Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1931.
First edition. Octavo (8 x 5 3/8 inches; 202 x 135 mm). , 311 [1, blank] pp.
Publisher's full cloth. Spine lettered in gilt. Top edge dyed pink. In publisher's unclipped dust jacket. Cloth with some minor spotting, and spine somewhat faded. Internally very clean. Small bookseller label on front free endpaper. Dust jacket with some minor browning. Some closed tears to head and tail of the spine, but with no loss. Overall very good.
"Born in Annapolis, Maryland, James Thorne Smith had a brief but prolific career as a best-selling comic novelist. He began his working years as an advertising copy-writer, but soon turned to fiction writing. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1917 and worked as an editor and writer for The Broadside, a newspaper for enlisted men. His stories about an inept serviceman, Biltmore Oswald, became wildly popular among the magazine's readers. After the war, he moved to Greenwich Village, where he became friends with writers such as Sinclair Lewis and had a brief affair with Dorothy Parker. He continued to work in advertising while trying to succeed as a poet. After marrying in 1919, he and his wife frequently visited the experimental community of Free Acres in nearby New Jersey. In 1926, he achieved sudden literary stardom when his comic supernatural novel Topper was published to great success." (Harry Ransom Center).
"The Night Life of the Gods (1931) depicts the unrestrainable debauchery of the gods of classical mythology that is unleashed when statues in the Metropolitan Museum of Art are brought to life... In 1933 Smith also traveled to Hollywood to write dialogue for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His own novels became the basis for a number of screenplays. Night Life of the Gods appeared in 1935, directed by Lowell Sherman for Universal Studios." (American Dictionary of National Biography).
This story after being turned into a movie was also the inspiration for other Hollywood films including Night at the Museum.