[lit-ideas] Re: The Constant Gardener

  • From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 16:29:31 +0100

Le Carre has become a bit of a crusader so the background information
isn't out of place.  And yes, it is an odd love story being largely
retrospective, but what moves the plot forward is the main character's
need to find out more about his wife, to the point of following in her
footsteps.  However, as he is following her, the main character has in
view his wife, not her obsession.

I'll take that and concede the point. To a degree. That the conspiracy is actually a plot device might be correct, but I still believe that the plot device was the point Le Carre was seeking make, rather than any lessons that could be drawn from the love story.

I say this, because Le Carre is noted for his plot construction. He often starts a novel from one POV, a POV which is then ended abruptly to be replaced by the principal character. His plotting is also surgical in that he is very specific about what is included at any point and, more importantly, what is not included. That the conspiracy in TCG works as a plot device should by no means be construed that is in anyway secondary to the main plot.

I agree that in TCG Le Carre is crusading, but given that it also follows that his plot device is the point not the means.


"Without giving away the specifics, does the ending match the book?"


Thanks for that. I'll advise my father accordingly.


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