I wish I could give this book 6 stars.
I love Hugh Laurie. I love his dry, sarcastic wit. I love his accent. I want to hump his leg for writing this book.
Yes. I really just said that.
I picked up this book BECAUSE I love Hugh Laurie, but I didn’t really have high expectations. I thought it would be humorous, but not a book to really be taken seriously. I thought it would be a little bit like a parody of the espionage genre, like Johnny English or Spy Hard, etc. I was prepared for it to be silly, and a bit cartoonish, and funny. I was prepared for this to be a quick, mindless read that would have me peeing myself with laughter 4 pages out of 5.
What I was NOT prepared for, was for this book to not only be funny, but to be absolutely brilliant and relevant and amazing. I was not prepared for this book to blow my socks off and make me read it in dribs and drabs, as my friend would say, because I just didn’t want it to end. I was not prepared for this book to end up being a favorite.
I cannot really express just how much I was impressed by this book. It exceeded every expectation I had. I’d think something was going to happen, and then what DID happen was about as far from what I would expect as possible, and be BETTER than what I wanted to happen.
I spent so much time writing down quotes, that I almost have a faithful reproduction of the book in little bits of paper and in my notebook. I seriously wish I could quote this entire book.
Let me just wipe the drool from my chin and then we’ll continue… OK, I’m ready now.
Laurie’s main character and narrator, Thomas Lang, is quite possibly one of the best characters I’ve ever read. Laurie doesn’t waste a ton of time having Lang tell us about himself, we just climb onto his presumably broad, sturdy shoulders and strap ourselves in for the ride. And it’s quite a ride, be sure of that.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read about a character that I loved as much as Thomas Lang. He’s human, he’s fallible, he’s whip smart, and he is sexy. But he’s not perfect by any stretch… he just knows what he’s good at, and to me, that is sexy.
Lang has an absolutely unique eye and voice, and the way that he described people, places, the world in general, had me snorting with laughter. But I don’t want anyone to mistake me, because, while he sees things with a half-cocked eye, there are some definite serious issues in this book. Serious as in, we should take them seriously and actually THINK about them.
I don’t want to go too much into the story and ruin it for the multitudes of people I plan on pushing this book on, so I won’t say much. Just know that this book is absolutely as relevant today as it was 15 years ago when it was written, if not more so.
I will end this review by saying two things:
1) Read. This. Book.
2) Read. This. Book.