Thursday, 20 August 2009

For 'No Shame', see under 'HarperCollins' (plus Gleaming Buttocks)

If you've been in a bookshop in the last couple of years, you've seen what a raging success Stephanie Meyer's various Twilight books have become. The books are published by an imprint of Little, Brown.



Lo, HarperCollins did look upon these works, and want a piece of the financial action. So what have they done? Committed aesthetic violence upon a public-domain novel beloved by the characters in the Twilight books, giving it a cheap and nasty copycat cover, and sent it forth to rake in the cash.



UPDATE: How do our friends at Tutis choose to cover Wuthering Heights? Like this, of course.



Yours for around US$17. Or you could lash out on the US$20 BiblioBazaar edition, which features the bicycle Heathcliff used on his trips through the moors...



* * *

And here's something completely different: an amusingly daft cover for Goldfinger, as published by MJF Books in 1997.

16 comments:

Alex said...

hilarious :) why is bond throwing champagne flutes at her bottom?

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the Bond cover.

JRSM said...

Well, sometimes when you see a naked, golden bottom, you just HAVE to throw champagne flutes at it. It's a deep-seated human need.

Brian Busby said...

Strange, why was Heathcliff riding a girls' bike? Edgar Linton, maybe, but Heathcliff?

Deb said...

(Long-time lurker; first-time poster.)

I work in a junior high school library and we've never had as much interest in Wuthering Heights as we've had since the students started reading the Twilight books. After reading Twilight, they want to read Wuthering Heights. While I agree that it's irritating to see a classic being marketed with this sort of cover, if it brings readers to Bronte, I can't say it's a completely bad thing. (And that cover's going to get more readers to Wuthering Heights than the bike.)

Max Cairnduff said...

Deb,

Out of interest, do many go on to read other Bronte's or similar?

Not knocking the Meyers here, I've no strong view on her, but I'm curious if the publishers are just selling a book by using a misleading cover or actually broadening people's tastes (by using a misleading cover).

Max Cairnduff said...

Deb,

Out of interest, do many go on to read other Bronte's or similar?

Not knocking the Meyers here, I've no strong view on her, but I'm curious if the publishers are just selling a book by using a misleading cover or actually broadening people's tastes (by using a misleading cover).

Deb said...

Max--

Based on my not-very-scientific assessment, I'd say about a third of the students who check out Wuthering Heights finish it. When they check out the book, I do warn them that the first part is a bit of slow-going but to try to stay with it. The ones who finish the book usually then ask for other books "like this." Wuthering Heights is a bit of a sui generis, but I always point them to Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. (We don't have a lot of early 19th-century literature in our library--surprise!)

I realize not every student who loves Twilight is going to love the Brontes, but if Twilight is the gateway by which we can introduce some students to some of the classics, I'm not opposed to it or to attempts by publishers to piggyback onto Twilight's success to sell some classic lit.

JRSM said...

Deb and Max: You both raise some interesting points. I'd assumed that it was a sort of trick to sell books to people who wouldn't actually like what they bought, but if it does actually end up with people enjoying the classics and reading more of them, then it's a very good thing indeed.

Derek said...

The mystery deepens. If it's not Heathcliff's bike ... then whose is it? Buy this book to find out!

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

You know, I have to admit that I like the Bond cover, too. I'm glad someone else said it before me. As I get older, I like the old pulp fiction-type covers more and more.

I don't know if this one qualifies, but the golden bum is funny. The smoke bubble, made to look like a comic book speech bubble, is a nice touch. Who knows how much of it was intentional.

JRSM said...

I have to admit that Bond cover is growing on me, especially now that I've seen some of the other covers in the same series. I'll probably put them up soon so everybody can have a look.

David said...

Kinda like the Bond cover, too.

And I don't really think the "goal" of HarperCollins is to trick people into buying a book they won't like.

It's simply to sell books, whether the person likes the book or not.

JRSM said...

Fair point, David--it's more the general tackiness of the cover that bugs me. And regarding the Bond cover, see the newest post.

Craig D. said...

Ugh. It was gonna happen sooner or later:

http://tinyurl.com/23vb7l8

Fuck you, SoHo Books.

JRSM said...

To be honest, it's amazing it took this long. >sigh<