Brad's Reviews > The Gun Seller

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
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's review
Apr 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: humorous, political, spy
Read in April, 2009

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 007-style violence, philosophizes about how the genitalia of modern men and women resemble and behave like FIATs and Volvos (respectively), offers thorough walking tours of London and Prague, and manages to come out the other end with a bang-on modern entertainment that bridges genres and expectations.

It isn't Booker Prize material, and thank God for that. Who needs the stuffy, intense and meaningful, when a talent like Laurie is willing to offer unstuffily breezy, playfully intense and subversively meaningful? Give me a beach chair in the summer (or a warm blanket in the fall) with a frosty, fruity drink (or a glass of red wine) and The Gun Seller.

It's not a bad way to spend an afternoon or two. Not bad at all.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by James (new) - added it

James Awesome!
Glad you got to this a gave it a thumbs up, I was waiting to hear a review from someone I can rely on (and relate to). I admit to being extra curious now, since you reference both Wodehouse and 007. With that kind of reference and Laurie's comedic pedigree this one seems like it may be a good way to while away some time.


Helen (Helena/Nell) Now you HAVE made me want to read this, instead of the dreary Patricia Cornwell I just wasted several hours on . . .


Brad I was very impressed, and I really hadn't expected to be. It also pissed me off a bit. Wasn't Laurie accomplished enough? Did he have to be good at everything? Jerk.

I hope I don't steer you wrong, Jamie. I loved that so much of Laurie's Wooster days seemed to rub off in such a bazaar way.

Fingers crossed that you both enjoy the experience. I promise it isn't dreary like Patricia Cornwell, Helen.


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