Monday 17 December 2007

Simenon! 2: The Retro Edition

Having looked at recent covers for some of Georges Simenon's numerous novels, I thought it might be interesting to show you some older covers. These various Simenons have been gathered in my trawls through the second-hand bookshops of Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne over the years.

First, here's the classic Penguin Crime look, from before they started including illustrations on their books (as always, click on the covers for higher-resolution images).

Here we have two covers drawn by Romek Marber, one of Penguin's great designers.

More on Marber can be found here.

At different times, Penguin went with illustrative covers...

..and photographic covers.

Finally, here are two different approaches to the one Simenon novel. The first is a photographic Penguin cover, while the second is an American edition with a rather more James-Bond-ish feel to it.

And cop a look at that irresistible blurb!

Bizarrely enough, that very blurb has been used by the great Ed Kuepper as the title of one of the instrumental pieces on his The Exotic Mail Order Moods of Ed Kuepper album.

It's also interesting to see on these and the newer covers I discussed earlier that sometimes Simenon loses his first name.


Anonymous said...

So much fun looking over these old Simenon covers. I have a great old one ready to post myself, for The Widow Couderc (which we—NYRB are soon to reprint). Very pulpy. And the copy is hilarious.

You mention that Simenon's first name is often dropped from the covers. In fact, that was how he liked his name to appear. Hence the NYRB Simenons also don't include the Georges.

JRSM said...

Thanks for that, Sara--I didn't know that was his preferred way of doing things.

By the way, well done on the NYRB list: a fantastic set of books, those of which I don't yet own I ponder with lust in my heart.