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The Old Man and Mr. Smith


515 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385252730 / ISBN 13: 9780385252737
Published by Doubleday Canada, Toronto, 1990
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From High Park Books (Kitchener, ON, Canada)

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About this Item

A parable novel for our time about God and the Devil travelling on a fact-finding mission on earth unrecognized by those they meet. Issued simultaneously with the British edition, preceding the 1991 U.S. edition. Ustinov (1921 - 2004) was a two times Academy Award-winning film actor, director, writer, playwright, journalist, humanitarian. humorist, raconteur and Renaissance man. Blue boards with gilt lettering on spine. 261pp. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. INSCRIBED with best wishes by Ustinov on inside front page. Slight edgewear to DJ. Bookseller Inventory # 003582

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Old Man and Mr. Smith

Publisher: Doubleday Canada, Toronto

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: *** Signed By Author ***

Edition: Assumed First Edition

About this title


An increasingly decrepit God and a merely ill-tempered Satan are reconciled and attempt a mission to Earth, where their misadventures point up the comedy and tragedy of modern life

From Publishers Weekly:

Actor-author Ustinov's fable about God and Satan on an inspection tour of planet Earth is offbeat, witty, touching, profound and frequently hilarious. God--irascible, world-weary, pontificating--is the Old Man, or Godfrey; Satan poses as a Mr. Smith. But the otherworldly duo often change disguises as they traipse around the U.S., where "absurd optimism" prevails, and visit England, a fast-crumbling Soviet Union, strife-torn Israel, India, China ("The Dictatorship of the Geriatric Ward"caps ok ) and Japan, where efficiency has been elevated to a new religion. Thrown in jail for counterfeiting, able to disappear and reappear at will, constantly avoiding arrest by FBI agents who suspect they're Soviet spies or extraterrestrials, God and Satan measure the fall of humanity through encounters with the American president, the Soviet First Secretary, a whore, a drug-addicted hobo, an evangelist preacher and sundry others. Within this loquacious novel's cosmic banter, Ustinov offers priceless philosophical nuggets, as well as scathing satirical barbs, which, though sometimes arch or high-handed, are more often on target.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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