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Publisher's Summary

The beautiful Tessa Quayle is murdered near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. And her putative African lover and travelling companion has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa’s husband, a career diplomat and amateur gardener at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. On his way he meets terror, violence and conspiracy, but his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.
©2001 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

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By Rosalind on 02-09-12


Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I found it interesting, particularly because it took part in a country which is dear to my heart.<br/>I find le Carre books quite difficult to follow at times. Even though they don't adopt the now popular editing method of jumping ahead in time then back again, which adds pace and anticipation to a novel, but can also be confusing.

If you’ve listened to books by John le Carré before, how does this one compare?

This is only the second book of his that I have listened to, and I did enjoy it.

Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I thought he did a splendid job of the narration,

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not at all. I paced it over about 4 days, which was just fine.

Any additional comments?

I found it a little drawn out and it probably took a little too long to reach the vital moment of exposing the full plot and motivation. I feel that clever editing could have improved it, but that was fundamentally the old school of writing. Or perhaps thats just the way le Carre wanted it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Nicholas on 04-13-13

A long way from Smiley, but just as excellent

I knew a little of the shadowy side of the giant Pharma corporations, and I new a little of the problems facing Africa in the form of TB and other serious diseases. Putting the two together and we in the west have yet more to be deeply ashamed of.

This is a beautiful and sad book with characters to love, pity and loathe. And all wrapped up in the typical Le Carre way. Perfect.

Michael Jayston narrates perfectly.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By joanna green on 11-30-14

Emotional, addictive and typical Le Carre

What made the experience of listening to The Constant Gardener the most enjoyable?

The story is so leading. Having listened to a number of Le Carre's more traditional spy thrillers, this is a bit of a side step into international relations and politics, but it is just as tense, and more emotional because of the crime being investigated. You stay with the protagonist all the way through to the inevitable ending.

What other book might you compare The Constant Gardener to, and why?

If you imagine the storyline of a John Grisham set in the tense world of Le Carre's spys, this marries the two together. I really love it, although I found it very emotional to listen to. The protagonist is almost a younger less disillusioned Smiley

What about Michael Jayston’s performance did you like?

I love Michael Jayston's performance on this- there is a hint of a cautious observer, combined with passion that moves with the flow. I have listened to a number of his narration a of Le Carre's books and it always convinces me to get it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is a very emotional story, and a side step for Le Carre in this sense. Your heart does bleed for the protagonist, and having watched the film before listening to this, I knew the ending and was dreading it. Don't let this put you off- it's not overdrawn, but a necessary, inevitable resolution.

Any additional comments?

I really love this story! The narration is beautiful and the story moves in the way you expect a Le Carre to move.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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By Paddington on 02-26-16

Fascinating story

This was an interesting story about the systemic corruption surrounding a pharmaceutical company exploiting and ripping off Africans and world Heath organisations with untested and lethal drugs, making false claims and making billions of dollars. Greed, corruption, exploration, ruthless murder of any ethical people who attempt to expose them .... are all part of this saga. So called respectable high ranking British public servants are bought off and repichly rewarded. The ending was too swift and disappointing. As an Australian in Sydney I can say the narrator had difficulty imitating the voice of the Australian pilot. He shouldn't have attempted it! It was irritating!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Sally on 03-11-17

Complicated and intriguing

Complicated but clever storyline. Beautifully read - gripping ending.
If you enjoy murder mysteries with plenty of corruption- you'll love this audible book!

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