Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I've Got Judith Flanders Covered!


There you are, walking down one of the Mystery aisles in your favorite bookstore. What are you going to do? Do you have enough time to stop and peruse the spines of all the books to see which titles catch your eye? Or do you decide to take a look at the books that have been shelved face out to see which covers catch your eye?

Decisions, decisions! It might boil down to how much time you have, and if you don't have much, I would imagine you're going to opt for checking out those book covers. 

That could be a bit dangerous if-- like me-- you've been known to read authors who are published in both the US and the UK, and your favorite bookstore stocks some UK editions. That "Same Title, Different Cover" (STDC) plot has tricked me into buying more than one duplicate copy, let me tell you!

Our task this week is to take a look at a STDC to decide which side of the pond got it right according to our discerning eyes. This week, I decided to take a look at A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders, a book I've already read and reviewed. Will my knowledge of the book be of any assistance to me-- or to you? Let's find out!


   

A Murder of Magpies takes place in the world of publishing and has a great deal to do with a tell-all book about the fashion industry. It's easy to see that each side of the pond had an entirely different take on the cover artwork.

The UK edition opted for focusing on the world of fashion, with a blood-splattered dress on a dressmaker's dummy. A small nod is given to publishing with that little stack of books on the floor. A needle and thread stitch their way around the edges of the cover, and a magpie sits on the shoulder of the dressmaker's dummy. Just one small blurb on the front to tell us that the book is funny-- and I happen to know for a fact that this blurb doesn't lie. Judith Flanders is more well known in the UK, so her name is above the title. All in all, a book that would probably appeal more to females than males, right?

On the other hand, the US edition opted for focusing on the world of publishing, an old-fashioned typewriter pictured front and center with some strange-looking red crow-like birds trying to get some paper in position. The only nod to fashion is the needle and thread wrapped around the paper. Since Flanders is more well-known in the UK, there are two blurbs on the US cover, both from well-known writers on the west side of the pond, and her name is beneath the title.

Now... which cover do I prefer? With the dress on the dummy and the bird on its shoulder, I have to admit that the UK edition reminds me of the mice and birds that put Cinderella's gown together in the Walt Disney classic film. That light beige background doesn't do much for me either.

Even though I don't like those red stand-ins for magpies on the US cover, I like the blue background, and I like the cover's focus on the publishing aspect of the book. Yes, I would give the edge to the US edition.

What about you? Which cover do you prefer? The US edtion or the UK? Inquiring minds would love to know! (And if you have trouble leaving comments on my blog, please feel free to email me your opinion: kittlingbooks(at)gmail(dot)com. I'll be more than happy to include your comment on this post for you!)


12 comments:

  1. I like the U.S. cover. Whenever I see the cover, it catches my eye. It is different and somewhat intriguing. However, it is the title that was the main attention grabber for me. When I read the title, I had to look it up to see what the book was about.

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    1. I agree with you about the title, Lynn. It grabbed my attention, too, and made me dig a little deeper.

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  2. OK, so I'm going to stir the pot by saying I don't really like either of them. I know, I'm contrary. Too cartoonish for me. Love your Cinderella comparison though. Interesting that the UK cover mentions the "funny" and the US does not. Plus the two authors that blurb on the front are not known for funny particularly, but they are certainly well known. Just my two cents. :-)

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    1. And a valuable 2¢ it is, too, Kay! I now know that you don't like cartoonish book covers. Important intel that I'll file away for future reference! ;-)

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  3. I agree with you, Cathy. The U.S. cover is a hint better.

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    1. Your comment almost leads me to believe that you're not a fan of cartoonish covers either, Margot!

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  4. I suspect that I would have picked up either of these in the store, but that the old-fashioned typewriter (a favourite motif) would have swayed me to the US edition.

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    1. I have fond memories of those old typewriters!

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  5. Comment sent to me by Reta:

    I prefer the US version. I also like your Cinderella reference! (That was one of the best parts of the movie!)

    The US version would have been even better if the bird had been positioned on the typewriter keys!

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    1. As far as "me the child" was concerned, those mice and birds were what made the movie, Reta.

      Hmm... birds hunting and pecking at the typewriter keys? I like it!

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  6. I sent in a comment soon after you posted this but it didn't appear.

    I like the U.K. cover because it's simpler, see author and title right away. The U.S. cover is too busy. I had to look at it for awhile to figure out what the focus is. If the red lines going through the cover, the two magpies at the top of the paper were omitted, it would be clearer. It's too distracting as it is.

    I want to see the title and author clearly.

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    1. Good points to make, Kathy. Thanks!

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