Wednesday, September 9, 2009

John le Carre The Constant Gardener

In Constant.

TITLE: The Constant Gardener
AUTHOR: John le Carre
PUBLISHER: Hodder and Stoughton, 2007
PAGES: 570
GENRE: Fiction
REVIEWER: Manuel Odeny

John le Carre novel was turned to the big screen to an Oscar nominated film by Focus Feature starring British awards winner Ralph Fienness and Golden Globe winner Rachel Weiz. The cast, like the story is set in Kenya. Kenyan actors were included on the cast.

Tessa Abbot the wife of a junior officer, Sandy Justin, at the British High Commission in Nairobi Kenya is killed in Lokichoggio near Lake Turkana on their way to Leakey archeological excavation site. A heart wretching and frightening story unfolds in a bid to find the murderers. Preliminary report points to a crime of passion.

With a wife he barely had time to love, Justin set out to uncover a dangerous conspiracy where god-profit is worshipped above humanity.

When a pharmaceutical firm wants to introduce a TB drug, Dypraxa to the market they use human guinea pigs. the firm in collaboration with the corrupt government of Kenya under Daniel arap Moi and his Gestapo uses a village in Ukambani as their laboratory.

It is only when a woman and her infant baby disappear at Uhuru hospital (Kenyatta National Hospital?) where they share a ward with Tessa Abbott that the greed of the pharmaceutical company is unearthed.

With his wife's murder Sandy Justin follows the trial to bring out the unflinching greed, heart wretching deceit and numb nerve quest for hallowed god-profit.

Although with about twenty articles under his belly this is the first le Carre novel i have read. The writer has got a twist with his pen in bring out what is happening in the real world. From Kibera slums in Nairobi, Lokichoggio and Lake Turkana in northern Kenya through the British government bureaucratic dung-hole to Kenyan government corruption is all fact crowned with fictitious characters to bring the dark side of de-regulated capitalism.

The author is experienced in gripping the reader in suspense, but the thought of a junior oficer bringing down an entire corrupt system from Kenya, to Britain and across German, Canada and Italy through Switzerland is a little bit overzealous if for the standard of thrillers.

But the over zealousness is what bring novels out to blockbuster movies like Bourne Series birth from Robert Ludlum and A Time to Kill by John Grisham.

It is at the beginning of chapter 11 that le Carre gives an intellectual statement:

John le Carre
"Out of the finely steered gossip of Whitehall and Westminster; out of parroted television sound bites and misleading images; out of otiose minds of journalist whose duty to enquire extend no further than the nearest deadline and the nearest free lunch a chapter of events was add to the sum of minor human history"

The statement calls for a thesis in scholarly journalism.

No comments:

Post a Comment