Patty Jansen's Reviews > The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener by John le Carré
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's review
Jun 05, 2011

really liked it

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Finished Reading
June 5, 2011 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Smith Hello Patty Jansen,
I see that you gave a high rating to The Constant Gardener. Goodreads’s synopsis of it opens with the words “Frightening, heartbreaking, and exquisitely calibrated…” and my novel, Cooper’s Promise, could be similarly described.

My writing is often compared to John le Carre’s. As one reviewer said, “Smith continues to do for the thriller what John LeCarre did for the spy novel: elevate the genre through strong, complex and sympathetic characters without sacrificing a good story.”

In terms of The Constant Gardener, the similarities aren’t in style only. Cooper’s Promise is also set in Africa—a darker heart of Africa than Joseph Conrad could have imagined—and it touches on an important geopolitical issue, in Cooper’s case human trafficking instead of le Carre’s exposure of the pharmaceutical industry.

Cooper's Promise tells the story of a soldier who vows to save a young girl who's been trafficked in order to redeem himself for another promise he couldn’t keep. It's exciting, fast-paced, and literary at the same time. It was twice shortlisted for the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, and the screenplay adaptation has won numerous grand prizes and first places, including Best Original Drama and Best Male Lead.

Here’s a link to the Nook version:

Here’s a link to Amazon:

You will find a synopsis on either site.

Thanks, and keep on reading -- it gives us writers hope.


Patty Jansen Tim,

This is the type of spam that really turns me off. Yes, I liked The Constant Gardener, but any decision about similar books I should be reading next I'll make myself.

I am also an author. I have published traditionally and self-published. I don't go around poking people with 'buy my book' messages. People really, really dislike being direct-marketed at. You know how much everyone hates marketing calls and spam emails? Yeah, that.

Make sure you fill out all the Amazon fields, and your bio (you can do this in the Author Central site). I don't mean the bio at the bottom, which you have filled in, but the one that goes with the book. Join sites and forums where posting self-promotery messages is allowed. Be an engaging member of the crime writing community. Write an engaging blog. If readers like the sound of your book, they will come. Let the book speak for itself.

Also, putting 'copyrighted material' on every page sounds kinda n00b-ish and desperate.


message 3: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Smith Hi Patty,

I apologize for the intrusion. I am not exactly spamming. I've been told that my writing reminds people of le Carre's, and my novel reminds people story-wise of The Constant Gardener. So, I thought I'd let people who liked it a lot know about my book. The response has been surprisingly positive.

I appreciate your advice about Amazon, etc. Self-publishing is an overwhelming job, to be honest, but I try to follow up on all suggestions.

I am clueless what you mean by my having 'copyrighted material' on every page. Where are you seeing that?

Thanks for your response, even if you did slap me around a bit!


Patty Jansen I'm sorry about the snark. Normally, I just bin messages like this, but you made such an effort that I felt that you were a very new writer not knowing that spamming is the domain of too-desperate n00bs.

It is indeed very hard to market your stuff, but the only thing you can do is to keep at it, to be present in your genre field and to write more.

The copyrighted material is on the Amazon sample. It seems something that whoever formatted your ebook has put there (it is not on random samples of other books I've just looked at). Really does not look very professional. The fact that a novel is copyrighted goes without saying, and is evidenced by your name and publication date on the title page.


message 5: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Smith Hello again Patty,

I'm a new writer but (feel like) an old man and am not desperate but exhausted!

Anyway, your comments are appreciated. I checked out the copyrighted material on Amazon. I randomly checked two other books, incl For Whom the Bell Tolls, and it appears on all the "look inside" pages. So I don't imagine I can do much about it.


Patty Jansen Aaaaah, I see. You left DRM turned on. Many people hate DRM. No, short of deleting the book and re-uploading it, you can't change that. I would advise you to turn DRM off for your next book. And if you want to upload a different version, delete and re-upload the whole book of this volume.

BTW, if you leave DRM turned on, people can't download the book on a pc and then transfer it to their ereader or phone or another computer.

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