The Efficiency Expert Edgar Rice Burroughs - The Efficiency Expert is a 1921 short novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. One of a small number of Burroughs' novels set in contemporary America as opposed to a fantasy universe, The Efficiency Expert follows the adventures of Jimmy Torrance as he attempts to make a career for himself in 1921 Chicago. The book is remarkable for the criminal livelihoods of the hero's friends. It was also admitted to be a fictionalization of Burroughs' own difficulties in finding a job prior to becoming a best-selling writer. Though written in 1919, it was first published in the October 1921 edition of the All-Story Weekly magazine. The first book publication was by House of Greystoke in 1966.