Friday Faceoff – And Soul Meets Soul on Lovers’ Lips…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week’s theme is lips, so I have chosen Living Dead in Dallas – Book 2 of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.


livingdead1This is the cover produced by Orbit in April 2004. It is certainly has a very different feel to most of the subsequent covers, but I think – despite the rather crude depiction of Sookie – probably better captures the tone of the book. The rather random font gives the book a rather folksy ad hoc feel that is far closer to the actual content than some of the subsequent covers, though I don’t really like it all that much.


livingdead2This 2009 cover, published by Gollancz, directly refers to the very racy HBO TV series True Blood. While many of the storylines are reasonably close to the books, there was certainly a lot more sex and gore in the TV series which had a far darker, Southern noire vibe than the books, which are in Sookie’s homespun first person viewpoint. I do wonder how many people picked up the books expecting a whole lot more bedroom action than they actually got.


livingdead5This French edition, published in August 2009 by J’ai Lu, certainly doesn’t feel the need to hold back in emphasising the sexiness of the series. Notice the prominent name check for True Blood.


livingdead3This cover, produced in August 2009 by Ace again references the True Blood series, but has the actress playing Sookie superimposed over the Dallas cityscape and dark sky. As Anna Paquin was spot on as the beleaguered, telepathic waitress, this works well, I think. This is my favourite cover.


livingdead4This is another Gollancz offering, in October 2011. The purple cover with a splash of blood glistening across it certainly is eye-catching. There is an additional quote from a review in one of our more Conservative newspapers, which has me wondering whether the publishers felt the need to distance themselves from the previous raunchy cover, though they do mention ‘sultry scenes’…

Which is your favourite cover?

19 responses »

  1. This isn’t a series I knew about before the TV series so those are the ones I recognise. I’m not a fan of images from a TV show or film on book covers as like you said the stories can be different. So with all that it is probably the last cover I would choose. I like the splash of red and the simplicity.

  2. I don’t know the series, either, but that’s a pretty common move, sticking a show or movie’s image onto the original book’s cover. Just take how many covers Lord of the Rings went through once the films started.

    I suppose the fourth cover isn’t bad, because Dallas has all the color and life rather than the actress. Oddly, I find the purple/red combo on the last cover deceptive, too.It reminds me of the Red Hat Society, which is geared for older women. ( Are these books geared for older women? I don’t think so. If it weren’t purple, I suppose…trying to think of a better color alternative, though, and I’m falling short. A green, maybe? or a sand-color?

    • That particular series of books all had different colour covers with splashes of blood across them. Book 3 has a lilac coloured background and Book 4 is an azure blue. They are fundamentally murder mystery stories with a strong paranormal twist. I have to say, I loved the series, although it went on longer than it should have done. But Sookie’s first person narrative is a delight, I think. Thank you for the link – it looks great fun:).

  3. I never was particularly fond of any of the covers for this series. And I’m not particularly drawn to any of that are listed here? I’m not sure how I would market this series, truthfully.

    • Well the very sexy covers certainly don’t accurately represent it. While Sookie had a busy time of boyfriend-wise, Harris doesn’t do graphic bedroom scenes as the HBO series did. Which was why I liked the cover with Anna Paquin…

  4. I think I like the last one the most. It’s neat and eye-catching. But I’m also not a fan of “movie covers”. The first one looks nice, but it instantly made me think “Charlaine Harris wrote a children’s book?!”, so I’d never pick it up and wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the kids section. 😉

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