by Thorne Smith
Thorne Smith was my parents’ favourite humorous writer and I have their old copies of some of his books. I also laughed uproariously at [book:Skin and Bones|6738768], [book:The Glorious Pool|1636518] and above all, [book:The Night Life of the Gods|383129]. (although the Topper books were only “good” for me)
I am starting to wonder if I have already read the best of the erratic Thorne’s work.
Around about 15 years ago [book:The Bishop’s Jaegers|1636494] was a DNF for me.
Last year I tried Thorne’s first book [book:Biltmore Oswald: The Diary of a Hapless Recruit|7200484] Again I couldn’t finish it (although as I noted in my review at the time, I might have enjoyed an illustrated version more.)
So now we come to this book and the story of how I obtained it.
I was on a messageboard a couple of years ago. Another member came on and said her neighbour had just died and the family didn’t want to keep R’s collection of Thorne Smith’s novels. Did anyone want them?
So for the cost of postage I got about six. They were all kind of grubby, as R was an engineer and appear to read them while he worked!
The neighbour enclosed a lovely letter, saying how glad she was to have found a home for at least some of the books. I particularly wanted to read [book:Did She Fall?|5998398] as this was Thorne’s only attempt at a murder mystery.
“Attempt” is the right word
It isn’t a long book but it felt like one. Very wooden characters, other than the Bad Girl Emily Jane and young servant, Betty. Bizarre actions and a total lack of interest in the law. I was hoping for a little humour – no, didn’t get that either. Thorne had also tried a serious novel and a book of poetry before this, so maybe he was still setting into his style. This may have worked better as a short story as there are many, many pages where nothing much happens.
For completists only – & I am starting to think as far as Thorne Smith goes, maybe I’m not one!