Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1932.
First Edition. Octavo (7 3/4 x 5 3/8 inches; 196 x 135 mm). viii, , 325, [1, blank] pp. With illustrations in the text by Roese.
Publisher's full maroon cloth. Front board stamped in blind. Spine lettered in gilt. Top edge maroon. In publisher's pictorial dust jacket. Jacket is not price-clipped. Jacket with some toning to spine and panel edges. Inside of jacket toned. Some minor chipping to head and tail of jacket spine and edges. Overall a near fine copy in a very good, unrestored jacket.
"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).
"Smith's career as an author of comic novels was firmly established in 1926 with the publication of Topper: An Improbable Adventure. Introducing the character Cosmo Topper, a staid banker, bored by the routines of his life, the novel records how complicated Topper's life becomes when the ghosts of George and Marion Kerby haunt him... in 1932... he also brought back Cosmo Topper in Topper Takes a Trip... In 1933 Smith traveled to Hollywood to write dialogue for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His own novels became the basis for a number of screenplays... Topper, starring Cary Grant, Roland Young, and Constance Bennett, was filmed in 1937, directed by Norman MacLeod for MGM. This was followed by Topper Takes a Trip (1939) and Topper Returns (1941), both produced for United Artists." (American Dictionary of National Biography).