Friday, November 06, 2009

OW! My Eyes!

Check out the latest Twilight inspired book covers and oh! the promo copy!:

Wuthering Heights

I cannot live without my life!
I cannot live without my soul!

When Catherine and Heathcliff's childhood friendship grows into something so much more, what ensues is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even as fate conspires against them and passion consumes them, nothing can keep Catherine and Heathcliff apart. Not even death . . . for their forbidden love is unlike any other.
Emily Bronte's masterpiece remains as compelling and thrilling as ever. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Pride and Prejudice

"Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her."

With all the forces of the world conspiring to keep Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet apart, how will fate manage to bring them together? It certainly won't be easy if they're fighting it every step of the way. But theirs is a love that was meant to be, despite all the odds against them.
One of the most captivating love stories of all time, Jane Austen's enduring masterpiece is beloved by generation after generation. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Romeo and Juliet

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume.

When Romeo first lays eyes on the bewitching Juliet, it's love at first sight. But though their love runs true and deep, it is also completely forbidden. With family and fate determined to keep them apart, will Romeo and Juliet find a way to be together?
William Shakespeare's masterpiece is one of the most enduring stories of star-crossed love of all time. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience with both the original play and a prose retelling of the beloved story, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Harper Teen is obviously trying to get some play out of these common domain titles to get them into the hands of new readers. If this publishing market, why not try to package content you didn't have to pay for in order to piggy back off something Twilight-huge? And, it's not like these are trashy items. These are HUGE literary classics. This is GOOD LITERATURE. It just doesn't look like it.

Harper Teen is making things secretly educational. And it's not just the covers. Look at the quotations they're pulling from the text and look at how they describe the books. They're obviously going after a very target audience. And they're doing it pretty well. I hope it works for them (and, ultimately, for the reader. These are awesome books.)

I've done the same. My cousin and I were talking about boys (she was 16 at the time) and the conversation was couched in comparing certain boys to Robbie the Sex God or Dave the Laugh (from Confessions of Georgia Nicolson) and Edward and Jacob and possibly some Harry Potter characters. I then gave her sage advice: Never, ever, date a Heathcliff and be wary of the Rochesters. Stay away from Wickham. You can never go wrong with a Bingley and should seek them out. Darcys are ok, but you need to approach with caution.

While it's advice I fully stand behind, it was my way of trying to get her to read something a little more complex than her usual fare. As far as I know, it didn't work, but maybe Harper Teen's new campaign will.

But, oh, it kinda hurts my eyes.

What do you think?

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Book Chick City said...

I kinda like the covers and if it gets new younger readers reading such fantastic literature then what's the harm? I love Wuthering Heights, it's one of my all time favourite books, and the quote they pulled out is one of my favourites, it broke my heart and that's why this is such a great romance novel (although a lot of people will disagree with that!).

Great post!

Jennie said...

While I disagree on Wuthering Heights (but I'm much more of a Darcy girl than a Heathcliff one), I do think it's a good idea if it's going to work. And I definitely think it's worth a shot.

But there's some part of me that automatically cringes at this, and I don't know why.