Thursday, September 06, 2007

Books You Should Be Reading Number 27 OF A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie

Rayner, I estimated, was ten years older than me. Which was fine. Nothing wrong with that. I have good, warm, non-arm-breaking relationships with plenty of people who are ten years older than me. People who are ten years older than me are, by and large, admirable. But Rayner was also three inches taller than me, four stones heavier, and at least eight however-you-measure-violence units more violent. He was uglier than a car park, with a big, hairless skull that dipped and bulged like a balloon full of spanners, and his flattened, fighter’s nose, apparently drawn on his face by someone using their left hand, or perhaps even their left foot, spread out in a meandering, lopsided delta under the rough slab of his forehead.
And God Almighty, what a forehead. Bricks, knives, bottles and reasoned arguments had, in their time, bounced harmlessly off this massive frontal plane, leaving only the feeblest indentations between its deep, widely-spaced pores. They were, I think, the deepest and most widely-spaced pores I have ever seen in human skin, so that I found myself thinking back to the council putting-green in Dalbeattie, at the end of the long, dry summer of ’76.
Moving now to the side elevation, we find that Rayner’s ear had, long ago, been bitten off and spat back on to the side of his head, because the left one was definitely upside down, or inside out, or something that made you stare at it for a long time before thinking ‘oh, it’s an ear’.

...

Three things I have learned from reading Hugh Laurie’s book:

1) Hugh Laurie wrote a book! I know, who’d’ve thought...?
2) His second book is due for release at the end of this month. I may even buy it in hard cover, because I don’t want to wait.
3) Speaking as an English teacher with an interest in words and the use thereof, the simile “He was uglier than a car park” is going to get me through a few long, lonely nights. Seriously, if it was possible to make sweet love to language feature...

3 comments:

That Morthos Stare said...

I think the genius of that piece is 'Moving on to...' where he makes what initially feels like a descriptive aside (that has gotten too big for itself) into something that deserves to blossom and flourish and generally bring joy to all humanity.

Which it has.

Apparently he submitted the book under another name as he was afraid it might just get published because he wrote it rather than it being any good. It's wonderfully Wodehousian (very much as if it were being written by someone closely related to Bertie Wooster) whilst being on a topic Wodehouse would never have touched, something I believe Hugh Laurie was going for.

Mrs Smith said...

Hugh Laurie is hott.

T-Bird said...

Wow. Who would have thunk it? If that passage is anything to go by, then I will enjoy his stuff even more than Stephen Fry.

The Wodehouse comparison just made me tingle...