The Gun Seller

Friday May 01 2009
by Michael

It is not uncommon for a book to be reissued.  It is even less uncommon for a book to be reissued if the author has a new book coming out after a long hiatus.  What makes this particular book uncommon is the change in status and circumstance of the author.  

Hugh Laurie in the thirteen years since the original release of The Gun Seller has had a remarkable transition.  He has gone from being well-known in Britain but largely anonymous in North America save for those who watch Jeeves and Wooster on cable television to being the star of one of America's most popular television programs House.

Laurie’s new book, Paper Soldiers will be released in the autumn.  In the meantime, The Gun Seller has been re-released with a reader's guide, and a mention of his role in House on the cover.  

Although the subject matter of the book, corporations funding terrorist groups for profit, may be considered a more sensitive area than it was in 1996, the book remains both a cleverly written and well paced thriller.  While not quite the mix of P. G. Wodehouse and Frederick Forsyth that some reviewers have suggested, the influence of those writers cannot be ignored.  

The real joy of this book is the essence of Laurie within it, particularly the main character Robert Lang.  In Lang resides both of the characters which we most associate with Laurie, a cross of Bertie Wooster and, the at that point non-existent, Gregory House.  Dry wit, a fast motorcycle and the best of intentions, make Lang a full and likeable character.  Anyone who enjoys Laurie as an actor should be able to easily insert their image of him into the protagonist, and follow him through the book.

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