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Monday, June 30, 2008

Personal Days, US and UK

US edition by Keenan; UK edition by Al Heighton

The layoff-focused, comic workplace debut novel from Ed Park; Mark Sarvas' NYT review nicely points out that if this sounds similar to Joshua Ferris' Then We Came to the End, so be it: "considering the ubiquity of the work experience in American lives...perhaps the question shouldn’t be why there are two work-related novels right now but why there aren’t many more."

The frantic silliness of the UK cover (top) trumps the predictability of the US edition (bottom), although I wonder if we've seen enough of rounded typefaces to hold us over for a bit.

Buy this book from Amazon.com



12 comments:

GS said...

Keenan did the US version.

The Book Designer said...

I think we've seen enough rounded typefaces and keyboards. I like the illustrative, cominc quality of the UK version. But I like the approachable (for me) grounded aesthetics and clean execution of the US version that makes me think of work. Not sure how it wraps on the spine and back cover, but the front cover would catch my eye. Call me dumb, but what's with the raven or Jay bird or whatever???

The Book Designer said...

?

Joseph said...

Not sure about the bird. And I agree with you: the US one is very well crafted, and it's a good design. I just sorted feel like I could have seen this one coming, whereas the UK one took me by surprise.

Ken S. said...

I agree that the keyboard cover is clean, but I found that it takes a moment to be able to read it, which strikes me as a flaw.

Christian in NYC said...

The U.K. version gave me a headache. I would not pick up that book.

The U.S. version seems just. . . done. Done before. Done better, before. Done well, sure, but done.

Could I have a third option, please? That's what my publisher would say.

James said...

Having read the book, I think the US cover is a better reflection of the content. It's funny, but not as zany a novel as the UK cover seems to suggest.

And the crow is a relevant image from the text.

mog said...

I would have guessed that the crow was the logo for the imprint or publisher or something. It's like a little tiny emblem or something. I guess it adds some interest, but now that I know it's an illustration it doesn't really seem to "fit in."

I prefer the UK cover, rounded typefaces and all (I don't understand why we don't we see many more rounded typefaces? Who decided that rounded typefaces were an anomaly, and non-rounded typefaces were standard? Shouldn't we be complaining instead about the ubiquity of non-rounded typefaces, rather than the coincidence of having three rounded-typeface covers in a row? But I digress...). But I haven't read the book (in either language ;-P) so I can't say which one is more appropriate for the text. The US cover is "cleaner," but boringly so. It's incredibly predictable...like a joke who's punch line you've already heard. We've seen keyboard covers before. And there's nothing else there but the tiny crow logo, which doesn't really redeem the cover.

JRSM said...

I was just posting about this! The UK cover is by Al Heighton - www.alanheighton.co.uk and alheighton.blogspot.com

Joseph said...

Thanks JRSM!

Anonymous said...

for all of those who are ripping this cover apart, i bet you haven't seen it in person. i thought this cover was fine after seeing it on the blog (ps, for all of those clamoring 'it's been done before', i'd like links to those covers please).but at a hudson books in the newark airport this cover attacked me and forced me to stare at it and only it among a sea of other book covers. so to all of those who think it's ordinary i suggest you reevaluate what ordinary means.

sam

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