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Sunday, August 19, 2007

House of Happy Endings

I really want to hear from readers about this cover; I don't think I've posted anything this year that could be so potentially divisive.


Leslie Garis is the granddaughter of Howard Garis, author of the Uncle Wiggly books. There's the typical memoir fodder, which doesn't seem particularly relevant with respect to this cover. The extended family did move to a large house called "The Dell" in Amhearst, Mass., which is where the photo was taken.

What's clear is that this is a memoir about books, or a family whose life was determined by books. And (sort of) like a cover that was featured here recently, it's taken (for lack of a better way of describing it) the meta "book informed strongly by books so let's put a book on the cover" approach.

Anyway, have at it. That fleshy pinky color on the edges is driving me a bit crazy, but I haven't seem this in person so I can't say that it's accurate in this scan. Otherwise, though, what do you think?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate the jacket: the faux book within a book and dated lettering, bannering etc. are too cutesy for words (and for the actual book itself). Altho it's about a family with writers (and kind of hack writers at that), it's as much about what lies beneath the facade -- in this case, mental illness, addiction, total family dysfunction; in short, a modern memoir.

Totally off topic, but Uncle Wiggily made me think of it: look at children's book design? Some of it is excellent. Much, admittedly derivative, but worth a glance. The Prendergasts as a packgae is neatly old-fashioned.

Anonymous said...

The cover is safe and not very interesting EXCEPT the weird pink border, haven't seen it in person yet.

I agree about interesting kids books designs--its one of the segments in publishing that's not totally flat, and the publishers do buy some interesting design: try Terry Pratchett's (hard editions) series Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith; ditto Maurice and his Amazing Rodents. ONLY the HarperTeen hardcover American editons have the great woodcutty covers. Accept no subsitutes.

Design for MySpace said...

The cover is very classical, the pink color is out of shope. One gets an old feel on watching the cover a vintage feel to be technically correct

Stephen D. Rogers said...

Does that pink match the color of the house?

Francois Tremblay said...

Faux book? I say this is a faux cover. Zero stars.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad, because the photo itself is really evocative.

Anonymous said...

yikes.

ian s. said...

yeah, this design sucks.

Stephen Tiano said...

As awful-looking as any cover I've seen in a while (tho', admittedly, I have not seen it in the flesh), The pink and the blue type is jarring; and the type itself ... oy. The concept, a picture of a book on the book cover is just too cheesy.

Anonymous said...

this is the WORST book jacket i've ever seen. look at the perspective on the "edge" part of the cover- the spine type is at the wrong angle and doesn't curve the way the spine curves, and the branches of the tree aren't photoshopped to agree with the 90' "fold" onto the spine of the book... not only is the concept kinda lame, but the execution is appalling. ugh. why bother?

Anonymous said...

Yeghhh. It's hard to define what bothers me the most about this design--is it the faded pink around the edges or the wobbly blue outline of the fake book? Or that the photo of the trees seeps through the fake pages of the book? Regardless, with all the bad elements combined, it's a truly heinous cover for what seems like an interesting, though creepy, memoir.

Ingrid said...

This is sad. Using a book on a book cover can be done, but with a bit more thought on how to subjugate the object (the actual book you hold) with the subject (the book cover on a book). I assume they ignored the spine for this one, and it would have worked better if they had taken this idea and, well, wrapped it around the cover to make it a cover-within-a-cover.

And the title/image balance is off. I would have made the title block deeper.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

This is hideous. Hideous like cartoon car crash. Yikes!

ian s. said...

still ugly...

sophie said...

Not sure about this one. I like the photograph and feel that that may have been enough. This is all a bit laboured. And the pink is just wrong.

Eric said...

KidPix may have been used for production...