Friday Faceoff – Welcome to the Hotel California – such a lovely place…


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 the theme is hotels, so I’ve chosen Hav by Jan Morris.


havThis is the offering produced by NYRB Books in August 2011 is beautiful and disturbing with the ancient tower in flames. It nicely sums up this remarkable travelogue-come-novel, which is unlike anything I’ve ever read. This is my favourite cover and the excuse I’ve used to feature this particular book, given I’m sure if you squint VERY hard, you can see a hotel or two in the background.


hav1This cover produced by Tinta de China in January 2014 for the Portuguese edition is my least favourite. While the design gives it a generic eastern look, there is nothing to give a flavour of this unique book.


hav2This cover, produced by Faber & Faber in June 2007, is another one I like. The warm colours and attractive non-threatening lettering initially drew me in – and it took me a while to realise the tower is in flames. It doesn’t hurt that this is also the cover of the book I read – which given it was such a memorable read, also tugs at me.


hav3I also really like this one – it would have been my favourite as I prefer the lettering on this cover, rather than the rather intrusive orange rectangle on the first cover. But the view of the first cover, though the difference is subtle, is just that bit more shocking, I think. This one was produced by Faber and Faber in June 2006.

17 responses »

  1. I agree to a degree. I think the close-up of the tower on that first cover is just shocking–plus, as you say, you can see that this tower is in an urban area. That adds to the shock. By why on earth the text box? It looks like something out of powerpoint. I personally think the font on the second cover to be a bit deceiving–the title has the sense of being singed…or that’s just the tower fire influencing me… ANYway, were that font to be used on the first cover, I think the book would score a home-run-touch-down-goal-other sport reference. But yes, I don’t get the removal of that tower. I look at that bland yellow cover and get nothing. Absolutely nothing of an idea as to what the book’s about.

    • I completely agree with all your points – I winced when I saw that text box as it looked like something done on Publisher, I thought. And as you say – your guess is as good as mine as to what the second cover conveys about the book…

  2. I think I like the last cover the most , the lettering, as you pointed out yourself, kind of makes me dislike the first cover . Either way , no matter how much I zoom the image I can’t find any hotels , So i think you cheated for this one 😛

  3. A bit of creative thinking is always good – would you believe I found another book for this one – but I had to go all Stephen King. The Way Inn – I even have a copy!!
    I go with your choice.
    Lynn 😀

    • Yes, I have reviewed it – and in a parallel universe I was convinced I’d put in a hyper-link so all you had to do is click on the red HAV and the review would appear. But when I checked I realised I hadn’t put in the link. It’s there now, Rae:). So just go ahead and click on the red HAV – I have a hunch this is one you’d really enjoy.

  4. So many good ones. I;m really torn between the first and third one. Probably go with the first one. It’s a bit darker. LOL

  5. I thinkI agree with you: first one is the best. The second one is indeed too generic, and the others are just a less-successful play at the idea of the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.