Monday, April 24, 2006

38. "The Constant Gardener" ~ John Le Carre

If you are a mystery aficianado, you cannot survive any discussion on the art of genre writing without knowing John Le Carre's work. The Spy That Came In From the Cold literally created a new twist to the mystery -- a hero *can* die at the end of a book. Oops. Sorry about giving it away.

With this admiration for the author, I found myself perplexed when, one-third of the way through this novel, I felt restless. Set in Africa, the story is about a British diplomat for the Nairobi High Commission, Justin, and his journey through the mystery of his wife's murder.

The film received rave reviews. However, I have a personal policy. If I know that the movie is based on a book, I read the book first. Therefore, I have not seen the movie. Please, tell me that the movie is good.

I beg for this because I am astonished at my visceral response to this book. The wife, Tessa, seemed spoiled and self-indulgent, even if she were doing good deeds. Justin is a cuckolded flake. Their relationship seems more and more absurd as the book stretches on. I skimmed the last thirty pages, then threw the book into the "puke bucket" next to my bed (I've been ill). Perfect shot, I'd say.

1.0 out of 5.0 Angry Dwarves.


Becky said...

The movie is fantastic. I usually try to read the book before seeing the movie, but it sounds like in this case it's a good thing I didn't.

Chadley said...

The movie is quite good...Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz do an excellent job.

Darren said...

So it's not just me then.

I've never got the hang of John Le Carré - never understood why he was raved about so much over the years. Like you, I started a few of his books but rarely struggled as far as the final chapter.

Anonymous said...

I liked the book better than the movie. Alhtough I tended to skim over much of his unecessary and overly drawn out descriptions. Ralph Fiennes was an excellent choice for the role of Justin. And although I think the book did a much better job at capturing the true scandal and plight of a made up drug company profitting at the expense of teh expendable african, the movie captured the visual essence of the book particularly well... sorry to go against the grain here.... I don't have a blog therefore I am anonymous..... linked through the emerging writers network. I am an instant fan of this blog.

Kristin Dodge said...

I appreciate all comments... even if you completely bash me under an anonymous flag. If everyone agreed with me, they wouldn't read this. Or I'd rule the world.

I need to see the movie.