Thursday, 22 April 2010

Steinbeck Unfortunates

As much as I have enjoyed most of John Steinbeck's work, I have to say that his To a God Unknown was not much good. It seemed to be Steinbeck channeling D. H. Lawrence, combining the worst aspects of both writers. However, I did enjoy this cover, which was recently included in an ABE mailout.


Lust for land?

Even better is this Corgi cover, which appears to show a young lady experimenting with urinating while standing up.


Here are a few more pulpy Steinbeck covers.




11 comments:

Brian Busby said...

I'm not so sure that the woman on the cover of To a God Unknown is a lady.

Must say, all this makes Steinbeck look like the Orie Hitt.

Bob Fingerman said...

The Pearl might be my most hated book ever. It was required reading at my junior high school and it was shit from cover to cover. I like several other Steinbecks, but boy is that one rotten.

JRSM said...

But wouldn't you have enjoyed it more if the cover had featured two of the cast from 'Fame' involved in a bout of sexual assault?

I had the same experience with 'Of Mice and Men': I like it now, but the enforced reading experience was not a fun one.

Brian Busby said...

"...the Orrie Hitt."

What was I thinking?

On the other hand, there is only one Orrie Hitt. A unique talent.

JRSM said...

I only just recently read my first Orrie Hitt. An unusual experience.

Panos said...

Awesome blog, excellent covers, never expected something like this for a Steinbeck, still objective of the cover was to sell, great work!

Vintage Reading said...

At his best Steinbeck is the greatest American writer in my opinion. At his worst, he can have a tendency towards sentimentality. I actually like the Sweet Thursday cover. I imagine Susie to look like that!

Matthew Adams said...

The Red Pony was one of the most horrible enforced readings at school I had to endure, but I had to read Of Mice and Men in grade 7 and absolutely loved it.

I actually enjoy these covers (in a purely sentimental way). There is something exciting about picking up a book with a tawdry cover and upon reading it enjoying a well written book.

JRSM said...

I know what you mean: I have some wonderful books with absolutely appalling/schlocky covers, and in an odd way it adds to their charm.

Ben said...

Some of these covers certainly bring down some memories -- my mother was (and presumably is) a big Steinbeck fan, and encouraged me to read the loads of his more child-appropriate books almost as soon as I'd learned to read... for that reason alone I find it pretty much impossible to judge the quality of his work as a grown up.

The saucier covers also serve to remind me how I consequently spent years wondering what the hell this "Cat House" full of unruly females was all about, and why all the male characters seemed to hold it in such high regard...

JRSM said...

That reminds me of a beach house my parents rented when I was 5 or 6, which was usually rented by uni students (hence the vomit stains hidden under the floormats), and which had a book called something like '1001 Dirty Jokes'. I remember reading a vast swathe of pussy jokes, and wondering what was so rude about cats.