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The Sound And The Fury And The Unimpressive Book Covers

One interesting aspect of a popular novel that was released in the 1920s–it usually has all sorts of unique book covers because it has been reprinted so many times.

That’s definitely the case with The Sound and The Fury. Before I post my preview for each novel, I always do an image search for book covers on Google. This Faulkner novel might have more different covers than any book I’ve read so far.

So, with a nod to my post about creepy Neuromancer book covers, I thought we could take a look at some of The Sound and The Fury‘s more interesting covers.

1. Sunset? Sunrise? The end or the beginning? Hope or despair? A lot to decipher in this one. Or maybe it’s just a photo of clouds.

2. I might not be smart enough to figure this cover out. Looks like some sort of androgynous being with no arms. Almost looks like he/she is wearing an invisible straitjacket. Interesting…maybe I’m on to something here.

3. I don’t like this cover. It’s too simple, too straightforward, for a novel that is far from straightforward. Yes, the cover says “deep south” to me, because of the tree-lined driveway and the white house with high columns, but there’s not much else to it.

4. Yes, they were even doing movie tie-in book covers back in the 1950s. Instead of Leo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet, though, this cover featured Yule Brynner and Joanne Woodward.

5. Ominous. A dead tree. Dark skies. Those weird looking clouds you see when tornadoes are approaching. That house looks haunted. It’s definitely haunted. Anyway, not much to it.

I love it when a novel can be interpreted in so many different ways. The cover says so much about the book. Plus, the cover is your first impression of the novel.

As a whole, these covers don’t do much for me. How about you?

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Teresa #

    I have the 1990 Vintage edition – and it has another take on the story with what looks like a river of fire surrounded by live and dead trees (non of which are burning). I don’t get it.

    I like the “androgynous being” cover the best – “He” is being overtaken by his shadow (how Jungian!). Sounds like Quentin, but looks a bit like Benji.

    Like

    September 26, 2011
  2. I have a copy of the sunrise/sunset/clouds one. It made me wonder the publisher has stock cover images that have no relation to a story that they can keep on hand for a lazy day… “Hey guys, forgot to find cover art for this Faulkner book.” “It’s okay, slap a sunset on it and nobody will know the difference.”

    Like

    September 26, 2011
  3. I like #4, Southern but twisted. It implies to me that things are not as they seem, and that there is something of a Gothic subtext. It doesn’t say haunted to me.
    Jodi

    Like

    September 26, 2011
  4. I love gross book covers, this makes me cringe like no other whenever I see it on my shelf. Yep, a tommy gun features in the book. Several times in fact.

    Like

    October 8, 2011
  5. martin #

    I read the story from a 1956 library edition with no cover art. Did’nt see the “stalking shadow” art till after I was finished reading. Its a spot on rendering of what I saw in my minds eye while reading chapter two and getting a glimpse into Quentin’s black hole of despair. Perfect, creepy Southetn Gothic.

    Like

    November 21, 2011
  6. destructiveaging #

    I wanted to really like this novel. I wanted it to get under my skin. I wanted to re-read it again and again and discover subtle nuances that I missed in earlier readings; but I have to say it never happened.

    Like

    March 26, 2012
  7. Jake T #

    #3 is Faulkner’s actual house, by the way. I think that makes it an interesting story because it ties it back to Faulkner in a very personal way.

    Like

    January 3, 2016

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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