Tasteless: Would You Read Books with These Covers?

You might hesitate to read the classics if you came across these paperback editions. I cannot believe these covers sell books!

  1. Oh, dear, have these women had lip jobs? Penguin, Penguin, you are letting us down.

2. This vamp on the cover of this Wordsworth Classic is certainly not Mrs. Dalloway!

3. What a terrifying cover! I would never buy this Harvest paperback edition of Katherine Anne Porter’s elegant short stories! The old cover features a rose in the left-hand corner. Wonder why they changed it…

4. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a terrible novel – Cornelia Otis Skinner wrote a brilliant satire of it – but I do not actually dislike this 1951 cover.

5. Dearest Madame Bovary, you look a bit slutty . I pictured you as pretty and fashionable but less like a 1960s model – and is that a Regency gown? No, I would not buy this 1965 Airmont edition.

6. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorites, but it’s all too easy to go wrong with the cover art. I cannot say Penguin was having a good day in 2009 when the design team approved this.

And that’s all for the present.

5 thoughts on “Tasteless: Would You Read Books with These Covers?”

  1. I wouldn’t. I would never have believed these covers were real. The Age of Innocence is shocking, such a bad taste. Who are these caricaturish women supposed to be? Countess Olenska and May Welland? They are absolutely not. What a disaster. The cover also suggests the two contrasting women’s battle for something, which misses the point of Wharton’s story completely.

    1. I agree with you: this cover is bizarre for Penguin. These women characters seem generic – caricatures of no one in particular. The artist seems not to have read Edith Wharton!

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