Sunday, 21 September 2008


Just a quick one here, about a book I'd heard of but dismissed as being the literary equivalent of those "funny" little books you see at chainstore bookshop checkout counters--

However, a rave review from the entertaining and reliable Nicholas Lezard has made me reconsider, and I'm glad I did, because I saw the new paperback edition's cover:

I really like this: the determination to carefully Photoshop-match the "original" titles with the original fonts on the old paperbacks and hardbacks shows an admirable dedication. I also just like books about books with lots of books on the front (the subject for an upcoming post, by the way).

It also pisses all over the dull-as-dust hardback cover for the same book:


Anonymous said...

I also passed over this book but had my mind changed by that review. The cover is certainly an improvement.

JRSM said...

It really, really is. Nick Lezard's a pretty reliable guide to the good stuff, I find. Apparently he's writing a book himself, a "history of fun", which was supposed to come out last year, but no sign so far.

Craig D. said...

I'm sure I'm the millionth person to make this observation, but the book should've been titled Why Not Catch-18?, since that was the actual working title of Catch-22.

And yes, that hardcover "artwork" is almost comically dull. The paperback cover is certainly an improvement, although it's missing one of my favorites: Bram Stoker's The Un-Dead. (In which Count Dracula was to be named Count Wampyre. Shudder.)

JRSM said...

One of Bram Stoker's better moves. I recently attempted to re-read 'The Lair of the White Worm', but had to concede defeat: tertiary syphillis and literary talent don't seem to go well together.

Craig D. said...

I'm not sure how much overlap there is, but I just found a blog that covers the same topic as this book. Very interesting.

JRSM said...

Thank you for that link--it seems to be by the author of the book. Fascinating stuff.