Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pick Up a Penguin

Penguin have always produced stylish, attractive books, particularly in their Classic imprints where they select classy cover images and present them in bold, simple designs. The most recent redesign of their Modern Classic range introduced an extremely modern font - Avant Garde - with white bands at the top and bottom of the cover. Often the image was recycled from the previous edition, but the new font makes a big enough difference to the overall look that every cover seemed fresh.

This year, a few new authors have been added to the Modern Classics line, which is what prompted this post. Walter Tevis has long awaited rediscovery, and Penguin have reissued his two most famous novels - The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Hustler - alongside the bafflingly neglected The Queens Gambit. Fingers crossed for a Modern Classic edition of his true masterpiece; Mockingbird. Shirley Jackson and Eric Ambler, both relatively low profile on the modern literary scene, also had three and four books republished respectively and Penguin issued an anthology of Robert E. Howard's work, Heroes In the Wind. I don't think I've ever seen quite such a subtle image on the cover of a Howard book...

All of which got me thinking about the quality of Penguin's cover art in general, and how downright beautiful so many of their books truly are:

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Blogger Beezer B said...

I haven't even seen these editions. Shows you how much time I spend in new book shops. Actually it's still surprising. I really want a bunch of their "Great Ideas" series. The embossed ones. Lovely.
I think my favourite books are old penguins. Orange ones. They fit in my coat pocket. They are good.
May the Penguins reign forever!

11:49 pm  
Blogger David N said...

There really is no such thing as a bad Penguin.

Except for the one in that Wallace & Gromit.


12:56 am  
Blogger Beezer B said...

And the ones in Mariokart 64. And the Classics from the 90s with a beige bit at the bottom. I hate those ones. Ergh.

12:58 am  

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