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The Gun Seller

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  18,386 ratings  ·  1,832 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 ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published 1997 by Arrow Books (first published May 1st 1996)
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3.68  · 
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 ·  18,386 ratings  ·  1,832 reviews

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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
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Martin
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book restored my faith in celebrity novels. The last one I read (by a former TV hero of mine) was so disappointing but Hugh Laurie is a first-rate wordsmith and an excellent storyteller. I already knew he was a brilliant actor (I'm midway through The Night Manager, and his performance is sending shivers down my spine), a comic genius and a super blues musician, so he is way more multi-talented than most of us. This book is an action thriller, which is not my usual fare. I suspect he has a g ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Someone I greatly admire in the book world was very excited to receive The Gun Seller as a Christmas gift which I pretty much took as an ultra-credible recommendation. The audio was at my library and I snapped it up. I didn't pay any attention to the author's name...and I'm glad I didn't because I likely wouldn't have read it. If you have never heard of this book, then don't research the author either. Just read it blind! I'm so glad I did. Obviously, after I finished this darkly hilarious piece ...more
I bought this in hardback from Waterstones in Bromley when it first came out; I have a feeling I was revising for my A-levels at the time. A lot of comedians were publishing novels back then – Hugh's friend Stephen Fry had already done The Liar in 1991 (which was great – the book, that is, not the year), and before that I think it all started with Ben Elton's Stark in 1989, which I never got around to. Comedian-lit was a weird genre and not one, to be honest, that has produced many great writers ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brace2019
BIG DISCLAIMER: I have been in love with Hugh Laurie most of my adult life so if I were someone else, I would not rely on any kind of objectivity here. But.

This book is pure fun. Great page-turner, a read that you cannot easily put down before you're finished. Witty, sarcastic, with a very well constructed and climactic plot - with just the right amount of dramatic effect. I think that the main risks with this type of books are (a) the story ending being unbelievable and (b) the book relying so
May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hugh Laurie is a talented guy. I read this because I loved House MD and I wanted to know what he can do more. The book was ok but the action dragged at some points.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Audiobook review: the book started out strong, but got very tedious by the 2/3 point. Imagine watching a Mr. Bean marathon. Funny at first, but by the sixth hour, it's driving you up the wall. I think it's probably the format, and I might go back and read (not listen) this one someday.
Ben Babcock
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Hugh Laurie , he’s one of the greatest actors! He’s my hero, brilliant Gregory House ( modern doctor version of Sherlock Holmes) ! I wish he would stay as an actor, instead of pretending as a writer who creates nonsense espionage stories☹☹☹ ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***5 Stars***

Review coming soon! (unless I forget about it 😂)
Aug 20, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rather good, rather funny, rather decent plot.

Write some more Mr Laurie!
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

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.

May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
L.T. Fawkes
Nov 30, 2012 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
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
***2018 Summer of Spies***

May I say that I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of Mr. Laurie’s novel? One hopes that a famous name doesn’t get a mediocre book published. Laurie may be well known from his stint on TV as Dr. House, but this book was published on its own merit.

The author takes the spy genre and turns it inside out. Neither a tough guy nor a super-smart guy, the hero is an everyman with persistence and a sense of humour. Like Bond, he can fall in love with a woman with one meet
What this book is: very funny.

What this book is not: very interesting.

I don't really know whether I expected anything from this book, apart from it being funny because it was written by the fantastic Hugh Laurie. And in this sense it definitely delivers. It is both witty and laugh-out-loud funny, which is rare. The first couple of chapters are even excessively funny, at least for my taste, but then it subsides slightly, to the level I can appreciate. The plot itself was not very engaging though.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-england
Hugh Laurie is one of my favorite human beings on the planet. Actor, comedian, musician, rowing champion in his younger days, he’s an insanely talented person.
Turns out that he’s one hell of a great hard boiled mystery writer as well!
This fast moving story of a kind of jack of all trades detective who gets caught up in the world of arms smuggling, terrorism, international intrigue probably doesn’t sound very fun, but oh man is it ever.
Anyone familiar with Hugh Laurie and his dark and snark
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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
“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.” 154 likes
“This was the tricky bit. The really tricky bit, trickiness cubed.” 85 likes
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