Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Judge A Book by Its Cover - Inkheart

In this edition of Judge a Book by Its Cover, I wanted to compare the different covers of Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. I know I already did Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord three Judge a Book by Its Cover posts ago (click here to see), but I honestly scroll a random amount down my Goodreads bookshelf a random amount and pick whichever book my cursor lands on. From now on I'll try to mix it up a bit more. (Also, Funke's books are great for this particular feature, since they've been published in many languages, often with multiple editions of each.) At this point, I've also realized that I tend to have a bias toward the cover(s) that I know and love rather than the covers from foreign editions, but I'll try to overlook that. As always, I love hearing your thoughts on your favorite covers, and feel free to let me know if I missed any covers. Click on any of the pictures below for a larger version. And without further ado, may I present... Inkheart.

Summary (from Goodreads):
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.

1.  Hardcover Edition

2. Paperback Edition (US)

3. UK Edition

4. French Edition

5. German Edition
(note: the series was originally published in German, and I believe this was the original cover)

6. Italian Cover

7. Spanish Edition

8. UK "Gift Edition"
(not really sure what that means, but oh well)

9. Indonesian Edition (Movie Cover)
(note: I couldn't find any other Indonesian edition)

10. Movie Edition

My thoughts:
1. I love this cover. It's such a cool way to represent the world of Inkheart coming into our world. It immediately establishes that it's fantasy, and summarizes the premise of the book. I can't remember exactly, but I believe all of the things on the cover is actually read out the book sometime in the course of the story. This cover is very well done.

2. I really like this cover, but the one thing that bothers me is the "soon to be a major motion picture" sticker that immediately draws my attention. Thankfully, it's not quite as eye-catching on the physical copy, but I'd still prefer if it wasn't there at all. Otherwise, the cover fits the story really well, and the text in the bottom third is actually a quote from the book.

3. Is very similar to #2, but it seems more magical to me than the US cover. I love the way the lizard's tail becomes the "r" and the light at the end of it. I also prefer the bottom section of this version; the blackened edge on #2 is a little bit distracting. On the other hand, I think this cover looks a little washed out, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it all works very well together, but I prefer the more vivid red of the US cover. [EDIT: I think I changed my mind. I like this color better.]

4. I don't really know what to think about this cover. It looks like an "adult book," (not in the sense that it has adult content, but I book I'd be totally bored with at the age when I'd most enjoy Inkheart, because it's written at an adult level) and I don't think I'd pick it up in a store, but I can't find anything to criticize about it.

5. Although this cover doesn't really show much of what the book is about, it's a really beautiful cover. It has a few scenes from the book, but they don't explain anything if one hasn't yet read it. But the manuscript letters - wow. They seem to be overflowing with love of books, and that is an important part of Inkheart, since the lines between our world and the fictional world start to waver. This is definitely one of my favorites of the bunch.

6. It took me a really long time to get that the character was actually in the process of coming out of the book, rather than just standing behind it. That fact alone gets a bunch of points for this cover. However, I don't really identify the character on the cover with any of the characters in the book. (I suppose he would have to be Capricorn, because who else would it be, but he doesn't look like Capricorn in my eyes.) Overall, a cool design, but I wouldn't have guessed it was the cover for Inkheart. Unless, of course, I spoke Italian, because apparently the direct translation is "Ink Heart." Nevertheless, this isn't my top pick.

7. This cover is the strangest one yet. I can't even figure out what's happening. I guess the one comment I do have is that it looks more like sci-fi than fantasy, so I probably wouldn't pick it up in a store. It looks like something I'd get as a birthday present for my brother (well, perhaps not anymore, but when he was going through his sci-fi phase) and not read for myself. But I think, although it's definitely not a "girl book," it is more to my taste than my brother's. Actually, I think he might have read Inkheart (one of the many times I shoved a favorite book of mine into his hands). I'll ask him what he thought of it. As a side note, or I guess more of a central note after that tangent, the translation is apparently "Red Heart."

8. At first glance, this cover looked like nothing special, but when I looked closer, I saw a lot of hidden references to things that happen in the book. I also found another version of this cover, with the same design but slightly different coloring. I like this second version better, but it's a lot harder to see all the pictures. Overall, this isn't my favorite cover, but it's not my least favorite either.

9. I like this cover well enough for a movie cover (trying so hard not to be automatically biased against movie covers.... nope, can't quite do it), but the cover, although I found it as an Indonesian edition of the book, is actually the exact same image used for the poster (see left). Actually, if you'd like a better look at the book cover (since I wasn't able to get a bigger picture than the size above), you can click to zoom in on the poster, and it's pretty much identical except for the actors' names and other text details. If the movie wasn't so incredibly crummy, and I wasn't so immediately opposed to movie covers, I'd say this is actually not bad.

10. Gahh. This movie cover is just taking it over the top. Why is Meggie as small as Elinor? Why does it look like Dustfinger is the main character? Why is there a random Minotaur? This is my least favorite of all the covers.

My favorite: Oh no, I have to choose! #1? No wait, #3, no, #2. Let's just say the first three are tied, with an honorable mention to #5.
My least favorite: #10.

What's your favorite? Judge this book by its cover! 

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