- Taschenbuch: 576 Seiten
- Verlag: Hodder & Stoughton; Auflage: New edition (4. Oktober 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 034073339X
- ISBN-13: 978-0340733394
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 11,1 x 17,5 x 3,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 11 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.044.631 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Constant Gardener (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. Oktober 2001
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"1 'A powerful, moving novel... essential reading' Sunday Telegraph
Tessa Quayle has been horribly murdered on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has disappeared. Her husband, Justin, 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. His quest takes him to the Foreign Office in London, across Europe and Canada and back to Africa, to the depths of South Sudan, and finally to the very spot where Tessa died. On his way Justin meets terror, violence, laughter, conspiracy and knowledge. But his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Ich brauchte erst einige Zeit, bis ich mich an den langsamen Rhythmus von "Constant Gardener" gewöhnt hatte - und wurde dafür mit einem der gewaltigsten Werke über die Ausbeutung Afrikas belohnt. Der Autor schickt den naiven Gutmenschen Quayle auf eine desillusionierende Reise durch Kenia und Europa, und durch seine Augen lernt der Leser die Wahrheiten hinter Tessas kurzem Leben und ihrem Tod kennen; Tessa wird in Quayles Suche auf bewegende Weise zum Leben erweckt. Zugleich zeichnet Le Carré ein differenziertes Bild von Kenia und seinen Anrainerstaaten, wo sich die Korruption der einheimischen Machthaber mit einer skrupellosen Pharmaindustrie verbündet. Der Blick des Autors auf Afrika und auf die Industriestaaten ist scharf und unbarmherzig; gutgemeinte humanitäre Hilfe wird durch das System pervertiert, die Männer Schwarzafrikas wirtschaften den Kontinent mit Egoismus und Kriegstreiberei zugrunde, und gewissenlose westliche Konzerne benutzen die Gier der Machthaber zur gnadenlosen Ausbeutung Afrikas. Ganz besonders bewegt hat mich jedoch Le Carrés Überzeugung, dass ohne den unermüdlichen Einsatz der Frauen Familien nicht überleben könnten; Frauen stellen für den Autor die einzige Hoffnung für Afrika dar.
Ich habe selten so einen eindringlichen und bewegenden Roman gelesen. Trotz des anfangs langsamen Tempos 5 Sterne.
The English Gardener is the most unusual and darkest of all the Le Carre novels about human nature, exceeding even The Little Drummer Girl in these regards. This book has more in common with the psychological crisis in Heart of Darkness than with the George Smiley spy novels. You will definitely, however, find some stylistic carry-overs from the cold war books.
Despite all of The English Gardener's emotionally disturbing features, there is beauty here . . . the beauty of idealism, love, and honor. Even in the densest, most forbidding jungle, wild flowers will relieve the darkness and provide hope. Every reader will be challenged to her or his core by the thought, "You think you're solving the world's problems but actually you're the problem."
Before describing the novel in more detail, let me caution all of those who are easily upset by the human ability to be inhumane, that this book teems with incidents of inhumanity in many of its worst forms. The emotional impact of this novel is intense and lasting. You may well have dreams (or nightmares) about it.
On the surface, the book is a detective story. Fragmentary reports and rumors seep in of a horrific and mysterious murder in Kenya of Tessa Quayle, the young newly-wed wife of a middle-aged British diplomat, Justin Quayle. Everyone knows more than they are telling, and seems to want to hush matters up except for two young English investigators. The press soon is having a field day making speculations about what Tessa was doing traveling under her maiden name with a black Doctor and sharing a room with him. Yet appearances are deceiving, and Justin soon begins to unravel an international plot of insidious proportions.
Tessa was a lawyer, and she had stumbled across "a great crime." Because of her husband's diplomatic role, they had agreed that she should pursue her investigation without involving him. "She follows her conscience. I get on with my job." As a result, he remained in his domesticated garden of diplomatic activity while she was stalking big game in the jungle of corporate greed. With her death, he leaves the garden of Eden having eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, and follows her pathway.
Many people will find that the plot moves too slowly for them. After 30 percent of the book, you will already have figured out the mystery of "a great crime" (even if someone doesn't tell you the plot in advance as some reviewers may do). Clearly, the book could have been shortened by 100 to 150 pages without losing any important material from my perspective.
While you are dragging through document after document, keep in mind the benefits of Le Carre's approach. One reason for this extra length is because Le Carre provides elaborate raw detail, so that the reader feels like he or she is Justin and pursuing the wrong-doing directly. Another benefit of this bulk is that readers who may not be familiar with the details of pharmaceutical research, political lobbying, and business promotional practices will avoid being lost by the story. If you are familiar with this type of information, the story will definitely drag. Another reason for the involved material is that Le Carre is painting with a very broad brush and wants to be sure that you know that he is indicting all of society . . . not just the bad guys. The final reason seems to be a desire to present the fumbling efforts of an amateur investigator in a realistic way. All in all, these sections work, but they are extraordinarily laborious for the reader.
I thought that the main weakness of the book related to the actions of the business people involved. I found their greed, short-sightedness, and viciousness to be so extreme as to not be credible. A novelist asks us to suspend our disbelief inorder to enjoy the story. Here, the author has gone too far. Le Carre would have done well to have backed off a bit and colored them with some white and gray as well. As depicted, these executives seem to be pure disciples of Satan himself. That darkness is relieved by having many characters with white and gray qualities as well, but modern readers are accustomed to a bit more reality in their novels.
An important minor weakness is found in the science involved. Those who like great scientific realism will find the descriptions here a little off the mark in several places, particularly in terms of how toxicity is tested and revealed.
The book's greatest strength is challenging the natural human tendency to focus on what's right around us, the garden we tend. If we do so, we are very vulnerable to having those who watch the guardians be corrupted. In the process of that debasement, we are all lost. "We all betrayed her." is the sentence in this book that will haunt you afterwards. In this way, John Donne's poetry of "No Man Is An Island" is recalled.
A particularly rewarding stylistic device is starting the narration from the perspective of an outside observer who does not know the facts before switching to Justin's perspective. As a result, you will appreciate better the extent to which appearances can be deceiving . . . like the beautiful garden that a murderer may have filled with the bodies of victims.
After you have finished the story and have let its power wash over you, I suggest that you pick an area where you can explore ways to improve awareness of and interest in moral choices. How can you help others become constant to their moral purposes?
Look out for the needs of others, who are not speaking to you about their suffering!
PS: In my opinion, this is one of the few books I know that were picturised in a movie successfully.
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