Thursday, February 17, 2011
The Gun Seller
Yes, THAT Hugh Laurie. The actor from House. The guy is multi-talented. Not as multi-talented as Steve Martin, but he has writing chops to go with his acting ability.
I really enjoyed this book. It is sort of a spy thriller but yet, not really. The dustjacket calls it a spoof of spy thrillers though I didn't really view it as that either. The main character, Thomas Lang, is a former member of the Scots Guards who now takes on the occasional mercenary type gig to make some money. He is approached by someone wanting him to kill a businessman. Lang turns down the offer and decides it would be best to try and warn the target as well.
All good deeds go punished and Lang finds himself getting more and more entwined in a complex web of bad guys; an arms dealer, renegade government factions, a terrorist group. Why does Lang get caught up in this mess? Love. He falls in love with the daughter of the businessman he was supposed to kill and every time he seems as if he might be able to get out of the mess, thoughts of her drag him right back into it.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the language. It felt a bit like a Leslie Nielsen movie with the characters taking words too literally. Lots of sarcasm.
I didn't like how ridiculously convoluted the plot was. It felt like Laurie was trying too hard to make something special and new in the spy genre field and just went too far. I also didn't get how Lang fell in love so easily with this woman and was willing to risk his life for her when he barely spent any time with her. The ending is a happy, albeit unexpected one.
The Gun Seller is a very fun book. It has flaws but they're not bad enough to ruin the enjoyment of Laurie's writing.