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Extended Audio Sample Topper Audiobook, by Thorne Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 5 3.53 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thorne Smith Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455177615
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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 capricious ghosts make it their mission to rescue the inhibited banker from the staid “summer of suburban Sundays” that is his life. With their ectoplasmic reappearances and whimsically insane actions, they leave Topper, and anyone else who crosses their path, in a whirlwind of discomfiture and delight. Smith’s hilarious ribald comedy was the basis for a Cary Grant movie and hit television show.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Barrett Whitener successfully brings the varied characters to life, from petulant and whiny Topper to sophisticated Marion. Whitener carefully paints the desolate landscape of Topper’s life, while hinting at the sensuality of Marion, and the sexual tension between the two. This is a delightful, thought-provoking read.”

    AudioFile

  • “Judging from his books, all Thorne Smith wanted was a little fun—no, a lot of fun, more that might be possible on earth.”

    Carolyn See, author

  • “[Thorne Smith] created the modern American ghost. A ghost with style and wit. A ghost that haunts us still.”

    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jcurmudge | 1/27/2014

    " I read the Topper series many years ago. They were delightful quick reads with many double entendres. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianne | 1/18/2014

    " I last read this book over fifty years ago, and enjoyed it tremendously. A slight plot but written in clear lyrical prose which is a pleasure to read. Topper, an overweight, dull, henpecked, banker takes a fancy to a flashy red sportscar. The previous owners, low level spirits, are able to reconstitute their ectoplasm when they need to, and Cosmo Topper is in for a high time of partying and drinking and travelling in their company. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Henry Avila | 1/5/2014

    " Cosmo Topper a staid and dull banker with an nagging wife ,who has perpetual indigestion. (She needs Pepto - Bismol)A drastic change happens in his boring life, after buying an old sports car.The auto was previously owned by an irresponsible rich young couple ,who died in it . While driving in the country , he starts seeing things and maybe going a little insane!Yes George and Marion Kerby the young dead pair, have come back as ghosts to haunt Topper and the fun begins.Marion wants to drive and bystanders give a strange look at the apparently driverless vehicle traveling down the road. They visit an inn and get into a drunken brawl.Cosmo, with the help of George and Marion ,is a tiger during the fight!The townspeople have never seen anything like it. Spooks, unbelievable !Jailed, Cosmo's picture in the newspaper ,he has some explaining to do. Imagine, His wife and friends think Topper was intoxicated! So naturally Topper takes a vacation after getting out of confinement. Further madcap adventures for the trio of course occurs .Cosmos enjoys the excitement, he's having the time of his life! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva Sterner | 12/1/2013

    " There is nothing more fun than a romp with Topper and his ghostly companions. I first read it in 1965. And it is an every year read. It is humorous how much I missed in those early readings. It's not great works, but not to be missed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sallie | 10/9/2013

    " Not as much fun as the movie, but enjoyable anyway. I read this book ages ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deana David Lissenberg | 8/18/2013

    " Super cute. I really like this being a 1920s book and so full of references to excessive drinking. It really is funny - very much the same joke over and over. But if you like older books and find the language and the humor at least quaint if not hilarious, then you'll love this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne Hatter | 6/19/2013

    " Topper and Thorne Smith are a treat to be savored. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kent | 5/17/2013

    " Entertaining story of a boring and staid man who buys a car which was rebuilt from an accident. The car comes with the accessories: the ghosts of the previous owner and his wife. A fun ghost stories from the 1930's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dean Economy | 4/10/2013

    " A classic. This is one of the funniest books of all times. Only for people with a love of life and a great sense of humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie Kerr | 2/8/2013

    " I loved this book. Great humor! This is his first Topper book. There is one more Topper book I will definitely read and others he wrote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristýna | 12/27/2012

    " Well written but rather dull book. I think one appreciates it more when older caught in mid-life crisis. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret Wichorek | 7/25/2012

    " I thought it started out pretty well, but I quickly got tired of the whole premise. That Kerby woman was particularly tiresome. Plus, I've never been amused by the antics of drunks. If I hadn't had to read it for my Books to Film Club. I never would have finished it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kara | 6/15/2012

    " This was a disappointment to someone who loved the TV program. The author had a bitterness that was excised from the TV show. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/29/2012

    " I was never quite sure what to make of this story. Some moments were hilarious and ridiculous, but then the next moment Topper was waxing philosophical about his life and where it was going. I was never quite sure if it was a mad-cap comedy or a character-of-man study. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Garnett | 5/26/2012

    " Interesting to see where the whole "zany ghost" theme came from, but this book is terribly dated. Thorne Smith's writing style made me feel like I was drunk while reading...loopy and all-over-the-place. If I had it to do over, I would have just watched the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori Werhane | 5/17/2012

    " What an odd, drunken tale... I enjoyed much of the language, but found some of the humor a tad old fashioned. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 5/3/2012

    " I liked this a lot more 30 years ago... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne Harper | 4/12/2012

    " This is a great leisurely read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Cavendish | 12/23/2011

    " Thorne Smith wrote such wonderfully funny books. Here is the first in the series about a hen-pecked bank manager and his ghostly friends. Lots of fun "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joseph | 11/5/2011

    " I was really looking forward to enjoying this book based on my recollection of the Topper films. Maybe that is why I was disappointed in it in comparison to the wonderful films starring Cary Grant as George Kerby. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Xenophon Hendrix | 9/28/2011

    " Anti-hypocrisy, anti-complacency, anti-sterility, pro-fun, pro-humanity, pro-wonder--Topper is happy making. It's funny and warm, and Thorne Smith could turn a phrase. It's an excellent fantasy that deserves wider readership. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 5/19/2011

    " Thorne Smith wrote such wonderfully funny books. Here is the first in the series about a hen-pecked bank manager and his ghostly friends. Lots of fun "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 4/1/2011

    " I loved this book. Great humor! This is his first Topper book. There is one more Topper book I will definitely read and others he wrote.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sallie | 10/7/2010

    " Not as much fun as the movie, but enjoyable anyway. I read this book ages ago. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 9/9/2010

    " What an odd, drunken tale... I enjoyed much of the language, but found some of the humor a tad old fashioned. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 9/7/2010

    " I was never quite sure what to make of this story. Some moments were hilarious and ridiculous, but then the next moment Topper was waxing philosophical about his life and where it was going. I was never quite sure if it was a mad-cap comedy or a character-of-man study. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 5/26/2010

    " I liked this a lot more 30 years ago... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Xenophon | 1/27/2010

    " Anti-hypocrisy, anti-complacency, anti-sterility, pro-fun, pro-humanity, pro-wonder--Topper is happy making. It's funny and warm, and Thorne Smith could turn a phrase. It's an excellent fantasy that deserves wider readership. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 9/30/2009

    " charming, flimsy, a bit racist and misogynistic. Like Thurber on antidepressants. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Garnett | 8/17/2009

    " Interesting to see where the whole "zany ghost" theme came from, but this book is terribly dated. Thorne Smith's writing style made me feel like I was drunk while reading...loopy and all-over-the-place. If I had it to do over, I would have just watched the movie. "

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About the Author
Author Thorne Smith

Thorne Smith, a master of urbane wit and sophisticated repartee, was the author of nine novels, including The Night Life of the Gods, Topper Takes a Trip, and The Stray Lamb. He was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1892 and died in 1934.

About the Narrator

Barrett Whitener has been narrating audiobooks since 1992. His recordings have won several awards, including the prestigious Audie and seven Earphones Awards. AudioFile magazine has named him one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Washington, DC.