Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hanson on Amis

Eric Hanson's wonderful illustration and design work has graced a number of books before: see here for an earlier post on his book covers. Now he has created new cover illustrations for four of the best novels by Kingsley Amis, being published in the US later this year and in early 2013 by the reliably amazing NYRB Books. Click the images for much bigger versions of each.






(As ever, these NYRB Classics are art-directed by the great Katy Homans.)

Lucky Jim is one of my favourite books ever, and The Alteration is a superior alternative history novel; The Green Man is a very funny black comedy/horror/fantasy, while The Old Devils is another black comedy, this time about old age (though I admit I prefer the similarly themed Ending Up).

See here for Jonathan Burton's take on Amis for Penguin UK, as well as a characteristically hideous old Panther cover for The Green Man.

17 comments:

Emma said...

I love these! Especially The Green Man.
I think I'll try to buy it (it can be hard cover-shopping online).

StuckInABook said...

Love. NYRB don't put a foot wrong with their covers, do they? I must read some Amis...

Matt Keeley said...

I didn't realize The Alteration and The Green Man were coming too! Hopefully these do well and they keep bringing out Amis novels; he's been unavailable in the US for far too long.

Great covers, though I can't wrap my head around the choice of Gessen for the Lucky Jim introduction. Isn't he exactly the sort of pretentious, overserious writer Amis parodied? More Bertrand Welch than Jim Dixon?

(On the other hand, Banville and Dirda are great choices)

Levi Stahl said...

Gorgeous.

I'm still jealous that the NYRB snagged Lucky Jim--that's a real coup. The only other Amis pere I've read is The Old Devils, which is bitter and biting as you can get, but also very funny and even moving at times.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad they included The Green Man. It was one of three Amises in some '1001 books you must read' list as well - it seems to be rightly emerging as one of his best. Excellent covers.

jb said...

Thanks for posting these! I've been on an unstoppable NYRB Classics bender lately (seriously - waaaay too many books), which ties in neatly with my 'need' for a better copy of 'Lucky Jim' than the crappy old '70s paperback I have.

Didn't care much for 'Old Devils' when I read it years ago, but might give it another chance, and have never read the other two, so here's a good reason to do so..

Thomas at My Porch said...

Oh golly. I just read Lucky Jim and didn't like it as much as I thought I would, but this cover makes me want to buy it anyway.

JRSM said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody.

Matt, I hadn't thought about it, but you're right about Gessen. Does he have Bertrand's speech impediment, I wonder?

Levi, I think you'd love 'Ending Up', then. And 'The Alteration' and 'The Green Man' definitely deserve your attention.

jb, I too have a big pile of NYRBs waiting for attention. Just about to launch into 'An Ermine in Czernopol'.

Thomas, a number of people have said that to me about 'Lucky Jim'. All I can do is shake my head sadly. And wonder if perhaps I'm a bit too like Jim Dixon for comfort.

jb said...

'An Ermine in Czernopol' is only my (long) list of NYRBs to buy - as opposed my not-insignificant collection of them I have bought recently but haven't got to yet, mostly because I've been reading other NYRBs. They're so damn addictive...

Let us know what you think of 'Ermine'...

JRSM said...

I started it, jb, and am about 1/3 of the way in--it's great! Full of discursions and sidetracks, like Moby Dick or Tristram Shandy, but all done with wonderful Middle European wit and charm. I have no idea where it's going, but in the best possible way.

jb said...

Yeah, that hasn't made me less likely to buy it soon - but I have a bunch at home to read, two that I'm currently reading, and another handful coming, courtesy the book depository...

Tulkinghorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tulkinghorn said...

Who do I complain to that "Take a Girl Like You", which many knowledgeable people think is among Amis's best work, is always left out of these republication schemes, whether Vintage UK, Penguin Modern, or NYRB?

JRSM said...

Yeah, it's a great book, and the only recentish edition is the TV series tie-in Penguin published in the 1990s (which, admittedly, is actually not too bad for a TV tie-in: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41N05KCEXSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg).

marly youmans said...

Oh, like these--and "Lucky Jim" is one of those books I like well enough for a reread. Was the intro pompous, as the comments suggest? I certainly hope so. Preferably over-the-top pompous.

Perhaps I'll have to read "The Alteration," as I missed that one.

JRSM said...

Marly, we have to wait until October to verify the pompousness or otherwise of that intro. But definitely read 'The Alteration': it's great!

JRSM said...

PS: Just spotted the words "Post-apocalyptic epic poem in blank verse", and I'm sold!