Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Burton on Amis

At the end of last year, I showed the excellent Jonathan Burton's work on Douglas Adams's most famous book, with the promise of his upcoming Kingsley Amis covers for Penguin Modern Classics. Well, here they are, and I love them.


Click for a bigger of the full cover--it captures well the chilly, sometimes fantastical, and often booze-soaked world Amis conjures up in his short fiction.

Without wishing to give anything away, once you've read the book this image is pretty chilling.



These covers are even more effective when you look at the sorts of designs these books have had in the past.




Given that these are the covers I've been living with for some time, an upgrade is inevitable.

That first old Girl, 20 cover, by the way, is entirely representative of the one-note crappiness of Panther's 1970s Amis covers--though to be fair, it was pretty much their approach to every other author too.







9 comments:

Matt Keeley said...

The Green Man cover at least shows a scene from the book, though I don't think anyone buying it would imagine from the cover that it's a *ghost* story. I suppose that bit of fog on the cover represents the revenant, but it's rather overshadowed by the blondes.

I've been buying older copies of a few Amis books of late; I've had to go for the hardbacks, because I don't think I could bear to be seen with one of those salacious paperbacks. I look forward to ordering these new editions.

JRSM said...

Yes, I suppose all of those old paperbacks technically do represent bits from the books, but in a horribly misleading way.

fitzroycyclonic said...

I've got a few of those and it does tend to prevent you from reading them on public transport. The new ones are great, as you say. The expression on the face for Girl, 20 is perfect.

Tulkinghorn said...

An abiding mystery is the inability of the world's publishing companies to make Amis available in anything but randomly chosen editions....

By all accounts, "Take a Girl Like You" is a masterpiece and has been out of print for about ten years. Doesn't appear to be among these new releases either. (Available as a penny book from Amazon, of course, but that's so tacky.)

And of course nothing in the United States except "Lucky Jim" and some non-fiction.

JRSM said...

"Take a Girl Like You" is really good--and from memory, the BBC adaptation of it that that edition is a tie-in to was pretty good as well. I haven't read the sequel, though--the way things are left between the two main characters at the end of "Take" makes me wonder how on earth their story can have a second act.

Corpus Libris said...

The color in the new covers is fabulous! And the old ones are so horrible!

Matthew Adams said...

Not a comment on the lovely covers (which are lovely, and the ugly covers are pretty damn ugly, even if the girls are quite attractive), but just letting you know the books I ordered just arrived, despite the flooding in Ipswich (where i live), and in a nice waterproof wrapping so they are safe and sound and I am looking very much to reading them.

Cheers

JRSM said...

I'm 100% with you, Corpus.

Matthew, I'm glad they arrived safe and sound. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope you stay unsubmerged! It looks like nightmare land over there right now. All the best!

Anonymous said...

Difficulties with Girls (the sequel) also VERY GOOD, though with a less good but still interesting subplot. Get it at the library!