CF -- the books as objects

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Apr 22 05:27:03 EDT 2005


In case anyone on the list hasn't yet committed him- or herself to a
particular edition of this book, I now have copies of the American and the
British hardcovers, and thought it might be helpful to let people know the
pros and cons of each.  I assume one can probably buy either via Amazon?

The HarperCollins British version (cover price UKP12.99) is an unusual
size/shape, being five by seven-and-a-quarter inches and 393 pp, plus seven
sides of advertising material at the end.  It has what DWJ's husband calls
"a vulgar cover", shiny turquoise with red-and-yellow words and with stars
both shiny-in-the-paper and printed in yellow on it; that's the front, the
back has a depiction of a stairwell with stairs going up, red and with the
bannisters outlined in yellow.  The interior has (rather good)
illustrations by Tim Stevens at each chapter-head, and a prolegomenary page
by the author, entitled "Author's Preface".  The dedication reads "To
Stella Paskins".

The Greenwillow American version (cover price $16.99) is a more standard
size and shape, five-and-a-half by eight-and-a-half inches and 375pp, and
contains to advertising material.  The cover is a picture by Jon Foster
(jacket design by Chad W. Beckerman, it says) in browns and yellows, with a
young man grasping a doorknob and apparently blowing away from it as
regards his legs, which vanish into the spine of the book; in the
background is an improbable tower of various bits of houses, twisting away,
and on the back is a dark abstract-looking design of ?bits of a
house-interior?.  The leading page-edges are rough-cut, though top and base
are trimmed.  It has no "Author's Preface" and no illustrations.  The
dedication reads "For Stella".

You pays your money and you takes your choice, but I thought people might
like to know what the choices are!  What *I* want, of course, is the
contents of the British edition, in the format and with the cover of the
American one, with the pages properly cut and the advertisements cut
altogether.  Oh well.

Minnow


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