[Ebook] ↠ The Constant Gardener Author – Thomashillier.co.uk

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13 thoughts on “The Constant Gardener

  1. says:

    Where does the creator of George Smiley, expert spy master of the cold war, go find a new theme Le Carre readers must have asked themselves this question Fortunately, after a couple of attempts in different directions, Le Carre has found a new cause Pharmaceutical companies and their dealings, in particular in Africa He tackles a highly sensitive and complex set of issues As he says himself in the acknowledgements, in comparison to real life, his revelations are as tame as a picture postcard.We learn about the almost random testing of drugs on innocent Africans who believe that the men in white will cure them We learn about the multi national complexities of the pharma industry and the decision makers who are far removed from the African reality We follow the scientists who, having signed deals with the company, were pressurized to either ignore or falsify the evidence of fatal side effects of the drug under investigation The drug is good, says one of the inventors of the drug, we just did not have enough time to test it out before releasing it The complete disregard for the lives of human guinea pigs who would die anyway reveals an incredible cynicism of the promoter of the drug in Africa, who repeats I love Africa The comprehensive network of evidence cover ups, disappearance of bodies and destruction of records, paints a bleak picture of the goings on in a country like Kenya The deals made by the Foreign Service in London as well as Nairobi, bring a touch of familiarity to the intrigue and the plot It is a novel, let s not forget it, although the reality of Kenya today is pretty realistically drawn with the corruption of the system, the readiness of the governments to strike deals with multinationals as well as the brutal police force, the Moi boys Le Carre is true to his reputation as an expert in character development With fine attention to detail, he creates a set of characters who are as much stereotypes of British Foreign and Secret Service operating in Africa as they are real and complex individuals The most intriguing character and the one who will attract most compassion from the reader, lives only through the descriptions, dialogues and daydreams of others She lived life fully until caught up in the drug scandal We know early on what happened to her, but Le Carre builds the events in a quest of discovery by her husband, the constant gardener He is changed in the process of the quest and brings the story to a logical conclusion.In the current debate around GMO genetically modified organism research, the difficulties some scientists experience when publishing critical research results on pharmaceuticals, the newly rekindled interest in Africa by western politicians, THE CONSTANT GARDENER is a very topical book It is also captivating, and, despite the gravity of the issues, a good and intriguing story.


  2. says:

    In the epilogue of THE CONSTANT GARDENER, John LeCarre says the story he he has just told is not completely truthful The truth is worse He points to the recent death in Kenya of Father John Kaiser, an American priest from Minnesota who had spent many years ministering to the needs of Kenyan Christians and was found dead of a bullet wound to the head fifty miles northwest of Nairobi.I think THE CONSTANT GARDENER can be compared to THE ENGLISH PATIENT Like the PATIENT, GARDENER is lyrical at times, and it is also composed of two stories one a tale of true love doomed from the first pages and the other a tale of death and destruction brought about by greedy government officials of both the European and African persuasion, large corporations, ambitious politicians, and religious fanatics.Lest one think this is a diatribe against Western capitalism, let me hasten to say LeCarre goes to some pains to point out the existence of BUKO Pharma Kampagne of Bielefed Germany, which is dedicated to separating the goats from the lambs in the pharmaceutical industry, and revealing the misdeeds of the former in the third world while pointing to the good deeds of the latter Think of BUKO as the OMB of the drug world..I did not find the love story and it s end as wrenching as that in PATIENT, though the scene at the morgue is terrible enough The main character, Justin Qualye, has something of George Smiley about him Although the rest of the world thinks his wife has been unfaithful, he doggedly pursues the truth and ignores what others say In the end, he finds he really did not know his wife Tessa, but he has been able to reconstruct a picture of her and she is with him in spirit Whether he is delusional with grief or she is a spirit guide or both the reader must judge.Although the book deals with pressing social issues that unfortunately I am too familiar with because of my work , many may not be aware of them If LeCarre succeeds in raising conciousnesses good for him Unfortunately, many people think the people of Africa are expendable Sadly, as elsewhere in the world, Muslim extremists are making things worse in Sudan, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa The role of the United Nations in this tale is sadly accurate The ray of light seems to be that those who would help Africa have finally realized it s salvation lies in the hands of women.


  3. says:

    I like John le Carres books, they manage to convey atmosphere so well you feel like you are in the place And I love and recognise the peculiar Englishness of his characters, but I am an older person so do wonder whether that stuffy strain is really reflective of modern people, it seems apropos to his cold war books This is a gentle telling of egregious and violent deeds, of corruption and greed It doesn t lecture, harangue the reader or over smart itself, it s very subtle and unfolds the story slowly through different characters eyes It will stay with me for a while


  4. says:

    Basically, a miseryfest think Bronte etc for literary comparisons Despite Le Carre s protestations in the after word that it s all lies ie fiction , you can t help picking up the impression that this plot happened in the real world It s not so much the Great deaths eg Mrs Quayle but the little ones brought to life sorry by Le Carre that also hit home It s a beautifully woven story maybe it does have a happy ending, Wuthering Heights style Not a book to read if you need cheering up, a must read for anyone in the pharmaceutical international development industry, and all interested parties.


  5. says:

    I grew up in Africa and yet I didn t relate to how the people behaved or lived in the book It felt to me like this book is stuck in the colonial past appropriate for the 1950s, yet the setting of the book is clearly modern.It seems to me that Mr Le Carre has relied on a very dated and perfunctory experience of life in Africa to build a 500 page book that just does not ring true A novel for a novel s sake I probably would have enjoyed it if I had been ignorant of the real life in Africa.


  6. says:

    Probably the best of Le Carre s recent work My wife says I ve seen the film, but I ve no recollection of it, so that didn t influence my view Good to see a spy story with an ethical storyline, and not too convoluted at that.Highly recommended


  7. says:

    I liked this book for the way it it explored so many aspects of personality and although a tragic end it highlighted the determination to seek to remedy a tragic set of circumstances against corrupt and powerful set of political and corporate regimes.


  8. says:

    Very pleased


  9. says:

    If you read le Carre s books from his first to his last you can see how he develops as an author They are always a joy to read and have provided me with many happy hours of entertainment I can highly recommend this book.


  10. says:

    I ve just discovered John Le Carre books This book inspires the seemingly untouchables to be brought to justice and victory for the ordinary people who make it possible A very good read, onward to George Smiley books.


  11. says:

    Beautifully written by a master of suspense I loved the detail and facts as well as the storytelling Each character described to perfection with all their flaws laid bare for the reader.


  12. says:

    Really enjoyed this book Lots of detail but kept me intrigued whilst also disgusted at how large companies pharmaceuticals operate.


  13. says:

    Great book as you would expect Not a quick read, you need to take your time and enjoy the characterisation and detail.


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