Monday, September 27, 2010

Cover Contemplation- The English Ones

Since Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles is 80 years old, it has been published a LOT and because of this there are so many covers for it. Since there are just so many I’m going to have to break up this cover contemplation into two sections, today’s will be all the English covers for this book I could find.

This first cover is a really old one and it pictures one of the Cavendish brothers holding a candle while Cynthia and Mary are slightly behind him. In the foreground is who I believe to be Poirot looking over the table. I couldn't find a better cover of this one but it's the first cover of the book back in 1920. The author actually had a painting of this commissioned for one of her houses later in life. I love this second cover with the cup of tea where the steam comes up in the shape of a woman's head silhouette. Also it has the will and a poison bottle of it too. Plus, it has a lovely background too. This is supposed to be Mud Puddle Books' 2006 hardcover edition. I haven't got a clue about this third cover that looks hastily thrown together. Especially since the story takes place during summer and this one looks like it's winter. At least the manor is nice!

This next one is a paperback from 2004 and it's somewhat more interesting than a stock photo since it has Styles Court in the photo, the purple dispatch case with it's key, Poirot’s house of cards and of course a steaming cup of tea. This cover is from 2004 I believe and it's a lovely blue with a poison bottle on it and includes the byline: Poirot's First Case. Kind of plain but I do like it. The mainly white cover with the tiny rectangle with the table with the purple dispatch case, will, key, and the bottle of poison on the table is a Berkley mass market paperback edition that was published for several of the Poirot books. I even own one with a very similar look to it.

2006's hardcover is a mainly red (sometimes pink) cover with an overturned tea cup which is another stock photo that could have used a little work in my opinion. While this next one has a 1930's look to it, this cover was actually the 2001 hardcover. An interesting look with the Cavendish brothers over their stepmother's bed with the silhouette of the lady at the end of the bed. I'm not sure what year this next cover comes from but it's definitely a stock photo since none of those cars were available back in the 1930's! I do like those trees and gate though. The next cover could fall under the stock photo category but that house does look like an old English manor.

I haven't the foggiest idea of why a church and graveyard are on this next cover. I supposed that it could represent where Emily Inglethorp is buried but it doesn't make much sense otherwise. Another one that doesn't make much sense is this Wildside Press 2009 black and grey background with the picture with all the stuff on it. Not that any of these things are in the book of course. A lady's hand holding a red rose (which reminds me, was there fingernail polish back in the 1930s?) is pretty boring and something else that doesn't depict the story in any way but at least the byline says that it's Agatha Christie's first novel and where Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings are introduced.

Waking Lion Press published the cover with the cup of coffee and the black bowler hat in 2006. A mind-numbingly boring paperback that isn't worth the price of what it's going for on Amazon. Random House Trade paperbacks published this red 2007 cover with the owl in the bowler hat. I actually like this one even if it is slightly simple and has nothing to do with the actual story. The Modern Library Classics never have the best covers but I usually pick these up anyway since they have interesting introductions. What this lady has to do with the book is beyond me though. I'm still not sure if that's supposed to be a car window or a house window either. This cover was published in 2003.

The slightly reddish-brown cover with the spilled coffee covering the hand is another boring cover brought to you by Deodand Publishing (from Australia) in 2002. Bantam published this next cover of the hat and the mustache which is supposed to be Poirot in paperback from 1978. I haven't a clue who published this 1986 one but that picture in the background of the old lady is horrifying huh? I don't want to say that that man is supposed to be Poirot because he doesn't look at all what the author describes nor does he look anything like any of the actors who have played him. Mark Twain or Colonel Sanders maybe but not Hercule Poirot.

Pan Books is the publisher of this next three paperbacks, one published in 1954, 1959 and the last in 1969-74 but I’m not sure which is which. The first one features Hercule Poirot peering into a cup which though he doesn’t look quite right, it’s better than the other one with the yellow cover is supposed to be a sketch of Hercule Poirot and though it's not bad, he's not quite what I imagined. For one thing, that bowtie is just not neat enough for Poirot and I don't think his mustache was quite so thin either! I do like the smashed cup which is one of the only ones I could find that had one too.

I love this 1945 Avon Books pulp fiction-looking cover. It's so campy with the barely dressed woman (Mary maybe?) and the tuxedoed man behind her staring in shock at the woman's hand holding the glass. The only big consistency is the glass but actually everything is slightly off about this cover. I still really like it for some reason though. The cover with the face and pouring the poison into a glass is also an Avon Books cover from 1945. It's also kind of boring if you ask me. The next mass market paperback published by Panther in 1983 is another boring one since it only features hands holding a bottle of poison. I would definitely just pass this one right by if I saw it somewhere. Wildside Press published this last cover in 2009 with the cartoony-looking cover of the woman who looks like a flapper which is totally inconsistent with the story but I do like it... I'd just like it better on a different book!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays- Dance With the Devil

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
"In case you haven't noticed, princess, social skills aren't my forte. Hell, you're lucky I'm housebroke."
Oh, he was an evil one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Musing Monday- Character Likes/ Dislikes

This week’s musing asks…

What makes you love / hate a character in a book?

I have to connect with a character somehow for me to love them. They also have to have something redeemable about them. It's not that hard to make me dislike a character though. If they're whiny, don't act their age, and fall into the too-stupid-to-live mentality for example. Oh and I have a huge problem with female characters that throw themselves at the male in the story too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Short Cover Contemplation- Blood Lite

To my knowledge there is only two covers for the Blood Lite anthology: the tradecover/ hardcover and the mass market paperback (which is what I have) and I can't find any foreign covers. The hardcover is kind of ridiculous but it's certainly eye-catching and partly thanks to the authors, partly the illustration, it's why it was on my Amazon Wishlist for so long. I actually bought the paperback on accident! I didn't realize it was the same book but I did like a lot of the names mentioned on the cover so I picked it up at my local Waldenbooks' going out of business sale.

Okay, I need your help. I want to watch and review a horror movie but I'm having trouble picking one. What do you suggest?

....Anything but zombies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cat Found!

Can't Seem to Get Clean
Guess who my neighbor's cat chased into my garage at 3am? I gave her a bath, stuffed her full of treats and milk, and just cuddled with her all night. So far she's seemed like she's doing fine though she's constantly cleaning herself and I only noticed one scratch on her ear. I want to thank everyone for their support and to say I'm going to be around to visit everyone soon. :)
Pausing in Her Cleaning to Find Out Why I'm Trying to Get Her Attention

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quick Update on Cat

At the Old Apartment
Hey everyone. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes. We think we've found her and she seems to be hanging out in the same area but I can't get within 20 feet of her without her freaking out and running. Something is eating out of the food dishes we put outside though so I'm hopeful she'll eventually want to come in the open front door. Knowing how she feels about water and the fact that she's never been outside when it was thunder, lightning, and raining it will probably be then. I'm going to try moving her bowls closer to the door a little every day since she only comes out at night and very early in the morning.

~On another note, I do have my next few reviews written up so I'll get to those soon. I'm losing myself as thoroughly as I can in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series for the time being.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Missing Cat

She Thinks She Wears the Pants in the Family

My husband accidentally left the front door open last night and my indoor cat who has never been outside more than five minutes is gone. I hope she's okay....

Needless to say I might not be around very much until I get her back.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cover Contemplation- Over Sea, Under Stone

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

Since Over Sea, Under Stone is only a few years older than my mother it’s managed to accumulate quite a few covers! Now when it comes to the English covers I’m not sure to what country they belong to, US, UK, Canadian, or otherwise since many reprint the same covers but the following nine are all the English covers and then we’ll get to the other languages I could find covers for. The first cover I'm going to talk about is the paperback cover that I read for this book. It's a fairly newer cover that was released in 2000 I believe and it features a man leaning against a stone. Now this isn't the way I pictured the standing stones in the story and the man doesn't look like any of the characters described (though I'm guessing he's supposed to be Gumerry) so while I like the style of the illustration, I'm not really fond of this cover.

The blue cover with the three kids and Gumerry on it standing next to some stones (again, not like I imagined) has a 1960's look to the illustration so I believe it may be the first edition from the UK but I honestly don't know for sure. The reddish Puffin cover is kind of cool because it's so different but those eyes at the top are creepy! I do like all the different images mixed together and how Trewissick seems to flow right into the grail though. Again, I can't say for a 100% but I have found information online that says this is the 1982 Australian edition. It's kind of plain and the grail doesn't look as it's described but I do like the swirly green background of the 2007 paperback cover which was reprinted slightly different this year.

Some say 1989, some say 1990 for the cover with the three children in the attic after they first found the map. I don't particularly care for the cover but it really reminds me of paperbacks I had as a kid which was somewhat around that period of time. I do have to say it's definitely the most different of all the covers because it's the only one that shows this particular scene from the book. The 2004 Aladdin (love their books!) paperback shows the bad guy I believe on the night the children and Gumerry go to investigate the stones for clues. Again, it's not one I really like. I'm not sure where the next one comes from or what year but I think it's a hardcover. It's a really interesting cover though a bit dated. It is the only English cover with Arthur but the stones are the same as the ones on the UK first edition only lit up from the sun this time.

The next one is another Puffin paperback cover and it's so odd! This is the best grail so far but it's doing something very odd to the bad guy's head! He sure is ugly though. I'm not sure what the runic alphabet in the background is supposed to represent though. I'm not sure why the golden 2005 Puffin paperback appeals to me but I do like it despite the fact it doesn't really do anything for the story.

The Swedish cover isn't the first to show a bird of prey on the cover (though I have no clue why since there isn't one in this book) but it is the first one to have a man with no shirt on the cover. I really don't like this one and is it just me or does it look there is four kids on the cover instead of three? The translation for this cover is Overhead Under Rock or Above the Sea Under Stone. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't find a clear version of the Spanish cover (Over the Sea, Under the Earth) but I do think the main part that you can see is neat which is the map.

The Norwegian cover I found is kind of plain with only the stones and the grail and the title translates to Light Knight. Now the Japanese cover is cool. It's managed to make all the characters look foreign so the book appears almost manga-like but I'm still really impressed with it. The title it’s mainly known as is Cornwall’s Holy Grail.

The Italians must love this book since I was able to find several different cover for it. The first Italian cover (which translates to Above the Sea, Beneath the Earth) I found is actually a twofer! It's the same book, just different cover drawn in pretty much the same style which I don't really like but it's still interesting. The second Italian cover is really neat since it's got the good and the evil guys battling over the grail. Plus, I think it's just beautiful even if it does remind me of Lord of the Rings... I recognize the children and the grail in the first cover but that's definitely not how they found the grail and I'm not sure who that creepy green skinned person is supposed to be with the blue hat.

The German title translates to Before the Tide Comes In and it's the first one I've found that has real kids on the cover. I definitely wouldn't pick those to be the characters however! Plus, is that a castle up on that cliff? Where did that come from?! The second German cover is slightly better though it's a little too blue. It does at least depict a scene from the book and the grail looks right.

I was also able to find a Finnish cover (it translates perfectly into the English title) for Over Sea, Under Stone and it's another one with the bird of prey (who is not in the story) set in the stones. Not sure who the barely there faces are supposed to be though. The Dutch version (Above Sea, Under Stone) is quite similar even without the faces and set during the day. The shadow of the hand is interesting though. I actually can’t find any French covers for this one and I’m sure there are some as well as other languages too but I looked for as many as I was able.