Yes, the art of book design in the United States has come a long long way in the last ten years, with a few designers, like Chip Kidd, and a handful of comic book artists, attaining something of a cult status. But check out the striking difference between the English version of Howard Jacobson’s No More Mr. Nice Guy, and the American version.
Here’s what American readers are getting come September:
And here, ladies and gentlemen, is what U.K. readers were given in 1998:
Now you're talking!
Granted, naked noseless women are far more attention-grabbing than a business man prostrate on a rococo queen-size bed, so tuckered out from making money (or making his money make money) that, to quote Capote, it was “as if sleep were a weapon that had struck him from behind.”
But content aside, there is an obvious and often disparity in artistry, here.
What do you think? Is this about the Brits just being better? Or is this about willingness to take risks? Have you come across wildly different covers for different editions of books you love?
In something of a surprise victory, Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, published this month in the US by Bloomsbury, has won the Man Booker Prize. All the money was on McCarthy, so if some of that money was your money, you lost it.
And here is the as-yet-unpublished, starred PW review of the book, which we call a “wry, devastating novel.”
Have you read it yet? If not, will you read it now that it’s a winner?
Long weekend, short week!
Man Booker Shortlist Announced: Peter Carey, Emma Donaghue and four others have been named finalists for this year’s Man Booker Prize.
William Gibson on the Future of Books: Sci-Fi writer Gibson talks to the WSJ about his view of publishing from his perch on Twitter.
Can the Fall Books Save Publishing?: The NYT runs down this fall’s big books.
Oliver Twist Has Asked for More Coca-Cola: The Seattle Post Intelligencer finds product placement in 19th Century novels.
Predicting the Future: Publishing Perspectives has some video footage of Arthur C. Clarke, the British sci-fi author and futurist who predicted much of what has come to pass today.
E-Books Overseas: NYT tech columnist asks why overseas customers can’t buy some e-books.
Meet Us in Decatur: PWxyz reported from the Decatur book festival all this weekend. Authors like Jonathan Franzen and Lev Grossman were on stage–you can check out all the posts here.
The judges of the Man Booker Prize for 2010 have announced their longlist, which includes 13 fiction titles selected from books published in Britain and Ireland. The shortlist will be announced September 7, and the winner will be named on October 12. Here’s the complete longlist:
Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)
Emma Donoghue Room (Pan MacMillan – Picador)
Helen Dunmore The Betrayal (Penguin – Fig Tree)
Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Books)
Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)
Andrea Levy The Long Song
(Headline Publishing Group – Headline Review)
Tom McCarthy C (Random House – Jonathan Cape)
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (Hodder & Stoughton – Sceptre)
Lisa Moore February (Random House – Chatto & Windus)
Paul Murray Skippy Dies (Penguin – Hamish Hamilton)
Rose Tremain Trespass (Random House – Chatto & Windus)
Christos Tsiolkas The Slap (Grove Atlantic – Tuskar Rock)
Alan Warner The Stars in the Bright Sky
(Random House – Jonathan Cape
Andrew Motion, chair of the judging panel, said “Here are thirteen exceptional novels – books we have chosen for their intrinsic quality, without reference to the past work of their authors. Wide-ranging in their geography and their concern, they tell powerful stories which make the familiar strange and cover an enormous range of history and feeling. We feel confident that they will provoke and entertain.”
Peter Carey has won the prize twice before and been on the long and short list multiple times.