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Publisher's Summary

Topper is a hilarious, ribald comedy about a mild-mannered bank manager and two capricious ghosts, George and Marion Kerby, who make it their mission to rescue Topper from the drab "summer of suburban Sundays" that is his life.
(P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Barrett Whitener successfully brings the varied characters to life....This is a delightful, thought-provoking read." (AudioFile)
"[Thorne Smith] created the modern American ghost. A ghost with style and wit. A ghost that haunts us still." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    35
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    14

Story

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    14
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Gary
  • Sun City, AZ
  • 02-12-05

Delighful ride in a haunted car

When I started Topper it seemed a bit slow, but as soon as the ghosts of Toppers new car arrive it was a blast. Topper was written in the 1920's and is a delightful trip back in time. Thorne's character Cosmo Topper is hillarious.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Shirley
  • DurbanSouth Africa
  • 08-20-09

It's a mistake to revisit the past

When I read this book forty-odd years ago I thought it was the funniest thing ever written. Revisiting it as an audiobook was a huge disappointment. The humour seems so puerile and downright cringe-making. Not the fault of the author - it was hilarious in its time, but it hasn't survived the test of time like the great classics.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Surprisingly racy

I enjoyed this story and the performance very much. The story was a bit racier than I would have expected, though. There is fair amount of drunkeness and even a suggestion of adultery! Nothing surprising today, perhaps, but this was written in the 1920's, and made into a movie as well. It's not that I'm a prude, it was just unexpected. The story is charming, though, and the characters well drawn.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Reader, Poor Story

Remembering the "Topper" movies from years ago, I looked forward to listening to this book. I was disappointed. Barrett Whitener narrated the story well, it was just a poor script he had to read. If you think it's funny for a middle-aged man to leave his wife and stay drunk all the time, you might like this story. I found nothing humorous about this book, unlike the movies. Don't waste your money or your time!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This is classic gentle humor.

Topper is a nice nut mildly discontented man who takes a walk on the wild side with a charming ghost. The temptations are brusque but innocent by today's standards. A lovely kind book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

not for me

What would have made Topper better?

a better storyline. too disconnected, even for me. just really not a book for me.

What was most disappointing about Thorne Smith’s story?

the bad storyline

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

the performance was fine

What character would you cut from Topper?

it's not about the characters.

Any additional comments?

just not a book for me.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I couldn't get through it.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The story line was slow and did not interest me, I listened for a couple of hours and then stopped, because it was so boring.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Beverly
  • ORANGE, TEXAS, United States
  • 05-30-12

Good comedy.

Unlike other reviewers, I am glad I did not read the description in great detail before purchasing this book. It was a surprisingly good comedy. I did not realize that the whole story was a dream until the end of the book. It was very funny and I laughed out loud several times. My husband asked me what I was laughing about? I told him I was listening to a book about a man who buys a haunted car and can't get rid of 2 prankster ghosts, so he goes on an adventure with them. I liked the narrator of this book. He had a very pleasant voice and I think he did a good job. I usually read mystery/thriller books so this was a nice change.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved the movie, bored by the book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Dont know. I guess I was expecting a story closer to the movies storyline. That's something not under Audible's control.

What could Thorne Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing.

What character would you cut from Topper?

All the extra ghosts.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not for the uninitiated

I found, despite the relatively slow start that I enjoyed the book, the pace never got hectic, but went along at an entertaining pace. I believe I had a head start in understanding the characters because of the TV series Topper that I watched when I was young(er).
The decade in which this story is set is characterised by the politeness of the characters towards one another. A tad excessive by todays standards.

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Rosemary White
  • 01-31-12

Quietly amusing.

Listening to this book was a lot like watching a 1950s comedy with the flavour of say "The Canterville Ghost" and "The Fast Lady", yes we're talking old fashioned. If you enjoy the "Jeeves" stories, I think you'll enjoy this too. The style is quaint and unpretentious with a naive predictability, I could easily picture Leslie Phillips and Joan Simms with Kenneth Connor as the mildly rebellious Topper. I have to say I drifted off a couple of times while I was listening and honestly I didn't bother to back-track and didn't feel I missed anything. This story won't shake any trees and I probably won't listen to this harmless little book again. Hilarious it is not, easy listening it certainly is. If you want a gentle entertainment, this will probably fit the bill.