Thorne Smith

Book cover image

Narrated By: Barrett Whitener

Duration: 8 hours and 31 minutes

What to expect

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.


Humorous fiction

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“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.”


“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.”