of Tessa, who is someone who protests about EVERYTHING and, after readin many spy novels, I was amazed at how open she was about her information but the story became more and more compelling as Justin follows her trail to find out why she died.
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
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. ( )
  Gwendydd | Nov 30, 2013 |
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. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This is my first John le Carre book and now I am reading the rest. Set in Africa with government baddies and bif Pharma. The movie is lovely and moving but it was better for reading the book. ( )
  WinstonDog | Apr 4, 2013 |
After I saw the movie, I thought I'd start again with a book in English. This one.
I liked it a lot, it was beter than the movie, like most books are better than 'the movies of..'. It was certainly not an easy read for me, starting again where I left off so many years ago. I was very impressed. Still I'll have to read it again to let it sink in properly. Will do. In ... ... (has no idea how many years ;-)) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John le Carréprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moppes, Rob vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wit, J.J. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?
--"Andrea del Sarto" by Robert Browning
Dedication
For Yvette Pierpaoli who lived and died giving a damn
First words
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:58 -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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