call it light fantasy, call it American humour at it's best, Thorne Smith is a link in the chain that begins with Mark Twain, moves through John Kendricks Bangs, and is exemplified today by Tom Robbins and Christopher Moore. One of the most underrated of early 20th century novelists, Smith shone brightly and died young.
"Night Life" is one of his finest stories, involving as it does mad scientists, Irish little people and Greek gods. Hunter Hawk had money, the respect of his fellow scientists, a freeloading sister complete with family, and the curiosity of the townsfolk. What he was missing was a sense of fun and the capacity to enjoy himself. The reader follows along as Hunter encounters female companionship for the first time, and (mostly) enjoys the complications that come in the wake of his newfound companion.
Very much in the tradition of "Practical Demonkeeping", "Coyote Blue" and "Jitterbug Perfume", "Night Life of the Gods" is laugh out loud funny, but also an exploration of the morals and foibles of the Jazz Age. Think "The Great Gatsby" as written by Christopher Moore.