Friday Faceoff – Groovy baby…


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 featuring a retro cover, so I’ve gone with Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory.


This cover, produced by Knopf in June 2017, is quirky and clearly harking back to another time with the silhouetted profiles of the main protagonists – the Telemachus family. I have mixed feelings about this. I like the clean look and the attractive font used for the title and author name, but I really don’t like the black silhouette pictures as this art form was particularly popular during the Victorian era, which I think is confusing, given we do not go back to Victorian times in this accomplished, memorable novel.


This edition was produced by riverrun in June 2017. I prefer this one to the first offering. The clunky TV with the smiling family has a real retro feel, along with that hard blue colour that I recall from my early childhood. The font and author name looks attractive and while I like the strapline along the bottom, I think it’s a shame they saw fit to cram that clutter in the top left of the cover.


Published in February 2018 by Eichborn, this German edition is the most effective cover in my opinion. That wonderful orange swirling wallpaper gives a lovely retro feel and I love the photos, particularly that of the mother who died before her time. It is her death that shatters the family. I love the sadness on her face – and that classic hairstyle. A clever, eye-catching cover that relates directly to the content, this is my favourite but which is yours?

21 responses »

    • That’s fair enough, Rae. It’s an interesting read and one that has stayed with me longer than I’d expected – though I still think the opening scene is a major mistake.

  1. I agree with you on the second cover. I love the blue and the huge red TV. Very eye-catching. I also agree about the blurb though – wonder why they didn’t just put it on the book where those typically would go.

  2. Oh, that last one’s perfect. I love how the wallpaper has that 70s orange, but it’s also fire-shaped, which feels ominous.The fact that the pictures continue off-cover promises a family community, but the mom–yeah, she’s just heartbreaking there.

    • It is, isn’t it? And that fire-shape was also very popular in the 70s – we had a brown pattern on our lounge wall. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s far and away the most successful cover.

  3. I’m torn between the first one and the last one. While the last one is definitely more eye-catching (those colors!), the first one has a much more interesting concept. But i do feel that this concept could have had a better execution (bigger frames, less empty space, etc.).

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