The beautiful Tessa Quayle is murdered near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. And her putative African lover and travelling companion has vanished from the scene of the crime. Tessa’s husband, 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. On his way he meets terror, violence and conspiracy, but his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.
©2001 David Cornwell (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
Say something about yourself!
Yes, I found it interesting, particularly because it took part in a country which is dear to my heart.
I find le Carre books quite difficult to follow at times. Even though they don't adopt the now popular editing method of jumping ahead in time then back again, which adds pace and anticipation to a novel, but can also be confusing.
This is only the second book of his that I have listened to, and I did enjoy it.
No, but I thought he did a splendid job of the narration,
Not at all. I paced it over about 4 days, which was just fine.
I found it a little drawn out and it probably took a little too long to reach the vital moment of exposing the full plot and motivation. I feel that clever editing could have improved it, but that was fundamentally the old school of writing. Or perhaps thats just the way le Carre wanted it.
"A long way from Smiley, but just as excellent"
I knew a little of the shadowy side of the giant Pharma corporations, and I new a little of the problems facing Africa in the form of TB and other serious diseases. Putting the two together and we in the west have yet more to be deeply ashamed of.
This is a beautiful and sad book with characters to love, pity and loathe. And all wrapped up in the typical Le Carre way. Perfect.
Michael Jayston narrates perfectly.
"Emotional, addictive and typical Le Carre"
The story is so leading. Having listened to a number of Le Carre's more traditional spy thrillers, this is a bit of a side step into international relations and politics, but it is just as tense, and more emotional because of the crime being investigated. You stay with the protagonist all the way through to the inevitable ending.
If you imagine the storyline of a John Grisham set in the tense world of Le Carre's spys, this marries the two together. I really love it, although I found it very emotional to listen to. The protagonist is almost a younger less disillusioned Smiley
I love Michael Jayston's performance on this- there is a hint of a cautious observer, combined with passion that moves with the flow. I have listened to a number of his narration a of Le Carre's books and it always convinces me to get it.
It is a very emotional story, and a side step for Le Carre in this sense. Your heart does bleed for the protagonist, and having watched the film before listening to this, I knew the ending and was dreading it. Don't let this put you off- it's not overdrawn, but a necessary, inevitable resolution.
I really love this story! The narration is beautiful and the story moves in the way you expect a Le Carre to move.
"One of Le Caras best"
Slow start but great story Le Carrae captures the middle class mess of the foreign service perfectly
"Long dry and unexciting"
Persevered to the end but was so dry and hard going if it wasn't in my nature to keep going I would Hv quit after the first half hour. Interesting story concept. About 11 hours too long
"Couldn't get into it"
Less description and more action
Didn't get going - lots of waffle, nothing happened
I only got through the first couple of chapters
An excellent story. Very well narrated by Michael Jayston. He brought it very much to life.
It wasn't exciting or edgy it just quietly worked it's way into my subconscious. A very moving story
"Jayston is at his best when narrating Le carré."
Jayston's narrative is wonderful. I think his style and pace are spot on, for me
Gripping story, well read, with good variety of voices. The main character believable and imagined sensitively.
"Gripping story and thought provoking issues"
Probably not. I rarely listen to stories again. Too many books, too little time! It's a brilliant listen though.
Plot, characters, ethical issues, quality narration, humour, dialogue, pompous Brits abroad exposed for their specious values...I could go on!
Many very different and enjoyable scenes. A desperate escape in a car with no tyres was breathtaking, FO wives abroad are a well portrayed along with their husbands with double standards.
Think twice before you swallow that pill.
Great novelist, gripping plot, characters and dialogue. Outstanding narration with clearly discernible voices for each character.
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