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The Passionate Witch

by Thorne Smith

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Anyone coming to this book because it was the inspiration for the film I Married a Witch, which in turn inspired a favourite programme of my childhood, Bewitched

expecting the sexist but silly fun of the above (as a child I could never understand what Samantha saw in Darrin – what a drip!) will be disappointed. Thorne Smith died aged only 42 before this book was completed and he was a pretty far gone alcoholic by then. Goodness knows what hallucinations he was having while experiencing the d.t.s!

I would be prepared to bet the first 50 pages were all Smith, as I had a few chuckles at the early adventures of the stuffed shirt businessman and tee-totaller T. Wallace Wooly. That changed on page 51 where Wooly was cruel to a horse. I’m just never going to find cruelty to animals funny.

Maybe Smith had sketched out some rough ideas that Norman Matson (the author who completed this book) followed because there was the occasional funny line & I found some of witch Jennifer’s pranks hilarious, especially when Wooly could read people’s thoughts! These parts were inspired!

I enjoyed the b/w illustrations by Herbert Roese.

The example I’ve selected is from Chapter X, the wonderfully named They Let Anyone Live in Miami.


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