2.25.2009

Familiar?

Is there anyone who looks at the cover of The Singing and doesn't think of the painting "American Gothic" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Americangothic.jpg)?

From what I can glean from the reviews on Amazon, this book (and the series) borrows heavily from The Lord of the Rings. Having not read Croggon's book, here's what I believe, based solely on the cover: Where Tolkien's world is both bright and vibrant and dark and ominous, Croggon's world is drab and dull and ugly. A weak sun and a bleak landscape surround characters who hold little interest for the viewers. The boy either has a haughty expression, looking down his nose at the reader, or is about to sneeze. The girl is holding a lap harp, but does the picture engender any interest about her playing abilities? No. Do you wonder where they are going? Or why they stopped here? No. Surround that drabness with orange and you have the epitome of boring.

At least with American Gothic, you wonder what the lady is looking at, why her husband is holding the pitchfork tine-side up, and where they got their ugly curtains.

9 comments:

Keri said...

the entire series suffers from Bad Covers, at least in the hardbound editions. compare the paperback and hardcover of the first one, The Riddle. the paperback is so much prettier, really.

(the general setting is kind of drab and dull, I have to admit, having read the first two. but I think that's because the villain is sucking all the beauty-making magic out of the atmosphere, or something like that.)

Sandy D. said...

The contrast between the cover and the bright and happy title is especially nice here.

Anonymous said...

Sandy D. said...

The contrast between the cover and the bright and happy title is especially nice here.

I don't know about that, I looked at the cover and misread it "The Shining". Heeeeeere's DEPRESSION!

-- Feral Boy

Gooberfishbowl said...

It's like The Hobbit meets Waiting for Godot... Which on second thought, would be kind of cool. But I would still have a better cover.

Pete said...

It's the spawn of the American Gothic couple, time-traveled back to the Middle Ages (which were apparently quite drab), where Ellie Mae has abandoned the money-earning practicality of her dad's pitchfork for the financial precariousness of the lyre.

Brian W. Ogilvie said...

Good call--but in American Gothic, is the woman the farmer's husband or her daughter--or someone else entirely?

LibrariAnon said...

It's tine side up so that you can tell it's a pitchfork :)

xenobiologista said...

I always assumed you'd want to carry them tine-side up so you didn't stab yourself in the foot by accident. Especially if you're living in a rural area far away from healthcare, and ESPECIALLY before tetanus shots were invented.

B. Durbin said...

Actually, "American Gothic" is a farmer and his daughter, which explains why she looks so much younger.

Don't know why I know that.