Favourite Book Covers
The boy is poor, 'has a bit of a mouth on him', he's obviously up to something, he lives sometime in the mid twentieth century, he's not particularly well-nourished and has to fight for his share of the family fortune - money, sweets, treats, fags - he can't sit still, he bunks off from school, he goes around in a little gang who look a lot like he does, his dad is in jail, his mother struggles to make ends meet and he has an indulgent grandfather whom he loves and will soon lose, once he persuaded a girl much larger than he is to kiss him and couldn't see what all the fuss is about, he likes the teacher he had last year but loathes the one he has now and there is a priest that scares him which is why he never goes to church any more although he knows he will burn in hell for this, but it seems just so far away right now it doesn't bother him.
I think the image is striking, I love the shape, the fact that it is in black and white with just that touch of colour. It intrigues, it makes me want to pick it up. It is part of the book much more than any cover has a right to be, and I think I remember Roddy Doyle paying tribute to it when he received the Booker Prize - rather a long time ago now.
I was wondering what others people's choice would be and was interested to see that Ben's choice is THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER CLAY by Michael Chabon. He says it is best seen in its entirety because the cover is the wraparound sort so the front is only part of the picture. I like those wraparound ones too. One thing I like about the US cover of one of my books is the way an eye has accidentally ended up on the spine..from where it follows you around the room, of course.