Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I don't get the title

The Constant Gardener
John Le Carre

did an excellent job of breaking in the mass paperback edition of The Constant Gardener. The spine was broken, the covers a bit wrinkled. Physically, it was a pleasure to read. That's maybe 60 percent of the reason I finished it.

At one point, all these characters' computers are wiped out by viruses (planted by the forces of evil, of course), and they all lament the loss of their e-mail, possibly including unread messages. I am willing to believe that some people were using programs like Lotus and Outlook to download their e-mail automatically. But all of them? Especially because some of these people were dealing with sensitive and irreplaceable information.

Also, there is no "constant gardening." Our protagonist had a garden, and there's intermittent talk of it, and freesia are a plot point. But a better title might be The Former Gardener or Mediocre Thriller where the Main Character Likes Plants.

Or maybe it's a metaphor -- even though his wife's dead, he's a constant gardener of her work. Right.

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