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The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie

A marvelous story told in (almost) classic British comic style by Hugh Laurie, who played Bertie Wooster in the “Jeeves and Wooster” TV series. A review I read before reading the book spoke of this as a mix of P. G. Wodehouse and Fredrick Forsyth and I didn’t believe it. I won’t say I buy into that description, but I understand what they meant.

The book tells the tale of retired British military serviceman Thomas Lang, who accidentally gets involved with a dangerous crowd involving British politicians, Middle Eastern terrorists and the American military-industrial complex. The plot is actually not too bad, and certainly hangs together; even if there are a few somewhat incredible parts to it. I won’t give it the highest praise for suspense and thrill, but that is more than made up for by the way the yarn is spun — in the first person of T. Lang. The language is dry, self-deprecating, dripping with sarcasm, and outright funny. I’d forgotten how rarely one reads books that have laugh-out-loud moments. Certainly not to be missed.