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!)