Friday, 8 August 2008

Sex, Death & Sequels (and Barnaby Hall)

Another duplication of stock images on book covers, this time of a photo by Barnaby Hall. It first cropped up five years ago on Patricia Duncker's Highsmithian Seven Tales of Sex and Death, and now it's on the non-awaited sequel to Charles Webb's disappointing The Graduate, Home School.

You'll notice, if you look at the figure coming through the door, that the Webb book has had the gloved hand airbrushed out, removing the hint of imminent sexual violence.

Barnaby Hall has, by the way, done a fair few covers in his time, including those for the Vintage US editions of Nabokov, Chandler and Jim Thompson. Some are shown below--more are at his site here. Click for bigger versions.


John Self said...

Agree that The Graduate is disappointing. I like the idea of a novel where one never enters the characters' heads, and all must be judged by their words and actions, but it just seemed empty rather than intriguing.

Sadly it will be reissued in Penguin Modern Classics next year (I know how you love to be teased with such advance information!).

JRSM said...

I still want to know where you get this information! But yes, that sums up how I felt about The Graduate--it was all so affectless that I couldn't bring myself to give a damn what happened.

John Self said...

Well, from the senior commissioning editor of Penguin Modern Classics - not very interesting but true. Won't have any more info for a while though as she's just gone on maternity leave. Some other forthcoming titles (UK only, I presume):

Harry Harrison, Make Room! Make Room! (Feb 09) with a new preface by Harrison

Charles Webb, The Graduate (Mar 09) with a new introduction by Hanif Kureishi

Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (Mar 09)

John Christopher, The Death of Grass (Apr 09)

Eight titles by Italo Calvino in May 09 - mostly 'minor' works

Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun (Jul 09), new introduction by EL Doctorow

JRSM said...

A-ha! Thanks for that--glad John Christopher is finally getting the Classics treatment: I've raved about him a lot here. Also looking forward to the Calvino, the Trumbo and the Harrison. The Hijuelos I have somewhere in the teetering unread piles...