British actor and comedian Hugh Laurie has won over American audiences with his brilliant portrayal of the cynical and sarcastic Dr. Gregory House on the Fox network drama House. Laurie has many other American film roles to his credit, including supporting roles in Sense and Sensibility, Flight of the Phoenix, Stuart Little, and Street Kings. What some of his fans may not know, however, is that Laurie is also the author of a critically acclaimed novel titled The Gun Seller.
Published by Washington Square Press in 1996, The Gun Seller is a fun and fast-paced parody of the spy genre. The reluctant hero of Laurie’s story is Thomas Lang, an ex-soldier, who stumbles into a dangerous scenario that involves, among other things, international terrorists and the CIA. Lang is working as a body guard when someone offers him money for an assassination job. Horrified, Lang refuses the offer, then attempts to warn the victim—and ends up working covertly with government agents when his plan goes wrong.
The witty, light-hearted tone Laurie employs for Lang’s narration is reminiscent of Bertie Wooster, the narrator of the P.G. Wodehouse Jeeves stories. This is no coincidence, as Laurie portrayed Wooster in the British comedy series Jeeves and Wooster for four seasons from 1990 to 1993. Fans of the Jeeves books and television serieswill likely agree that Laurie does an admirable job of paying tribute to the Wodehouse style.
Laurie’s second novel, entitled Paper Soldier, is scheduled to be released in September of 2009.