Every week, Danielle (from Danielle’s Book Blog) and Cátia (from TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch) host a feature called Book Traveling Thursdays on Goodreads. They give you a topic each Thursday and you choose a book that you think fits. Then comes the fun part: a cover showdown! You post the original cover, the cover from your country (which I won’t be doing most of the times because the books aren’t published here), and then your favorite and least favorite cover from any edition around the world.
This week the topic is a book that features your favorite LGBTQ couple. I chose Carol (previously known as The Price of Salt) by Patricia Highsmith. Carol and Therese were a great couple, I think they complemented and understood each other so well. Their struggles were so heartbreaking and frustrating that all I wanted was for things to go their way and for them to be happy together. So here we go, let’s look at some covers:
The book came out in the US in the 50s, so I couldn’t find a better picture of the original cover. This one even shows the pseudonym of Patricia Highsmith! It’s sort of cool, especially because you can see the tagline “A modern novel of two women”, but it doesn’t really reflect the book that well. That’s obviously consequence of the times it was published in; they had to go with an obscure cover and title because they couldn’t advertise a book about a lesbian relationship so openly. Later on, the novel was sold as lesbian pulp fiction, so the cover was more explicit, but apparently the marketing for upcoming editions was always a bit of a struggle.
I think this US edition is the best cover for Carol out there, it’s very classy. It reflects the artistic side of Therese because it’s a painting and the focus is clearly on Carol, just like in the novel, where we get Therese’s perspective on how Carol came into her life and how she changed it.
Least Favorite Cover
There were many horrible covers for this book, but I got them down to just these three. First we have Spain, which is so boring and so wrong. That pale yellow screams required reading in the worst way possible and that picture makes no sense. Yes, they’re two women. No, they didn’t dress like that in New York in the 50s. And what is she doing down there, reading parchments?! What?!
The second one is from China. I don’t get it, what is that supposed to be? It makes no sense! Lastly, we have the one from Germany. They didn’t even make an effort, at least China’s looks artistic and it would be a cool cover on another book. Germany’s is just a stock photo of a flower on a pale pink background, terrible.