Lately, I’ve taken to nosily asking people, “what’s your ‘magician’s book’?” and explaining the concept, roughly, from Laura Miller’s The Magician’s Book: loosely, a book against which all other reading experiences are measured and, I think, usually found somewhat wanting.
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say, but A Clockwork Orange was not it.
Usually these “Judging a Book by its Cover” posts come from books in my library, or books I’ve been reading lately. I wrote the first post, about Ellen Renner’s Castle of Shadows, because I was surprised (in a bad way) by the default cover/edition on Goodreads. Today, I’m writing about a book that I have never read and, given what I understand about the story, probably never will.
I used to be in design. I’ve never read this book, but I’ve seen this cover. It’s iconic.
Do you go with the same idea, like a callback?
I’ve never read this book. I probably never will. I definitely won’t be buying it for my (elementary) library, so I’m interested in this one less as a reader or as a librarian, and more as a designer. It’s certainly a conundrum. I like the callback, and I like the jarring, unexpected discontinuity of the all-white cover. I mean, even the Penguin Modern Classics paperback uses orange as the accent color:
My favorite cover on Goodreads is this Georgian edition, published in 2013. It reminds me of (M.T. Anderson’s) Feed.