Tuesday 6 November 2007

Gentlemen of the Road

Michael Chabon is one of my favourite writers (and if you haven't seen the wonderful movie version of his Wonder Boys, you must). He also recently has been on a bit of a mission to revitalise genre fiction (mystery, science-fiction, even pulp adventure).

His newest book, originally published as a newspaper serial, was provisionally entitled Jews with Swords. It's the story of two amoral yet good-hearted Jewish thieves and adventurers in the Caucasus around 950AD.

Chabon's books usually have wonderful covers on the American versions (usually by the great Chip Kidd), and dull, unimaginative covers on the Commonwealth editions. This time, though, for once it's the British edition that has the good cover.

It's just right, like an Edwardian adventures storybooks for children. I'd have peeled that annoying white sticker off, too, if bitter experience didn't tell me that it would tear off some of the cover with it. A shame, because it's the only thing that spoils the illusion.

This edition also comes with a tipped-in bookplate, possibly signed by Chabon himself. At least, it's his signature, but I'm buggered if I can work out whether it's been hand-signed or simply printed onto the bookplate. I'd love to know which it is.


JonathanM said...

My copies arrived with the bookplate too - with a neat Waterstone's logo in the bottom left corner.

At least they do look hand signed. Even if it does look like I shoplifted them.

Guerilla bookselling, now there's an idea.

JRSM said...

Yes, the Waterstone's logo is odd, given I didn't buy it from there either. Maybe the shop I got it from shoplifted _their_ copies.