More catch-up today! I reviewed the unabridged audiobook of Hugh Laurie's THE GUN SELLER for Shelf-Awareness. It is appearing here today with their permission.
It should come as no surprise that Hugh Laurie’s debut novel is a hilarious spoof. Having an extensive background in British comedy television, Laurie translates that humor to the page in an action-packed spy novel. Simon Prebble puts voice to it for the High Bridge audiobook.
Former British soldier, Thomas Lang hires himself out for just about any job, but he draws the line at murder. Confronted with a murder-for-hire offer, Lang turns it down and heads directly to the intended victim in order to warn him. This is mistake number one and the action that sets his course for chaos in motion. Before he has a solid grasp on his situation, Lang’s in the middle of a terrorist attack…and he’s the terrorist.
Prebble’s narration of Laurie’s work highlights the sharp, sarcastic wit and wildly absurd circumstances Lang stumbles upon. While never compromising the entertaining nature of the plot, Prebble ensures that the underlying social commentary is always clear.
However, Prebble’s interpretation of Lang possibly comes off as overly sophisticated, while some of the American roles come off as exaggeratedly macho. The rationale may be to emphasize Americans obsession with guns, or give Lang a “Bond-like” feel but it works more to minimize Lang’s masculinity.
Despite this minor quibble, the audiobook is a captivating listening experience. Prebble tunes into Laurie’s pacing and atmosphere to build anticipation. He delivers a performance that connects readers with Lang and leaves them anxiously hoping Lang’ll defeat the odds—and the bad guys.
The Gun Seller is precisely what the doctor ordered for those dark, depressing days of winter.
The Gun Seller is available as an unabridged audio from Highbridge Audio (ISBN: 978-1611749724) and as a trade paperback (ISBN: 9780671020828) from Washington Square Press.