Monday, August 25, 2008

The Constant Gardener, by John le Carré

On the weekend I finished John le Carré's 2001 book, The Constant Gardener. I realized after I was done that Carré has been writing superior novels for over 45 years. How exactly his genius manifests itself in this particular novel is through the evocation of character Ghostly people slowly solidify to become very, very real. It's a sad book about great crimes inflicted on poor people by the rich, greedy and powerful -- in this case, the pharmaceutical industry. But as Carré says in the afterword, the book is like a picture postcard compared to the reality on the ground. You don't want to believe him, but he compels your belief with his skill and his track record.

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