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The Gun Seller

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,884 Ratings  ·  1,555 Reviews
When Thomas Lang, a hired gunman with a soft heart, is contracted to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts instead to warn the intended victim – a good deed that doesn't go unpunished.

Within hours Lang is butting heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femmes fatales, wh
Paperback, 4th edition, 340 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Washington Square Press (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This book is F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C !!!

Maybe you haven't recognized the name of the author, but this Hugh Laurie is THE Hugh Laurie who was the star on the TV series House, M.D..

Sure, maybe some of you would say "So what? He is an actor but can he write?" Oh, yes! He CAN write!

Pain is an event. It happens to you, and you deal with it in whatever way you can.

If you ever watched some episode of House, M.D. you can be familiarized with the personality of the character that Laurie portraited there, a
I wish I could give this book 6 stars.

I love Hugh Laurie. I love his dry, sarcastic wit. I love his accent. I want to hump his leg for writing this book.

Yes. I really just said that.

I picked up this book BECAUSE I love Hugh Laurie, but I didn't really have high expectations. I thought it would be humorous, but not a book to really be taken seriously. I thought it would be a little bit like a parody of the espionage genre, like Johnny English or Spy Hard, etc. I was prepared for it to be silly
Dec 04, 2013 Nataliya rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
I would like to please find the person who in the description of this book promised an "uproarious cocktail of comic zingers" and give them my best "Grandma Lydia look" (*)
(*) If you are NOT familiar with the "Grandma Lydia look", which you probably aren't since the chances of you actually having met my grandmother are slim to none, I will explain. This is the look you get from a tiny 5-foot-tall sweetest Eastern European grandmother that makes you stop in your tracks and beg forgiveness for an
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Thanks to Chris for turning me on to this fun romp. Every now & then I'd just bust out laughing & it kept me up past my bed time to finish it. Random, odd, & meandering as it seems at times, the humor was a constant thread & I found that everything really was spot on. If the story occasionally took the long way around the barn, it was only so we'd sneak up on something unexpected.

It's at least a 3 star thriller & is written so perfectly in Laurie's voice that I could hear &am
Feb 05, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Spy Novels
Shelves: young-adult
The only reason I read this book? You guessed it, Hugh Laurie. Anything to which his name is attached is worth a looksee. I'm not typically a fan of spy novels, so I must admit that some of the spoofing was probably lost on me. However, Laurie obviously enjoys the English language and bends and twists it to wit-laced results. As a narrator, Thomas Lang is sarcastic and self-deprecating, but also a genuinely nice guy. He's likable, someone you'd like to go have a drink with just to hear his runni ...more
Apr 04, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, humorous, spy
Fantastic. Fantastically funny. Fantastically savvy. Fantastically clever. Fantastically political. Fantastically cinematic. Fantastically entertaining. Fantastic.

Hugh Laurie has only written one novel, but I hope there are more to come after his near perfect debut, The Gun Seller.

Laurie takes a fairly standard "dirty CIA" story (ala Jason Bourne), tosses in some Wodehousian humour, takes the p*ss out of modern politics and democracy, builds suspense with some cracking chases, gun fights and 00
Robert Kroese
Aug 14, 2009 Robert Kroese rated it really liked it
The Gun Seller is a strange book, in a way. The first few chapters are sort of random and whimsical, with at least one laugh-out-loud line on every page. About a quarter of the way in though, it seems like it occurs to Laurie that he actually has some storytelling to do, and sets about doing it. The book grows gradually more serious from that point, until it is close to being a Robert Ludlum-style spy thriller. It also gets rather confusing. I had a hard time figuring out the motivations of some ...more
Apr 07, 2013 Ensiform rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Cynical, wry freelance soldier of fortune Thomas Lang is hired to kill a man, but being a nice chap, refuses the money and goes to warn the intended victim. His discovery that the victim, an American industrialist, is also the man who hired him is only the beginning of a series of bizarre surprises and twists in store for Lang, as he is reluctantly involved in a plot to instigate a terrorist act so that a new attack helicopter can be tested out in actual combat. He falls for the industrialist’s ...more
Maryscott OConnor
Jul 24, 2008 Maryscott OConnor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone I know.
I had to stop reading The Gun Seller around 1am, halfway through it, and believe me, the ONLY thing stopping me from reading to the end was an unfortunate dearth of eyelids propper-uppers, a la A Clockwork Orange.

It is LITERALLY laugh-out-loud funny. Adam (spousal unit)couldn't concentrate on his computer war game, so often did I punctuate the living room's ual silence with raucous laughter and stifled snorts.

But it is ALSO one helluva spy tale. He wrote it in 1996 and I can't for the life of me
Ben Babcock
This book has been on my to-read list for ages. Adding it was as simple as, “Hugh Laurie wrote a novel? Sold!” The fact that it’s a novel about a British ex-military freelancer trying to prevent the assassination of the American businessman he was hired to kill … well, that’s just a bonus. Some books keep their wit bottled up and dole it out carefully over the course of the story. The Gun Seller isn’t like that: from the very first page, Laurie makes it clear that this is a tongue-in-cheek, semi ...more
Jun 18, 2007 E.H. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like PG Wodehouse or spy novels
Hugh Laurie is...I suppose I should begin by saying I have something of a crush on him. In the beginning he was fantastic in "Blackadder" as the various Georges, then he was extremely fabulous opposite Stephen Fry in "Jeeves and Wooster", and then, having proved himself one of the best comic actors of his generation, he came to America to star in "House", and became not just one of the most versatile actors, but a sex symbol to boot.

It was on the strength of this reputation that I started to re
May 30, 2016 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, sub-2016
Quelle lecture difficile! Franchement, je ne pense pas en garder un grand souvenir.

Si je devais vous résumer l'histoire, je ne saurais pas quoi vous dire. Nous avons un personnage principal qui a le don de se retrouver dans les embrouilles, une femme fatale, des hélicoptères anti-terrorisme, des pistes de ski suisses, des américains et le ministère de la défense anglais dont on se demande pourquoi il a été intégré au récit. L'intrigue est très décousue et je me suis véritablement ennuyée avec c
Sep 03, 2008 Samantha rated it did not like it
Perhaps it's unfair to review this book seeing as I haven't finished reading it yet, but I'll do it anyway! I think, perhaps, I picked up this book for the wrong reason. I wasn't particularly interested in the story, though it did intrigue me. In all honesty, I picked it up because Hugh Laurie wrote it and I love him. (More specifically, I love Robert Sean Leonard who stars with Hugh Laurie on 'House', but has not actually written a book so this was the best I could do...) This, I have discovere ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favourites, humor
I have a piece of advice for you if you decide to read this book (which you should):

Do not read it in an elevator, on a bus, in a hotel lobby, in a hospital waiting room, in the car when you're a passenger (or when you're the driver, for a more obvious reason), while standing in line at the bank/grocery store/customer service desk, while standing round waiting for the mechanics to finish with your oil change, at school, at work, or any other public arena where people can observe you.

Why, you may
L.T. Fawkes
Nov 30, 2012 L.T. Fawkes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie $8.25 ***** Yeah. The author is that Hugh Laurie.

If you've been reading these reviews of mine, you know I'm pretty tight with a buck when it comes to Kindle books. I love to troll through looking for promising freebies and I rarely buy a Kindle book priced higher than $4.99. And this book is priced pretty steepishly at $8.25. Yikes, right?

HOWEVER . . . if you download the free sample, as I did, and read it, as I did, I'll bet you end up parting with that
May 29, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2007
“Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us.”

I will try to prevent my adoration of the brilliant Hugh Laurie affect my review of his first (and, to date, only) published novel, but I will admit that it was the only reason I was initially interested in reading The Gun Seller. While the book itself might not be expressly profound or lasting, it’s great for some light reading (or airplane reading, as it was for me).

Overall, this spy-genre spoof is great
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile

So, I picked this book up because it came recommended and because I like Hugh Laurie both from House and Black Adder, so I was curious as to what a book of his would be like.

Well, the one aspect which seems to be promoted above all others is the humor - it's dry and droll and nigh constant. But, while I did find some of the observations wry and humorous, I did not, unfortunately, find it nearly as uproarious as some others did. I also found it to wear kind of thin after not too long a while.

Jul 12, 2010 Joanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 100-books-2010
This was a clever send up of the spy genre, but if Hugh Laurie were not working so hard to be clever in every single line, I think it would be a smoother read.

While the narrator's thoughts on sex drives, cars, how people look like their desks, etc, etc, are wry, witty, and amusing - they do not further the plot or the move the action along.

I will grant that it may be half the point of a spy novel to never know quite who is working for or with whom, this novel was overly full of characters who ap
Sep 12, 2015 Chris_P rated it liked it
Ok, so here's the deal. This is one hilarious book. Hugh Laurie is a god of cynicism-soaked humor. Love it! Don't misunderstand though. This isn't just a funny book. There is some serious shit here. And I'm talking about Bill Hicks and Noam Chomsky serious, so yeah... serious.

The plot is so fast-paced, it makes your brain go round. From page one until the very last sentence, things keep happening. And I'm talking about action-packed sequences and major plot twists. All the time!


At about 8
Sep 04, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bingo
Well, I can't say I'm surprised that Hugh Laurie's comic genius extends to writing novels just as well as it does to bringing other people's novels to life. This one isn't just funny, it's better plotted than most James Bond capers and with more interesting characters to boot. Laurie also finds time to pepper the book with his protagonists charming philosophizing, like this when he's discussing why it is he thinks he is isn't in a relationship:
"[Men and women] want different things. Men want to
Feb 02, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This was a clever send up of the spy genre, but if Hugh Laurie were not working so hard to be clever in every single line, I think it would be a smoother read.

While the narrator's thoughts on sex drives, cars, how people look like their desks, etc, etc, are wry, witty, and amusing - they do not further the plot or the move the action along.

I will grant that it may be half the point of a spy novel to never know quite who is working for or with whom, this novel was overly full of characters who ap
Jan 30, 2011 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, comedy
The immediately striking thing about The Gun Seller is that our hero's interior monologue is really desperate for approval. Every other line is a joke, a stammered-spluttered gag with no regard for the rhythm of the story because it's time for another wry aside. I don't know if there are 50 pages to this book if you cut out the wry asides (which are hard to distinguish from the extended set-ups to wry asides).

And, credit to Laurie, most of them are somewhat humourous and many raised a smile (but
Aug 29, 2013 Maryam rated it liked it
Very Bond-like plot, with macho-smartass hero, evil guy who wants to destroy everything and everyone and "les femmes fatales".

The main protagonist is almost like Dr House in House MD, just less misanthropic. He is smart, not politically correct, sexist, and yet likable carrier of a positive force. I couldn't devote myself fully to reading due to heavy schedule, but at times i felt like missing the guy and wandering what's gonna happen next.

I loved author's sense of humour, at times the book was
May 06, 2016 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hugh Laurie's first novel, The Gun Seller, is a witty, well written novel. A hired assassin is contracted to kill a target, but instead decides to renege on the deal and warn the target. Before long everybody is out to get him.

I bought the book because it was Hugh Laurie who wrote it. I loved the book, in part, because it was Hugh Laurie who wrote it. However, in my heart I doubt I would want to give it five stars if it had somebody else's name on the cover. So it gets a four from the head inste
Patricia Burroughs
Aug 24, 2011 Patricia Burroughs rated it it was amazing
There is no justice in the world. What is it about certain British actors that means they not only act, but sing, dance, play various musical instruments and are effing good writers?

Seriously? This book, by Dr House himself, is hysterically funny with rapid-fire dialogue and a fair amount of action. I have recommended it to several like-minded people and they've all loved it, too.

Give it a shot.

And I guess it's okay that there is no justice in the world, if it means I get to read books like this
Frank Rue
Dec 14, 2014 Frank Rue rated it it was amazing
Delightful read. I found myself chuckling most of the time, punctuated by roaring laughter after which my wife would endure excerpts that made little sense out of context.

She would chortle politely, humoring me. What a lovely woman.

Anyway, the book taught me that reading Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller was like reading a solid spy novel through the lens of Wodehouse: delightful, hysterical, and compelling.
Mar 01, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
This was just one of those nice laid back cruisy books. Not super exciting or thrilling, but enjoyable in it's kind of pulp fiction 'Dame walks into the bar. I'd been having a bad day. Robbed, beaten, tossed in the clink, but now it was about to get better' sort of way.
I liked it and think it is a shame Hugh laurie doesn't write more books.
Glad it was recommended to me.
Jacqueline Carey
Oct 25, 2011 Jacqueline Carey rated it really liked it
There are a gazillion smart-mouthed badass heroes out there, and a lot of them just aren't that funny or tough, but Hugh Laurie makes it work by relying on shrewd observational humor in addition to the obligatory wisecracks. The first half is tighter than the second, but overall, it's a fun ride. Well played, House!
May 23, 2011 Hadrian rated it really liked it
Incredibly funny and over-the-top version of a spy novel, written by none other than the lovely Hugh Laurie. One of the back quotes in my copy compares it to the Naked Gun movies, and this is a fair comparison - with a good critique of the military-industrial complex thrown in.
Apr 14, 2016 Tony rated it it was amazing
Wasn't sure whether to give this four or five stars as it takes a while to get into the quick-fire one-liners.

However, it's a ripping yarn and thoroughly enjoyable, one of those it's difficult to put down.

Where are the rest Mr Laurie? You can't stop at one!
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British comedian Hugh Laurie, OBE could have easily taken another career track rather than that of well-known performer. As a secondary and college student, he was also a world-class oarsman. He wasn't the only one in the family to have a passion for the sport, however. His father won a gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics as part of the British national team. The youngest of four children, Laur ...more
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“Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless were going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes.” 150 likes
“This was the tricky bit. The really tricky bit, trickiness cubed.” 82 likes
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