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Thorne Smith Books In Order

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Publication Order of Biltmore Oswald Books

Publication Order of Topper Books

Topper (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Jovial Ghosts: The Misadventures of Topper (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
Topper Takes a Trip (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Dream's End (1927)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stray Lamb (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
Did She Fall? (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lazy Bear Lane (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Night Life of the Gods (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turnabout (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rain in the Doorway (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skin and Bones (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Glorious Pool (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Passionate Witch (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

A Smokey Lady in Knickers (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yonder's Henry (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bishop’s Jaegers (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Haunts and By-Paths, and Other Poems (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Thorne Smith was a noteworthy author from America, who was famous for writing humorous, supernatural, science fiction, and fantasy novels. He was born on March 27, 1892, as James Thorne Smith Jr. Author Smith is best known in today’s world for writing his two novels of the Topper series. His books often featured comic fantasy and fiction, with the involvement of supernatural transformations, sex, and much of drinking. The racy illustrations in his Topper novels helped to sell millions of printed copies during the 1930’s. The paperback editions of his books were also quite popular in the 1950’s. Author Smith used to drink a lot, just like his characters. His birth had taken place in Annapolis, Maryland. Smith’s father was a Navy commodore. Author Smith completed his studies from the Dartmouth College. After living through the hungry years in the Greenwich Village, author Smith began working on a part time basis for an advertising company. He achieved tremendous success after the publication of his book Topper in the year 1926. Smith was among the first residents of a social & experimental community called Free Acres, which was formed by the attempts of Bolton Hall. This community was built as per Henry George’s economic principles, in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Author Smith’s death occurred due to heart attack when he was enjoying his vacation in Florida. He died on June 21, 1934. The copyright of Smith’s book Topper was renewed in 1953 and it was given another title as The Jovial Ghosts. The book and its sequel described the story of a respectable banker named Cosmo Topper. He was married to a depressing lady named Mary.

Cosmo Topper goes through a series of misadventures along with 2 ghosts named George and Marion Kerby. These ghosts introduce Topper to many other ghosts over the course of the stories. Topper gets romantically attracted towards Marion. She tries to kill Topper at one point so that the two can stay together forever. Even though it seems unusual for such a humorous book, Mary is dealt with sympathetically. Her description of not liking many things about herself and trying to change herself is very much liked by the readers. The book was later adapted into a movie of the same name. Its cast included the actors such as Cary Grant and Constance Bennett in the roles of George Kerby and Marion Kerby respectively. This film was followed by a couple of sequel films in 1939 and 1941. The second sequel, Topper Returns, was not adapted from Smith’s books. The Topper books were also made into a television series in America that began in 1953. Actor Leo Carroll was chosen to play the role of Cosmo Topper, while Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling played the role of the ghosts. The series was broadcast for a total of 78 episodes. Apart from the Topper novels, author Smith also wrote several standalone books in his short writing, however, none of them were able to become a major success. When author Smith died, he was working on the development of his last book, The Passionate Witch. Due to his sudden death the book was left incomplete and was later completed and published by Norman Matson. This posthumously released book was also made into a film in 1942. The novel served as an inspiration for the long running television series called Bewitched. Matson penned a sequel to this novel entirely on his own, however, it is sometimes attributed to author Smith.

The Topper series written by Thorne Smith is comprised of two books in total, which were released between the years of 1926 and 1932. The first book of this series is entitled ‘Topper’. It was released in 1999 by the Modern Library publication, after its original release in 1926. The central characters mentioned in this book include Cosmo Topper, Mary, Marion Kerby, and George Kerby. At the start of the book, it is depicted that Cosmo Topper is a bank manager, who abides by all the laws and is a little bit mild mannered. Cosmo Topper decides to purchase a second-hand car. Later, he realizes that the car is haunted by its first owners’ ghosts. The ghosts were the feckless, reckless, and frivolous couple, Marion and George, who had experienced an untimely death when their car had rammed an oak tree. And when the ghosts learn about the life of the new owner of their car, Cosmo Topper, they take up the mission of rescuing him from the miseries of his ugly life. What follows next is a journey of adventures that brings delight and discomfiture in Cosmo Topper’s life and in all those lives who cross path with him. The novel appears to be an enchanting and humorous story. The book sets the pop culture standard in America for the mischievous apparitions that are seen in various television shows such as Beetlejuice, Bewitched, Heaven Can Wait, etc.

The second book of the series is called ‘Topper Takes A Trip.’. This novel was initially released in 1932 and was published again by Modern Library in 1999. With the story of this book, the beloved mortal & immortal characters of the previous book return again in an uproarious romp that takes place in southern France. The book goes on to be referred to as the best loved comedies of author Smith and proves again that Smith is the undisputed master of sophisticated repartee and urbane wit. At the beginning of the story, it is shown that the law abiding bank manager Cosmo Topper gets reunited with the dyspeptic wife of his, named Mary. The two go on an extended vacation in Riviera. However, Cosmo Topper is not able to enjoy the company of his wife and the quiet and peace of Riviera for very long as the Kerbys come back into his life once again to cause fracases, alarm the gendarmes, confuse the citizenry, and turn each and every occasion into melee or revelry. After a while, Marion Kerby decides to turn Cosmo Topper into a ghost by killing him. She thinks that it would a lot more fun to see him as a ghost rather than as a living human. But, she faces difficulty in arranging the death of Cosmo Topper. Marion thinks of a number of ways to kill him, but is not able to finalize a single means of murdering Toppe. As a result, the journey becomes highly adventurous once again and gets filled with numerous humorous situations. Just like the initial book, this book too turned out to be a great success. It was made into a movie and also helped author Smith gain a lot of popularity as an author.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Thorne Smith

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