Choosing a Book by its Cover

Anyone else ever do this. I had to go to the library today and ended up picking up Fan-Tan by Marlon Brando and director Donald Cammel. So first it’s written by two people, which is an immediate strike against it. And second, one of those people is Marlon fucking Brando. Usually that would be game, set, match.

But the book has the most awesome pulp cover I’ve ever seen on a modern book.
I could not resist. The excerpt on the back cover was also just bad-ass purple.

So, fess up. Anyone else ever chosen a book strictly on its cover? And can it match the awesomeness which is Fan-Tan

I bought House of Leaves based on its cover and a quick fan of the pages. Does that count?

Hell no it does not! I think I fell asleep while looking at that cover.

It was really more the fan of the pages. For example:

Yeah, that’s a page-turner.

What the hell is that, Jorge Luis Borges’ MySpace?

Piss off, you pretentious twat.

Though annoying to read, House of Leaves is actually a decent book. But it can be obnoxious at times.

Erik J.

I can’t say I buy a book based solely on the covers, but if I’m browsing the fantasy/sci-fi section in a bookstore, I will pick up books based on the covers. You can usually tell fantasy and sci-fi apart from the covers really easily, and then hard sci-fi tends to look different from the other sci-fi. Publishers don’t spend all that money on layout and illustration for nothing!

Like it, bought it:


I was hoping the dragon with a sword and a machine gun cover would make an appearance, but did you actually buy the book?


This series ended up being awesome, so there.

Honestly, I considered buying it after reading some of the excerpts floating around, but I can’t justify dropping sixteen bucks on amazon to support the angry nutjob with the tiny weiner.

That would imply that it is for sale anywhere other freaky dipshit’s vanity publisher.

edit: my god, I guess it IS.

A few books with covers by Boris Vallejo.

But in my defense I was 14 and my mom had radar for Playboy.

Holy crap, that is the I hate blacks dude! That guy is like a gift that never stops giving.

Unless you’re Asian, then he must be a constant source of embarrassment.

But somebody has to read the book. I want to know why a dragon needs a pistol, a sword, a SMG and a rifle and what the hell that center dragon is made of, dryer lint?

“Ended up being?” It would have been awesome if he’d stopped at that book right there. Or slightly before it. Or skipped that one and went straight to the finale.

Although the cat turns out to be really cool.

I dunno if this counts or not, but I bought all 3 novelizations of the Baldur’s Gate games (1,2, and the Throne of Bhaal expansion) in one go because they, uh, were the novelizations and in a moment of brief but intense insanity, that appealed to me.

I gave up halfway through the first. It was pure shit. The worst book I ever read. My Embryology text, which was rife with pictures of deformed babies both living and stillborn, was more uplifting. Don’t believe me? Let me submit some evidence:

  1. The author of the first two, Philip Athans, is/was an executive for Wizards of the Coast. So the books are essentially poor fanfic published because he had the juice to make it so, one big awful vanity project.

  2. The awesome amazon reviews. Thank God for them, for they gave me such joy and almost made the awful experience of reading that dreck worth it. I’d quote them, but I honestly cannot choose the best ones. There’s even an obvious “plant” reviewer who loved it, which is scientifically impossible.

Good one!

BTW, anyone else want to see the wide-screen edition of Fan-Tan?