Title: The Gun Seller
Author: Hugh Laurie
Page Count/Review Word Count: 342
Hugh Laurie is a man of many talents. He was fantastic as one half of Fry and Laurie, and I learned how to play a bunch of his comedy songs on guitar. He was great as Dr. House, although I was a little late to the game on that one. And it turns out that he’s also a decent author, as this book attests to.
It’s basically a cross between a comedy novel and a tale of espionage, reminiscent of Graham Greene at times. Laurie is a pretty good writer, although some parts of it were duller than others, and it’s mainly the dialogue and the interplay between characters that makes it stand out. He’s also paid a lot of attention to the plot, and it often feels as though every detail has been accounted for.
The main problem that I had with it was that I thought it should have ended about two thirds of the way into it. The ending was needed for the rest of the book to work, but it wasn’t particularly well executed and I thought it could have done with a little more work. I found my attention drifting as I neared the end, and I spent the last thirty pages thinking vaguely about what I was planning on reading next.
Overall, though, it was still an impressive little novel, and it’s a shame that it’s the only one that Laurie has released – to my knowledge, at least. It’s the kind of book that you could take on holiday and read on the beach or simply dip in and out of on the commute, especially because the story line remains fairly consistent throughout so it doesn’t matter too much if you forget what was happening and then come back to it. And if you took the covers off and tested it against contemporary thrillers from famous authors, I’m pretty sure it could hold its own.