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 insects, so I’ve chosen Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
This is the cover produced by Penguin in 1999 for their series ‘Great books of the century’. I rather like it. The shading of the background works really well, with the island of marooned boys and insects and the fringe of yellow sand around the author’s name. The main aspect that jars with me is the complete mismatch in style between the title font and author name.
This edition, first produced in 1980 by Perigree, is the outstanding cover – thank you to Sara Letourneau for spotting my dating for this cover wasn’t correct. It shows one of the boys staring out at us with some leaves twined in his hair – probably Jack – as flies swarm on some fruit in the foreground. It is arresting, colourful and oddly disturbing without resorting to some of the odd imagery of some of the other efforts. This is my favourite.
Published in 2010 by Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınlarıin, this Turkish cover is also effective. Its simplicity is part of its strength as the boys are depicted in outline as the savage warriors some of them yearn to become. I love the fact that we can see the background through their silhouettes.
Produced in August 2011 by Faber Faber, this cover has also reprised the tribal feel with with far more emphasis. The line drawing of the island apparently swallowing one of boys who is wearing glasses is disturbing and oddly compelling. The font used in both the title and author name is effective and appropriate.
This Vietnamese edition distributed by Tsai Fong Books in October 2006 has Piggy featured with a huge fly looming over him and the jungle in the background. The single image of his broken glasses adds to the innate menace. My grizzle is the image of Piggy is too static and awkward, which is a shame because if that figure had looked more dynamic, the cover would immediately spring to life, I think. Which is your favourite?