Curious, Creepy, and Cute: A Tour of Neil Gaiman’s International Book Covers
This post is part of our Neil Gaiman Reading Day: a celebration of one of our favorite authors on the occasion of the publication of his new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Check out the full line-up here.
Neil Gaiman’s books are popular all over the world. You can find them China, Japan, France, even Latvia. How do different countries interpret the same story? One way of finding out is by comparing the books’ international covers, and certain Gaiman novels (if you’re thinking the most popular—yes) have a wide variety of cover designs.
First, a peek at the US versus UK versions of Gaiman’s latest release, The Ocean at the End of the Lane:
Most international editions of Ocean follow the US cover design. Personally I think the UK cover is a little more eye-catching, but they both play off the same idea.
Now take a look at the covers for Stardust, one Gaiman’s first bestsellers:
US editions (just as a reminder):
I like the hardcover version, but the paperback one is a little weird. It makes me think of the movie Gnomio and Juliet.
How about Russia:
Modern art, Russia, really? HOW DOES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH STARDUST. Not to mention the triangle… uhg, make it stop.
Next up on our tour, Brazil:
Lovely. I approve. Sweden’s cover is interesting, as well:
Working along a similar theme is Japan:
A little cartoony, but I like it! Greece and Turkey covers also work off the same theme:
I kind of love Turkey’s cover. I reminds me of a magic carpet.
The covers for Coraline are fairly standard around the world, but there are some variations I thought skewed to either creepy or cute.
Again, just to remind you, here are the US and UK covers:
Russia strikes again, veering into the cute side of the story:
At least it’s not modern art. If you favor creepy covers, here is Japan’s version:
I think Romania’s cover is pretty creepy, personally:
Then there are more abstract versions from Italy, Albania, and France:
Personally, I like Albania’s cover the best. It coveys the story but still looks elegant.
One of my favorite books by Gaiman is Neverwhere, and this novel has tons of different covers. Some make more sense to me than others. First, the US and UK editions:
Russia’s at it again:
Not sure if this one is paperback or audiobook, but I do know the cover would not convince me to buy either.
This one makes me think of “Neil Gaiman with the Dragon Tattoo.” Actually there are a whole series of Russian covers with Gaiman’s face on them and then random animals stamped on top.
Nooooooooooooooo, not again.
Moving on. Poland!
Not too sure about the first Polish cover, but I do like the second. Latvia’s is simple, but pretty decent:
Brazil’s is simply gorgeous, although not as directly tied to the story as Poland’s:
And I have no idea what’s going on with the Italian cover:
I couldn’t find a lot of covers for Fragile Things, one of Gaiman’s short story collections, but what I did find was wildly different. Here’s the US version:
Crazy kid, get off that tombstone! And speaking of tombstones, how about everyone’s favorite Graveyard Book? Here are the US and UK covers:
I think the UK cover is charming, and it’s the cover you find on most international editions of The Graveyard Book, with a few exceptions.
For example, France:
I love that the French title is “The Strange Life of Nobody Owens.”
Super-cool and different design. I love the little ghosties.
Italy’s cover is fun, too:
I believe that translates to “The Orphan of the Cemetery.”
And now for Poland’s cover. Um.
Creepy. And lastly, Russia’s:
Neither of these covers would induce me to buy the book.
Finally, I haven’t read American Gods, but looking at the international covers I seriously have to wonder WHAT IN THE WORLD this book is about.
The Running of the Bulls?
Our dystopian future?
Because based on the US and UK covers, I thought it was about a road trip.
Which covers are your favorites? Any particular country stand out as far as cover design goes?
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