Friday, January 29, 2010

French Friday (11)

Before I get to the post of the day, I just want to express my sadness over the death of a literary legend, J.D. Salinger. As most of you know, he died yesterday at the age of 91, and in his wake he left behind "Catcher in the Rye" and "Franny and Zoe," two amazing works that I would even go so far as to call masterpieces.
If you haven't read Catcher in the Rye, go do it.
He also wrote several other short stories and books, but I haven't actually read any of them. Needless to say, with his death yesterday, we lost an artist who was ahead of his time, and I'm just happy that he got to live a very full 91 years of life!

French Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Charlotte at the Book on the Hill. We both live in France, so French Friday is a meme to write about Frenchy bookish things.

Bonjour, tout le monde!! The past couple weeks I have focused on French authors and specific French books. This week, I'm going back to covers.
I was in the bookstore the other day when I saw the most HORRIFIC thing! Seriously. I was absolutely mortified.
It was this:

Now, tell me if I'm wrong but is the American version not a bagazillion times better?!?

The French title, "Treize Petites Envellopes Bleues," is an exact translation of "13 Little Blue Envelopes," so at least they didn't butcher that. But really, I don't know that I have ever been so horrendously turned off by a cover of a book that I loved. See here for my raving review. Am I wrong? Which cover do you prefer?

Now, it seems to me that the only other Maureen Johson book to have been translated into French is "Suite Scarlett," so I of course had to look up that cover, too.

From left to right: the French version, the US paperback, the US hardback

I'm partial to the US hardback, although the US paperback is in a close second. The French version - not so much. What do you guys think?

Now, on to the fact that only 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Suite Scarlett have been translated. Ummm, what about Devilish?!? I mean, that book was awesome! I think Maureen Johnson deserves just a little better than that! Charlotte from The Book on The Hill - perhaps you could talk to your boss about this travesty?

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this week's covers. And speaking of Charlotte, be sure to head on over to The Book on The Hill and check out her French Friday this week!

A vendredi prochain!!


Charlotte said...

Gosh, the French cover for 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a disaster, I couldn't agree more. I don't really like the US one either, but it doesn't compare to the French one. And frankly I think the title doesn't sound interesting in French, for once they respected the original title, and I don't think it was that good an idea... :)

The cover for Suite Scarlett is ok, kind of arty which I like. Nothing to jump enthusiastically for, but it's fine. My favorite one is the US paperback though.

I've actually read Let It Snow and The Bermudez Triangle for work, but I haven't had any news about their possible publication. I remember that my boss loved Let it Snow (my reviews was quite enthusiastic too...!). But since the books you mentionned here are published by Gallimard, I doubt that Hachette will publish the other ones. We'll see...!

PS : Psssst, it's 'vendredi prochain', without the 'e' at the end. ;)

brizmus said...

Problem corrected. Thanks for the heads up. :-) Random e's are my biggest problem in French and English (though it's worse in French because sometimes they're there and sometimes they're not). Somehow they just sort of sneak up on me and place themselves in the most random places - especially when writing by hand. I'm actually embarrassed to look back at my journal and thankful that I am the only one to read it. :-P

And I'm with you about Treize Petites Envellopes Bleues. While I'm glad they didn't change it to something horrendous, I feel like for once changing it wouldn't have been a bad thing.

Tales of Whimsy said...

1. I totally need to read Catcher!
2. I really dislike the French cover of the 13 envelopes.
3. I LOVE the French cover of Suite Scarlett.

vvb32 reads said...

boo hoo. didn't know about j.d. loved catcher in the rye.

for 13 envelopes i prefer the u.s. the u.k. one looks like a winter or xmas story.

for suite scarlett, i like all three.

Unknown said...

Firstly, I haven't read Catcher in the Rye and I really know that I must. An absolute classic. I like to put them in the mix of my reading so I'll make sure I pick that one next time.
The French cover for 13 LBE is not showing on my laptop (just get a weird X in a box).
My personal preference is for the US paperback of Suite Scarlett. I actually love that cover.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

RIP. And I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read Catcher in the Rye either, though I NEED to.
Oh my god, I'm sorry but the French cover of 13 Little Blue Envelopes is horrible. It's definitely a book I wouldn't pick up, let alone guess it's a YA book! Lol, I actually thought it was a dirty envelope at first instead of a cover.
As for the Suite Scarlett, the French cover is definitely a lot cuter, though still not my fave. Thanks for sharing! :)

Alyce said...

I wonder if that's just what sells over there right now (that type of cover). I'd be curious to see what the top selling book covers in France were. Otherwise I'd have to agree that it's not very pretty.

Heather Zundel said...

I am fascinated by other covers of books. I don't know why. But I agree of your assessment of 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

misskallie2000 said...

Oh My Gosh, the French cover for 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a complete disaster, I couldn't agree with you more.
I will be suprised if they even sell any in France. LOL
The cover of a book is very important in getting the reader interested in the book. This cover would make you not want to read.

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