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Old 08-26-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Smith, Thorne: Oswald Biltmore (Illustrated). v1. 25 August 2012

By J. Thorne Smith (1892-1934), author of “Topper / The Jovial Ghosts,” “Topper Takes a Trip,” “The Night Life of the Gods,” “The Stray Lamb,” “Turnabout,” “The Glorious Pool,” etc.
Illustrations by Richard Dorgan (1892-1953).
Biltmore Oswald was published 1918.
This book is Public Domain in countries where copyright is Life+50, and in the USA.

Thorne Smith’s first book.
Before there was Popeye, Sad Sack, Beetle Bailey and Crock, there was Biltmore Oswald. This book is the compilation of a weekly series that Thorne Smith wrote for the naval journal “Broadside”. It’s the diary of Biltmore Oswald, a hapless naval recuit, and his day-to-day adventures during World War I.

Oswald, a naive innocent, finds himself in many a compromising situation: Showering in the hotel room of the wife of a murderous, jealous man; observing French men greeting each other with kisses, and being pursued by beautiful women, much to the displeasure of his sweetie, Polly.

This, Thorne Smith's first attempt at writing, proved to be quite successful for its time, yielding a sequel, “Out o’ Luck.”
—Review by James Choma at amazon.com

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An excerpt:
Quote:
May 9th. — I am just after having been killed in a sham battle, and so consequently I feel rather ghastly today. I don’t exactly know whether I was a Red or a Blue, because I did a deal of fighting on both sides, but always with the same result. I was killed instantly and completely. People got sick of putting me out of my misery after a while and I was allowed to wander around at large in a state of great mystification and excitement, shooting my blank bullets into the face of nature in an aimless sort of manner whenever the battle began to pall upon me.

Most of the time I passed pleasantly on the soft, fresh flank of a hill where for a while I slept until a cow breathed heavily in my face and reminded me that it was war after all. My instructions were to keep away from the guns, and get killed as soon as possible. As these instructions were not difficult to follow, I carried them out to the letter. I stayed away from the guns and I permitted myself to be killed several times in order to make sure it would take. After that I became a sort of composite camp follower, deserter and straggler.
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31 full-page illustrations by cartoonist Dick Dorgan. Embedded small-caps font. No text-wrapping. Inline ToC cross-linked to/from chapter breaks that I added to the book.

I came across this while I was doing the Edward Streeter “Letters to Mable” books. My late husband was career Navy, so I felt compelled to do this book. Amazing how many of the terms and customs still exist 100 years later! A delightfully daffy book. I hope you enjoy it.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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File Type: epub SmithThorne-OswaldBiltmore-illus.epub (2.29 MB, 188 views)
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
Mike Hobart
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Never heard of this one -- I look forward to reading it (even if it doesn't have ghosts or supernatural damsels in it!).
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