Two Sides of Freedom: Comparing Franzen Covers

Another installment in one of my favorite literary pastimes: comparing US and UK covers of the same book. In this case, two views of perhaps the biggest novel of the fall, Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, in US and UK versions:


What do you think? Could hardly be more different, except for the feather motif, which readers, particularly finishers, of the book, will understand (and which readers of his recent New Yorker piece on the mass slaughter of songbirds in Europe will not be surprised to see). The US cover has a stronger thematic tie to the story, but I find myself drawn to the bold blocks of the UK one.

And, for another view, my own vacation snap of some appropriate lakeside reading a couple of weeks ago:



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Comments (5)

weldone.You are great people.I am in Pakistan.The desighner had done a good job.I prefer the one on the left.

Posted by: saleem | Thursday July 29, 2010 at 10:38 PM

The UK version is more attention getting but does it really tell you anything about the book? I for one love to judge a book by its cover...

Posted by: business lists | Thursday July 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM

The UK version, definitely. It has wonderful shelf pop - the pretty but bland US version will get completely lost on any busy fiction shelf. The elements of the UK cover hang together so much more coherently, too. The big F both shouts about the title AND makes the author name into a brand.

Posted by: Fixabook | Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 12:23 PM

I prefer the one on the right. I'm in the UK so it seems the designer has done a good job in appealing to at least one UK customer

Posted by: Helen Smith | Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Whoa! First time I've seen the UK cover, but I think it's severely unappealing. The US version conveys the spirit of the book so much better.

Love the lake shot. Does this one have a name?

Posted by: Mari Malcolm | Tuesday July 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

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