Monday 8 September 2008

5 Books I Recently Bought Just Because of Their Covers

Joe Meno, The Boy Detective Fails: First learned of this writer here. How could you not want to know what happens in this book?

Heather McRobie, Psalm 119: Sunbathing tourist rudely disturbed by exploding city. I'm sold.

Lionel Davidson, The Night of Wenceslas: Saw the cover (click for bigger version) in a second-hand book shop. Thought, 'That's got to be a Romek Marber!'. It was. Saw the author, one of whose other books I loved years ago. Had to have.

Sadegh Hedayat, The Blind Owl: I like owls. (As an aside, though, I notice that Oneworld Classics' original claim that each of their books would have an extensive section of photos, background info, etc, seems to have gone by the wayside, the nifty French flaps of their covers have disappeared, and the cover stock now looks and feels more like something on a POD book. Still, they publish some great stuff.)

Gwyn Griffin, Sons of God: Have never heard of this chap, but how about that Ralph Steadman cover (click for bigger version)? And the book is about a seedy police superintendent in a soon-to-be-independent British colony in Africa who gets mixed up in unwise political, romantic and social entanglements. Like George Orwell mixed with Graham Greene, it says here. That's my cup of tea.


Anonymous said...

Someone named Psalm 119 as a Booker should've-made-er on the Man Booker 2008 forum.

I agree that The Boy Detective Fails is a must-investigate-further title. Less inspired by "from the author of Hairstyles of the Damned."

Ricky Lee Grove said...

These are lovely covers. If you haven't already, can you talk about Romek Marber more? And I love the Blind Owl cover (the book is very dark, but a wonderful read)

JRSM said...

John, I know what you mean, but at least 'Hairstyles of the Damned' is a novel, rather than one of those not-funny books full of photos of bad haircuts.

Ricky, your wish is my command. A big Romek Marber post is coming up!

Ricky Lee Grove said...

Excellent! Looking forward to learning more.

Anonymous said...

I need to get that edition of The Blind Owl. My current one, from Rebel Inc. is probably better, but its a bit dogged now. It also shows up the problem with transliterating names: he's Sadeq on the OneWorld, Sadegh on the Rebel Inc.

I did pick up Three Drops Of Blood though, his short story collection.

Hope you like The Blind Owl: it's a very strange read. Hypnotic is probably the apt term.

JRSM said...

Yes, I just bought 'Three Drops of Blood', too. I'm going to tackle 'The Blind Owl' this weekend--it looks very promising. The transliterating names thing can be odd--like those dusty old books by 'Tcheckov' you see in second-hand bookshops.