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The Great Gatsby Covers: A Brief History

A novel like The Great Gatsby, which is nearly 90 years old and is one of the most successful novels of all time, inevitably will have dozens of covers over the years.

I love looking back at all of the different interpretations of the novel through cover design. You might remember, we’ve looked at covers before with The Sound and the Fury and Neuromancer and The Grapes of Wrath.

I dug through the interwebs looking for legitimate covers of the novel, but keep in mind that a lot of people like to make their own redesigns. Just for kicks, I guess. I believe I’ve filtered out all of those, but one or two might have sneaked in. So what’s Gatsby’s cover looked like over the years?

I’m trying to follow this one and I don’t get it. A bit too abstract, I guess. Anyone?

No, don’t like this one. Too straightforward.

This is the most common cover, and I think it’s one of the best. You’ll recognize the eyes as that of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg.

Nothing worse than an actual photo on a book cover. Couldn’t hire a designer, I guess.

This one’s kind of simple, but I like it.

 

Another photo. Meh. 
Oh, now I see what you’re doing here. That martini glass, and the Y…oh, how clever!
This is one of those classics series with the exact same boring cover design for each book.
From what I read, this is actually a Kindle cover. Not bad.
Cartoonish. Not a fan.
I still like the one with Eckleberg’s large eyes on the cover. That’s just a classic novel cover.
You got any favorites?
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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on manderslove84 and commented:
    I love old book covers. It gives so much history and background into the times.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  2. Dominick Sabalos #

    When I decided to read Gatsby I specifically sought out a copy with the Eckleberg eyes (and lips?) on the Amazon marketplace, so yeah, I like that one too.

    If I’d known it existed, I might have tried to find one with the blue Modern Library cover you have here, though. I’m a bit obsessive about buying a cover I like, when there are multiple to choose from.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
    • Yeah, I like that blue one too. I can’t stand book covers with movie tie-ins, so I try to avoid those as much as possible.

      Like

      December 6, 2012
  3. I think the 6th one down is the same photo they used for Rules of Civility. Stock photo I suppose. I just reread the Great Gatsby a few weeks ago but with no cover at all (I’m an e-reader). I definitely enjoyed better at 30 than at 16.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  4. dste #

    The one with T. J. Eckleburg is the best, definitely. It’s the cover of the one that I read. And I also hate book covers with movie tie-ins!

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  5. Great post! The T.J. Eckleburg one is fantastic, and I also really like the one with the martini glass Y. I have the 2004 Scribner paperback, which has a photo cover, but I like it. The font is wonderful! Here’s a link to the cover image: http://redditorschoice.com/img/the-great-gatsby_2275_500.jpg

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  6. richiethewriter #

    I love the abstract one. Probably because it reminds me of the arty covers Penguin produced during the 70s, which bore no connection to what was between them. Great post, by the way.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  7. Lovely blue eyes.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  8. Great post, Robert – book covers can be a real art form. There’s a photo of my own Penguin Classics edition of The Great Gatsby here: http://novelreading.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/the-great-gatsby-f-scott-fitzgerald/ It’s not half as cool as some of the designs above, but I guess it hints at the opulent jazz age era the book depicts.

    Like

    December 6, 2012
  9. Love all the books. I will read it this week.

    Like

    December 11, 2012
  10. Kristi #

    That first abstract cover – would that have something to do with the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock?

    Like

    December 13, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Looking Back At The Great Gatsby | 101 Books
  2. The Lord Of The Rings Covers: A Brief History | 101 Books

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