Wednesday, November 02, 2016
I Have James Lee Burke Covered!
I once read the novels of James Lee Burke like they were potato chips. I simply could not get enough of Dave Robicheaux. And then Dave's violence got a bit much for me, and I stopped reading... but when I came across these book covers I was reminded of how beautifully Burke can write. There's a distinct possibility that I'll be picking up one of his books in the future. You never can tell.
Burke has written non-series books, and series featuring Hackberry Holland, Billy Bob Holland, and Weldon Holland who stars in this week's book cover choice. Let's take a look at the US and UK covers for Wayfaring Stranger---
Both covers are very evocative for me, and both have things about them that I don't like. It won't be an easy choice for me this week.
The US Cover
If I had to name my favorite road in the United States, I would have to say Route 66, the Mother Road. When I was two, my grandmother and mother took me on a road trip from Illinois to Arizona, and the road they took was-- you guessed it-- Route 66. I have since traveled other surviving segments of the road. The interstate system tried to kill it, but it refuses to die. As for the rest of the cover, it seems a bit cluttered to me. Perhaps because Burke's name is so huge that the title and blurb have to compete for the Route 66 acreage. Clear. Crisp. I like the colors. Hmm....
The UK Cover
With that flivver making a quick getaway through an oil field, the UK cover talks to me of the Depression. Of get-rich-quick schemes. Of Bonnie and Clyde. The synopsis of the book tells me that I hit the mark a few times with my assumptions. I like the fact that the cover doesn't feel cluttered, and I'm always a sucker for a cover that's got plenty of sky on it. But... to someone with bad eyesight, the lines and slightly blurred appearance to the graphics makes me feel as though my glasses are dirty (or my eyes out of focus), and that's a feeling that I do not like.
If I saw both of these books sitting side by side on a shelf, which one would I pick up first? I have to be honest and say that the Route 66 insignia would win out every single time. I'm like Pavlov's dog with that sign. If the US cover did not have that road badge on it? Then my vote would go to the UK cover even though the blurring drives me around the twist.
Oy. I think I gave myself a headache....
What about you? Which one do you prefer? US? UK? Neither one? Too close to call? Inquiring minds would love to know!