Customer Reviews


90 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (24)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (13)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!
I read the book after seeing the film so this may have made it easier to follow for me. I absolutely loved the film and while there are quite a lot of differences between the film and the book, I was not dissapointed.

The story follows Justin trying to trace the killers of his wife Tessa. We get to know Tessa through her husbands flashbacks and the story is...
Published on 19 May 2006 by M. Todd

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A plot smothered by narrative.
I became a Le Carre addict two decades ago. But his latest novel has now cured me. The theme - not so much a plot - is relatively straightforward and has great potential. But Le Carre has got carried away with his well known love of character development. Unfortunately The Constant Gardener has no characters of interest, and none of them even approach credibility. They...
Published on 25 Mar 2001


‹ Previous | 18 9 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All in all a good story, 23 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Although this book was not an exciting by the seat of your pants ride that an avid suspense mystery reader would expect when purchasing a book, The Constant Gardener is a very acceptable story that is not difficult to follow and quite boring for the first few chapters. Although Tessa Quail's memory haunts the entire process, the villian is not unexpected. If you have some spare time give it a read, but don't cancel your teatime for the climax.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars John Le Carré has decided to become a righteous zealot, 8 Feb 2001
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Hardcover)
Although parts of the novel are gripping, on the whole the tempo was definitely not allegre. In fact it became rather boring in part and he has not really done very much in depth research of his subject. On the whole unless you are really looking for a little dirt on what is already common knowledge about big pharma or big medical device companies for that matter, I would not bother to read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, boring, monotonous, 9 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
I was not able to finish this boring book. The book has some unbelievably dumb developments of the plot, which did put me off quite a bit. Every minute I spent reading this book was wasted until I put the book down for good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pick any Le Carre but this, 13 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
As an avid John Le Carre fan, having read the Spy who came in from the Cold, his latest novel The Constant Gardner, jumped off the shelf at me and begged to be bought! Eager to share his brilliance with the rest of the club I was quite pleased with my choice - oh how wrong could I be....
Constant Gardner is based in Africa telling the tale of the local British diplomats. Our unlikely hero, Justin Quayle, has no more interest in British politics than I have and appears to be merely serving out his time, until his wife is murdered. Like all grieving husbands he takes matters into his own hands and launches an investigation which takes him into the murky underground of politics and exploitation.
Normally a book of this nature written by Le Carre, would be well thought out, meticulously planned and grippingly good. Unfortunately the author seems to have slipped into the modern day trap of meeting a deadline regardless of the quality of the book, if you do decide to read a John Le Carre novel pick anyone but this.
The Techie
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, 24 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
You know most of what the plot is going to be from the start. You know who the good guys and the bad guys are. The conspiracy isn't a new one (Big pharmaceutical companies behaving unethically? - yawn. Government conspiring with big business? - yawn). That might not matter so much if Le Carre's prose was entertaining, but it isn't. His moral outrage doesn't even seem genuine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Going, 7 April 2010
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
I bought this book because I thought I'd like to see the film but read the book first. It was all because of the film publicity and only later did I realise it was a John le Carre, who I had heard of but ever read. It took me a while to get into his style of prose and he is indeed a fine writer. The story was far too long and would have beeen greatly improved by being cut by at least 30%. It just went on and on and the inner workings of the supposed pharmaceutical industry which he dealt with in such great detail was so boring. There were whole sections where I just had to skim read , otherwise I would never have finished the book. It just wasn't necessary to take in all those countries, but I suppose the author has to show off how well travelled and cultured he is. The author tried to introduce new technology into the book showing that he was trying hard to be part of the modern world, also it was full of stereotypes of whites and blacks; both showing he is an old fashioned bloke desperately trying to keep up with the times. His description of the workings of the British High Commission is however spot on, whatever he says in his disclaimer. I have worked in a British High Commission and his portrayal was highly recognisable. I managed to finish this awfully convoluted tale partly because through delays I was stuck in an airport for 5 hours; it is likely that this will be my first and last John le Carre.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars slow and tedious read, 17 April 2001
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Hardcover)
The book had a lot of hype. I expected a gripping story that is impossible to put down but although the plot may be believable it was hard work to get through the book. I did not bother to read the last pages. Very disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictably PC, 30 Mar 2008
By 
CharlesV (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
Easy read, enjoyable if you can ignore the inane politics of evil multinationals, demonized moslems and victim culture. Harder to ignore is the ghastly heroine ("a concerned member of the public, a lawyer, .. a rights campaigner..deeply involved in aid work"), an odious prig, sickeningly beloved by her servants, tearfully sent off by her African worshippers ("Tessa our friend, goodbye..you came to us..you gave us your heart..goodbye"), politically correct and a depressing window into LeCarre's fantasy world. After hundreds of pages describing Big Pharma's crimes: corruption, exploitation, third world guinea-pigging, intimidation, torture, and murder, he tells us that even this is "by comparison with reality..as tame as a holiday postcard". On what planet is this idiot leftie on? By contrast, rights campaigners, Africans (poor ones), pharma watchdogs (off to a Rio conference), aid workers (one gives a "lovely wave") and even Italian villagers are all wonderfully sincere and decent. Ex-pats, diplomats and their wives needless to say are bitchy, spoilt and remote. It's a simple tale of good-bad sterotypes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad taste, 15 Nov 2005
By 
gill edmondson (manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
i read this last year and found it overall a fairly depressing book. it is set in africa where a the wife of a colonial ambassador has been brutally murdered out in the bush; it is about his reaction and politics (with a small and large p!) and the cynicism of and brutality encouraged by capitalism.
i liked the descriptions of africa (tho found them rather patronising) but never felt any sympathy for the man or his wife, clearly cogs in the wheel who never questioned their british idea of superiority.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Spy Read, 30 Sep 2004
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
This isn't a great spy read but it isn't too bad. It's alright. It follows Harvey Telpath and his various liberations. He also knows some other people who are illegal and eat heartily.
Remember - if you laugh at these men that means you have a mediocre sense of humour and are as worthless as a crumb of a crumb in an infinitely huge pile of crumbs. But fear ye not, your mediocrity makes you a true hero in the tapestry that we call life. I found it enjoyable, no, actually I hated it. Buy it. Don't buy it. Buy it. Don't buy it. Buy it. Don't buy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 18 9 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré (Paperback - 10 Oct 2005)
£5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews