Could This Be the Worst Book Cover of All Time?

screw

Well, no. That title probably goes to this…

darcy

Or this…

onio

Or this

computer

However, it is possibly the worst cover of a classic novel ever published.

(Wait, are you saying Henry James’ 1891 novel The Turn of the Screw isn’t actually about screws?!)

No. It’s not about screws.

We’ll let you be the judge: here are quite possibly the worst covers for classics ever.

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New Look, Same Expert Content

Go ahead, judge us by our covers.

eNotes’ study guides are getting a fresh new look, thanks to incredible artist and illustrator Yumi Sakugawa. Sakugawa took 200 of our most popular titles and interpreted each in a fresh and interesting way. The end results are as enlightening as they are beautiful; not only is each image a stand-alone work of art, but an insight into the themes and concepts that make these classics what they are.

We hope you enjoy them as much as us! Browse the images attached to our most popular titles here, or scroll down for a sampling.

midsummer-nights-dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

heart-of-darkness

Heart of Darkness

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Coverflip: How Book Covers Differ by Author’s Gender

Author Maureen Johnson has had enough of gendered book covers. Just what is she talking about? Well, she’s talking about books that look like this:

Versus this:

And yes, that is the same book in each picture. The first is what ended up in print, while the second imagines how the cover might have looked had the book written been by a man. Why the difference? Johnson gives a little insight into the sometimes unfair world of book publishing and marketing:

The simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherentl different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it.

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Judging a Book By Its Cover

A six year-old judges classic novels solely on their covers.

At a loss as to how to explain the premise of more than a dozen classic works to her kindergarten-aged daughter, one blogger mom decided to find out how they might appear to the mind of a small child. The results will amuse and surprise you, mostly for the fact that six year-olds expect any book they come across to have “a good really nice ending.” How wrong they are…

But don’t worry, no childhood innocence was crushed in the making of this article.

The Great Gatsby

“I think it’s a book about a haunted theme park and it stars a magical magic guy and he’s good and evil and he’s trying to get rid of the ghosts. And I think at the end, since it’s haunted by a ghost, he tried to make the park go on fire and it did. “

Animal Farm

“It looks like a book for kids. I think it’s about a donkey and a pig that do not like each other and they both live on a farm for animals. The same farm. It looks like it would be a funny book with a good really nice ending. “

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

“I think it’s a book for kiddies, it’s a colorful book. I think it’s about a tiny bird that flew over a cuckoo bird’s nest, that is why it’s named that. It looks like a really sweet kiddy book.”

Wuthering Heights

“It looks weird. I think this must be a book about a tree. I would not read a book about just a tree. And it looks like it’s a sad tree too since it has no friends.”

A Clockwork Orange

“It’s about a person who is a robot, a very colorful robot. He’s pretty fancy for a robot.”

The Fellowship of the Ring

“This book is about a tree on a hill. The tree is the star of the book and it’s a very nice tree but everyone else is mean. I think the tree has a magical ring and some evil guys capture the ring and put him on the top of the hill so they can watch him. “

Farenheit 451

“I think this is about a gigantic robot who goes on fire and he doesn’t like himself. It has a sad ending. It looks like a book for teens. The title means fire, a really really really big fire since the number is 451, that would mean it was really hot. So the robot must get really hot. Maybe that is why he is so sad.”

And just for fun…

Fifty Shades of Grey

“On the cover is a very weird looking Zebra. The book is about a zebra that wears pants. It’s a drama book about this zebra guy who likes to go fishing for aces.”

Click here for more hilarious and heartwarming summaries from the mind of a six year-old.


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