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Topper (Modern Library) Paperback – February 2, 1999
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From the Inside Flap
--The New York Times
Thorne Smith is a master of urbane wit and sophisticated repartee. Topper, his best-known work, is the hilarious, ribald comedy on which the hit television show and movie (starring Cary Grant) were based.
It all begins when Cosmo Topper, a law-abiding, mild-mannered bank manager, decides to buy a secondhand car, only to find it haunted by the ghosts of its previous owners--the reckless, feckless, frivolous couple who met their untimely demise when the car careened into an oak tree. The ghosts, George and Marion Kerby, make it their mission to rescue Topper from the drab "summer of suburban Sundays" that is his life--and they commence a series of madcap adventures that leave Topper, and anyone else who crosses their path, in a whirlwind of discomfiture and delight.
As enchanting today as it was when first published in 1926, Topper has set the standard in American pop culture for such mischievous apparitions as those seen in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Heaven Can Wait, Beetlejuice, and Bewitched.
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Top Customer Reviews
Topper is absolutely delightful. While in some ways it was considered scandalous at the time, it certainly seems innocent today. It has a lightness and freshness lacking in his later works. Some contemporary readers may be unused to fiction that lacks violence and overt sex, but the appeal of this story is Cosmo's mid-life crisis and its sucessful resolution with the supernatural assistance of a carful of hard-drinking, carefree spirits.
Whoever coined the phrase 'witty repartee' probably had this book in mind. It's a fun read that kept me entertained all the way from Seattle to Virginia.
One word of advice before you start. Smith uses an interesting motif in this book over and over again. Keep your eyes open for it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, I enjoyed the story , but my memory of the movies kept interfering with the experience.
Not really sure which of the two I preferred. Read more
The writing is fluffy and dated, but a cute window into speech and thought of a period nearly 100 years ago. It's an amusing story.Published 2 months ago by DannyJane
I have always loved Thorne Smith novels. This is his best-known, but most people know it only through the bowdlerized versions of the Cary Grant film and the vapid fifties sitcom... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Philip J. Bentley
still reading it - so as to savor every phrase :) - and I do really like this writer - sort of an American version of P.G. Wodehouse - great fun!Published 5 months ago by beth
Fun read. Topper's daring do is so tame by today's standards but the book is endearing. Enjoyed the story and the language used to tell it.Published 6 months ago by Home in the OC
I was only vaguely aware of this book, never having seen the popular Cary Grant movie that was based on it and knowing nothing about the author but that he was a friend and protege... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Whistlers Mom