5.11.2007

S. E. Hinton

Okay, I admit it. I've never read The Outsiders. I have no idea what it's about. Nor do I have any idea what the other novels by S. E. Hinton, Tex and Rumble Fish, are about. But I can guess...







Upon further reflection, I cannot think of anything to say. I'm struck speechless. I....I'm just...I'm in awe...


UPDATE:


Okay, so I'm not speechless anymore. I see from some of my comments (hello, Atlantic Monthly readers! Welcome!) that people are having a hard time disassociating covers from books. Mea Culpa for writing such a terrible and curt post to begin with. I was a little spazzed out with all the hits I was getting there, and let it go to my head (ah hah hah hah, I am the arbiter of all that is taste in book covers! Atlantic Monthly says so!). DocTurtle has already told me that S. E. Hinton is an amazing author and I'm not fit to lick her books. Be that as it may...these are bad covers! Let's look at them again, shall we (and I will try to justify my horror, yes)?

Tex, here, has a mullet. Which, if you ask me, is inherently funny. And he's wearing a shearing jacket in the middle of what looks like summer. And he's on a motorcycle in the middle of a corral. Surely that's not safe. And how long can you ride around in circles before you get bored, anyway? At least there's the saddled fence in the background for later. I'm all for Bildungsromanen, but surely it's a little trite and sappy to say that "he was carefree and big-hearted, but pushed into growing up too fast?" And surely I'm not the only one to get serious Ho-yay (Homosexual, yay!) vibes from the cover? [NOTE: I am not impugning the book! I am not fit to be stepped upon by S. E. Hinton. We've established this.]




C'mon, tell me this isn't a funny cover! Miniature greaser posed provocatively with slightly-larger-version greaser, in front of a motorcycle (theme, anyone?) over blue wavy lines and GIANT FREAKY FISH!!! Look, look, it's about to eat his head! I'm a Pisces, and very fond of the fish, but the cut-and-paste quality of this cover just screams BAD COVER! Oh, and I may have to pick my mind up out of the gutter, but it also screams HO-YAY to me!

Okay, wow, I've used up my entire monthly allotment of exclamation marks right there. Whew. I feel better. I'll try to do better next time. Please don't beat me.

Next up: More Romances! Maybe more cheesy Fantasy. Or cheesy Romantic Fantasy. Yay!


S. E. Hinton

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

no, you can't imagine.

they are excellent young adult novels and not about what you think. they are all books about teens going through the trials and tribulations of, well, teens, especially about fitting in, making correct choices, and peer pressure. Tex earned S.E. Hinton a place on the ALA Best Books for Young Adults list in 1979. most all of her books have received this award. kids even today enjoy reading her books.

kishnevi said...

I've never read the books, but I've seen two of the movies--all three were made into fairly good movies. Matt Dillon showed he could actually act in Tex, and Coppola directed several hollywood hunks in training in the Outsiders (Tom Cruise,Emilo Estevez, Dillon again, Rob Lowe among them). The Tex cover is actually a fairly accurate indication of what the title character is like.

Tim O'Neil said...

SE Hinton is really not very good. Having had to read her books at various points in life, I can say that from where I'm sitting the experience was similar to that of chewing on broken glass for 200 pages at a stretch.

David Lauri said...

I read The Outsiders in junior high school; it was decent, probably not something I'd have chosen for myself to read, but not unbearable by any means. I saw the movie in high school simply for the ho-yay cast (I'll watch Rob Lowe in practically anything, and he still looks good to me). Never heard of Rumble Fish before coming to your blog (nor of the term ho-yay either), but even before I scrolled down to your ho-yaylicious explanation, my first thought on seeing the two guys on the Rumble Fish cover was that they were definitely ho-yaying together. Of course when The Outsiders and Rumble Fish were written, there was no such genre as adolescent gay fiction, so of course the contents don't match the cover. Luckily for young queers today, they've got lots of choices whose covers and content do match.

M. Bouffant said...

Just so you know, it wasn't the vast corporate what-not of The Atlantic but its editor, A. Sullivan's blog a-linkin' to you. I, of course, found you through The Comics Curmudgeon, long before Mr. Sullivan's link.

Ghost said...

Folks! Let's get with the program. This blog isn't about the stories or the authors. It's about the covers. Good books can...and too often do...have lousy covers.

Thank you, Judge-a-Book, for this wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

The first thing I noticed about the Tex cover was that the guy is wearing spurs on his boots. This is presumably so he can jab holes and slice up parts of his bike when its not going fast enough. Cause if you're going to wear something dangerous and stupid, you definitely want to look like a poser at the same time. Who the hell wears spurs around casually?

p dog said...

...and come on: "pushed into growing up too fast"? That is unequivocally code for rape, abuse peer pressure, etc. and since you usually see that phrase referring to a really unfortunate young girl rather than a boy... maybe my mind's in the gutter with yours Maughta, but I assumed the editors were trying to imply a boy prostitute thing.

And I'd read the book AND seen the movie. Good books, as has been said, get shitty covers all the time.

Try the old covers of the puberty books by Lynne Madaras. Talk about Ho-yay... no straight kid in their right mind would be seen with them. (the new editions have cool covers)

Anonymous said...

yes! yes! yes! those are terrible covers, but the books are excellent. were they trying for the homosexual new wave market?

Anonymous said...

Hey remember everyone its about the covers. Not the story, not the author, the BOOK COVER. Got to love book covers, nothing better then implied homosexuality, makes you wonder what the artist thought of the book in the first place.

Snow said...

I swear I saw Tex riding his bike out on the street the other day.

Maughta said...

Well, you do live in Texas, Snow. Doesn't everyone look like that?

Snow said...

Only the cool people, Maughta, only the cool people.

carrera said...

No worries, the covers are the subject, not the books themselves, though I can see how some people would get confused judging by some of the other literary gems here.

BTW, it's Homoeroticism, Yay! It's from Television Without Pity, I believe, and it's awesome. If you still don't get it, just watch any episode of Smallville ;-)

Sara said...

Call it nostalgia, but I don't think that that Tex cover is really so awful. Sure, it's of it's time—not a great time for book covers—but look at that color palette! The composition! Well, beauty's in the eye of the beholder.

Warwick said...

The BIGGEST thing wrong with the TEX cover is that he doesn't have the kickstand down, and there's no way he's got a 250lb. bike upright without the inside leg on the ground! It's all wrong! :)

Angel said...

actually this is a really good book for your information.