Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Night Life of the Gods” as Want to Read:
The Night Life of the Gods
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Night Life of the Gods

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  401 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Thorne Smith's rapid-fire dialogue, brilliant sense of the absurd, and literary aplomb put him in the same category as the beloved P. G. Wodehouse. The Night Life of the Gods, the madcap story of a scientist who instigates a nocturnal spree with the Greek gods, is arguably his most sparkling comedic achievement.

Hunter Hawk has a knack for annoying his ultra respectable rel
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 28th 1999 by Modern Library (first published 1931)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Night Life of the Gods, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Night Life of the Gods

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Henry Avila
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hunter Hawk is an unsuccessful inventor, he has seven explosions to prove this fact, causing much damage to his home, the now destitute silly sister , Alice, incompetent brother-in -law, Alfred Lambert, who squandered all their money not a businessman, the brat nephew Junior and nice niece Daphne...oh can't forget crusty grandpa Lambert, live with their rich, reluctant relation...not very well though, except for Daphne they detest each other. The latest unfortunate incident shattered the peace o ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-novels
2.5 stars rounded up to 3
I must admit, I knew very little about Thorne Smith before I picked this one up as a second hand penguin book. It is an oddity and Thorne Smith is much better known in America. He wrote semi-science fiction/fantasy novels. His best known creation is Topper, a much more well-known novel and a ghost story. Smith is a comic novelist, and has been compared to P G Wodehouse. He died in 1934 and this one was published in 1931 I think.
This offering is set in and around New York
Aug 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-whimsy, fiction
One of Thorne Smith's better outings. When a scientist pairs up with a witch with the ability to bring statues to life, chaos ensues. The two decide it would be a good idea to bring the statues of the gods at the Metropolitan Museum to life. But the gods, it turns out, are too human by half -- they immediately start to cavort, bicker, drink, and carry on in a spree of epic proportions. The word "romp" could easily have been invented just to describe this sort of book.

I wonder whether the fairly
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Thorne Smith's The Nightlife of the Gods is the literary equivalence of a Frank Capra's screw-ball comedy film. Smith loved his drunken debaucheries, his mean-spirited pranksters, his heathenistic mythological creatures and of course all that drinking and sex. Classy double-entendre styled sex of course. This was the early 20th century. Yet he was also making lots of social commentary, much of it skewering the American upper-class and their often hypocritical morals. Thorne Smith certainly knew ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Thorne satirises nearly everything in this generally enjoyable bit of fluff. Sometimes he is very funny but just as often can become laboured and tiresome. The novel is episodic and I feel that it would have gained by pruning. The book is a pleasant period piece but not a classic.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The word "Madcap" was invented for books like "The Night of the Gods." The title sounds kind of serious - but it's about a doctor who invented a ray that can turn people into statues - which he gladly tested on his family. Somewhere down the line he meets a super cute nude (if memory serves me correctly) fairy - who then both went to a big museum in NYC to zap the God Statues with his ray - which made them come to life.

So with the Nude cute fairy on hand, the mad scientist, with Zeus, Mercury a
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, 2015-books
Was I reading the same book as those who rated it as four stars? Clunky writing and way too much scene setting. It takes half of the book to get to the gods. However there were some slightly amusing happenings once they joined the cast of characters.

I think Smith, like Nevil Shute, had better plot ideas than ability as a writer, based on this book. This might make a very funny film with good scriptwriters.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in the early 30s, this comic fantasy about a drink-loving American inventor who brings statues of the gods back to life for some louche adventures is pretty creaky. He's no Wodehouse and the plot seems at times like he was making it up as he went along. However there are some nicely witty and/or sarcastic lines scattered throughout and it passed the time well enough - and the Rodin-esque final scene was charming.
Hákon Gunnarsson
May 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, fantasy
I read this because Thorne Smith has been compared to one of my favorite writers, P.G. Wodehouse. When I began reading The Night Life of the Gods I didn't know anything about the writer, but my dad remembered having read Topper. He didn't remember if he had liked it or not though because nearly half a century had passed.

I'll say this for The Night Life of the Gods: it begins well enough with a comic "mad scientist" scene.

The scientist succeeds in what he had been working on, and has to celebra
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reasons for picking it up: Saw it on a random favorites list on GoodReads, thought it would be fun to read.

Where did I get it from: Purchased it on Amazon for the Kindle.(If you choose to read the book you can read it directly from the GoodReads website for free.)

What this book is about:

What happens when a scientist discovers how to turn living material into stone and back again at will and decides to bring the Greek Gods to life.

My opinion:

Originally written in the 1930s (published in '31)by Th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: Fantasy (probably eBook) [s] 2 81 Jun 16, 2012 07:46AM  
  • Quicksilver
  • The Fire Thief (Fire Thief Trilogy, #1)
  • Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire
  • Brain Twister
  • Norse Code
  • Totally Spellbound (Fates #6)
  • The Seventh Horse And Other Tales
  • A Fine and Private Place
  • The Circus of Dr. Lao
  • Lightborn
  • WebMage (Webmage, #1)
  • The World of Tiers Volume 2 (World of Tiers Omnibus 4-5,7)
  • Fifty-One Tales
  • The Troika
  • Alcestis
  • Watch the Face of the Sky (Circle, #3)
  • Godsworld (The Portal Catch, #1)
  • The Medusa Frequency
James Thorne Smith, Jr. was an American writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction under the byline Thorne Smith. He is best known today for the two Topper novels, comic fantasy fiction involving sex, much drinking and supernatural transformations. With racy illustrations, these sold millions of copies in the 1930s and were equally popular in paperbacks of the 1950s.

Smith was born in Annapoli
More about Thorne Smith...