Americans will forever think of him as Dr. Gregory House while those across the pond remember him fondly for his comedic roots before he sold out to us Yanks (are we still Yanks? Is that a thing?) but sadly neither give the remarkably talented Hugh Laurie his due where he might deserve it most: as a writer.
Yes, it turns out in the nineties the actor penned a wonderful little spy novel called The Gun Seller that makes for an effortlessly fun read. It’s brisk and charming, with intrigue, femme fatales, double crossing, and action all healthily sprinkled with wry and witty narration from its in-over-his-head protagonist.
I was expecting a more espionage-minded Douglas Adams sort of a thing, but in fact the book takes itself seriously. It just so happens the bloke caught up in everything is very derisive.
He’s pithy, engaging, and harbors an occasionally depressing but (if you squint a bit) optimistic world view. Laurie seems highly aware of how things are done, how people react to how things are done, and what we should maybe do to make everything a bit better.
The story moves with reckless, I-don’t-see-a-need-to-put-the-book-down abandon, and the prose is never less than fantastic.
My only complaint is that my favorite television procedural has presumably prevented Laurie from hammering out another one. With House ending this year, let’s hope the man takes a well deserved rest…while realizing any literary aspirations he may have been kicking around in his head all these years.