Wednesday, July 22, 2015
I Have Andrea Camilleri Covered!
It's always nice to see people enjoying a feature like y'all are enjoying this one. One of the things that made me smile about last week's comparison was that several of you told me (via comments here, email, and on Facebook) that you really didn't like either hardback cover of Becky Masterman's Rage Against the Dying-- that you preferred the US paperback's cover instead.
Which may lead you to wonder how I go about choosing the covers to compare. I use the websites for Amazon US and Amazon UK, and I only compare hardcovers to hardcovers or paperbacks to paperbacks. For some reason I don't feel that "mixing and matching" is fair. I did find something interesting in researching an upcoming comparison title. Its journey from hardcover to paperback tells quite the tale, but you'll just have to wait to see for yourself!
In the mean time, let's take a look at this week's US vs UK cover comparison. I was inspired by yesterday's review of The Potter's Field....
One thing I've noticed about Camilleri's covers is that they tend to be a bit more abstract and rely a great deal on form and color. The US cover is rather subdued. Fallen autumn leaves litter the ground, and there is a puddle with the reflection of a person and a cross in it. The author's name stands out more prominently than the book's title, and to me that's a good thing. This is a long-running series, and although I may not remember all the titles, I know that I'm definitely interested in a Camilleri novel.
The US cover also tells us that this book is an international bestseller and that the author has been on the New York Times bestseller list. (Do Americans only want to read Winners?) Penguin uses one of the few truly useful blurbs I've ever seen ("There's a deliciously playful quality to the mysteries Camilleri writes"), and beneath the title we're told that this is an Inspector Montalbano mystery. For me, the two most important things on the cover are (1) Camilleri, and (2) Montalbano.
In contrast, the UK cover is livelier. Like its US counterpart, the author's name commands more attention than the title. We're told it's an Inspector Montalbano mystery, and there's a rather generic (but true) blurb from a UK newspaper. The artwork is rather eye-catching. The top has a green field with a bare foot, spots of blood, and a dark brown patch that probably represents dirt but looks more like a monk's robe to me. The bottom of the cover shows a curvaceous woman walking through the sun-drenched Sicilian landscape down to the sea. Altogether, the UK cover is brighter and more attention-getting than the US cover. At least to these eyes.
Now... which cover do I prefer?
To be completely honest-- neither one. Both of them leave me cold. The only things that need to stand out to me in order for me to snatch up this book and run with it to the cash register are the words CAMILLERI and MONTALBANO. Granted, I'm going to take a look to see if I've read that particular title before I make my run to the end zone, but this is the first time for this feature that I honestly don't care for either cover.
What about you? Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Or are you in my USS Neither One boat this time around? Inquiring minds would love to know!