Gatsby and My Hate for Movie Tie-In Covers

Posted May 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments


I had a little complaint about book covers changing a few days ago but now I feel the need to comment on something else cover related. Movie tie-in book covers are the worst thing out there, I know they help people recognise the book but they are just so ugly and should never be printed. The New York Times wrote an interesting article called Judging ‘Gatsby’ by Its Cover(s) in which they looked at the iconic Great Gatsby cover with the new movie cover.

Normally books go through different cover changes but when it comes to The Great Gatsby, the original cover is still the most recognised of all its covers. So when you see the movie tie-in cover it is a huge shock; do we really need a cover with Leonardo DiCaprio on it? The article is really interesting because it looks at how the original cover is out selling the movie tie-in and even an independent bookseller who refuses to sell the new cinematic edition. Saying “It’s just God-awful, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a pillar of American literature, and people don’t want it messed with. We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”

There is even a little quote by Ernest Hemingway who called the original cover “garish” and wrote in his memoir A Moveable Feast that he was “embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery look of it.” But that is probably a whole new blog post, maybe two (one to look at the complex relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway).

I know I hate movie tie-in covers and go out of my way to avoid them at all cost. I know most people hate them, you can read The Week complain about them, even Books on the Nightstand had a conversation about them recently. But I want to know if there are any good movie-tie in covers out there and what you think about them?

0 responses to “Gatsby and My Hate for Movie Tie-In Covers

  1. I can’t remember the cover of The Great Gatsby book I read the first time, but I’m sure that it wasn’t the original cover.
    ultimately i don’t care what the cover looks like. It doesn’t change the content of the book. I get why they do it though. Sometimes people won’t make the connection between a book and a movie unless there is something similar between them. If it draws just one extra person into reading the book, then surely its worth it.
    I think once i read a book with a movie tie in cover. I can’t remember the name of it, but it had Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd in it. I bought it second hand so don’t judge me. I enjoyed the movie, but the book, it was incredible. So much was left out of the movie and the book was a completely different journey. Its possible i might not have even picked up the book at that second hand book sale if i didn’t have a passing interest in Hugh Jackman movies. The book even had a different name, so i might not have even made the connection.
    But now i want to read that book again. I wonder if i still have it somewhere.

  2. Rob

    I can’t stand movie tie-in covers. I avoided them until last weekend, when at a used booksale I picked up the tie-in cover for About A Boy. It has Hugh Grant on the cover and makes me want to die a little.

  3. Nikola's Book Blog

    I have to say I don’t mind movie tie-in covers one bit, if they work with the book. The Great Gatsby one is just messing with an ICONIC original, and as such, I wouldn’t necessarily choose it. On the other hand, I adored the movie tie-in covers for Anna Karenina and Les Miserables, probably because I couldn’t think of, like, an ORIGINAL cover. Either way, I don’t mind my books glossy and cheap looking. 🙂

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