Friday Faceoff – Don’t miss the open windows trying to bang down the locked doors… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffwindowcovers

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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 meme is being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers depicting WINDOWS. I’ve selected The High Window – Book 3 of the Philip Marlow series by Raymond Chandler.

This Romanian offering was produced by Nemira in April 2011. Because there are so many covers for this book and a lot of them are frankly underwhelming – I’ve only selected those featuring windows. I really like this one, where the artwork is simple, but looks very effective in all sizes. My main grizzle is that while I know the famous author is the selling point, it would be helpful to have the book title sufficiently large and punchy to be able to see it when in thumbnail.

Published in July 1999 by Prószyński i S-ka, this Polish edition could have been strikingly arresting if those figures silhouetted in the window looked remotely lifelike. It’s a shame that the execution is so poor, because it’s a cool idea that could have been eye-catching and made for an effective cover.

This Spanish edition, published by Emecé in 2007, is another very pared back offering. Though I think it is a far better effort than the previous cover, as I really like the simplicity. But my gripe with this one is that I think the quirky, uneven font and perky curtain blowing in the breeze gives off a vibe that this is a humorous novel, rather than a murder mystery, which is a shame, because for me, that’s a dealbreaker. A cover needs to give the reader a sense of the genre and overall tone of the book – and though there is humour in Chandler’s books, it’s dark and sardonic. Certainly not the cute, perky type that comes to mind when seeing this design.

This edition, published in July 2014 by Mustbe Interactive is another indifferent offering. I’m not a huge fan of split images on covers, as they often end up unable to depict either design effectively – as in this example. A truncated block flats is never going to look right and as for the image below the author textbox – well, your guess is as good as mine as to what is going on there…

And finally a cover that really works. Produced as an ebook in July 2019, this edition is clearly using one of the original covers from when the book first came out in 1942. I love the drama with the flying glass and the two horrified faces – that of the falling man and the woman witnessing the whole thing. The large blocky title also underlines the drama – no one is going to mistake this for a perky comedy. This is my favourite, but what about you – which one do you prefer?

16 responses »

  1. I agree, the last one is the only cover that would make me pick this up. And wow that Mustbe cover. I’m trying to figure out what’s on the bottom half and just can’t, lol. Great choice!

    • I know! Himself reckons it’s an approximation of one of the US police badges… I think he’s really clever to have worked that one out! Yes, glad you like the last one, too.

  2. I love your favourite – the colours and the retro feel.
    But, what is going on in the bottom half of the Mustbe cover – I’m so curious. Ive scrolled in as much as I can and I literally have no idea what that image is – somebody please put me out of my misery. The suspense.
    Lynn 😀

  3. The last one’s the most effective, to be sure, but it’s such a bummer about that second cover. How many of us haven’t seen silhouettes in the windows and wondered what’s going on? Such potential there of two figures caught in what appears to be violent motions, but you’re right–they look like cardboard cutouts on train tracks like from HOME ALONE. Alas.

    • Lol… love your description:)). And isn’t it SUCH a shame – because just a bit more time and attention on those figures and this would have been the cover that nailed it!

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