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February 7, 2013 6:10 AM   Subscribe

An unknown publisher has used Amazon's CreateSpace to make a new, three-in-one volume of L.M. Montgomery’s classic "Anne of Green Gables" series with a bold re-imagining of Anne's look on the cover. Reactions are more or less as expected.
posted by Shepherd (65 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
From an Amazon commenter I will be thanking for some time to come: "Did they just do a Google image search for Sexy Farmgirl?"

It's a wide wonderful world, and one can't be expected to think of everything for oneself.
posted by OmieWise at 6:14 AM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Considering some of these I think Anne got off lightly.
posted by ninebelow at 6:15 AM on February 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Is there any more outrage than that one post, which doesn't even seem to have a lot of comments?
posted by corb at 6:15 AM on February 7, 2013


Man, I had a crush on Anne before, but now...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whaaa?

Anne of The Hills.
Green Gables 90120.
posted by kimberussell at 6:25 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Corb: see the Amazon reviews. All those one star reviews are complaining about the cover.
posted by boo_radley at 6:27 AM on February 7, 2013


In Japan, the novel is known as Red-Haired Anne. This picture will never fly with the translation market....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:27 AM on February 7, 2013


You've got to feel for this publisher. The market demands sex, and with "redhead with freckles" being such a difficult to look to sell sexually, the publisher had to pick a blonde girl. It's tragic, really.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Controversy is really easily stirred these days, it seems.
posted by Segundus at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there any more outrage than that one post

There was some outrage in my Twitter stream, if that helps. Particularly on the heels of the Bell Jar cover.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but where are the zombies?
posted by ODiV at 6:29 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Typical Josie Pye, to steal Anne's rightful place.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:29 AM on February 7, 2013 [30 favorites]


Meh, covers are always dumb. So long as they didn't change the text I can't get excited. There's a Vorkosigan cover out there that has Miles as a tall handsome court fop, and he's supposed to be a hyperactive dwarf.
posted by Wretch729 at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This doesn't seem much dumber than a lot of the covers I see on "real" reprints of classics. I frequently get out an older copy of a book from the library just because the newer cover is so terrible.
posted by DU at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha! They made you look!
posted by mazola at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK, we can all agree that the new cover is silly. But this part is puzzling:

Montgomery’s books entered the public domain in 1992, 50 years after her death in 1942. However, the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority, owned by the province of Prince Edward Island and Montgomery’s heirs, Ruth Macdonald and David Macdonald, still protects the “words and images depicting the fictional characters, places and events described in Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables and related novels.”

Is this a thing? I thought once something enters the public domain, that's it; the original rights holders can't keep control of the work, or representations thereof.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2013


In fact, I have to wonder if this is a manufactured controversy to create some buzz that CreateSpace exists. I'd sure never heard of it before. I was using Lulu.
posted by DU at 6:31 AM on February 7, 2013


I love that new Bell Jar cover is pure chick lit. As for the naysayers, what I love about the idea for that particular move is it will traumatize anyone looking for a light fluffy read. Sort of like putting pictures of puppies and kitties on the covers of von Trier DVDS.
posted by Kitteh at 6:31 AM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


..."redhead with freckles" being such a difficult to look to sell sexually...

You aren't very good at google.
posted by DU at 6:31 AM on February 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


Some of my favorite terrible covers are on 60s printings of Agatha Christie books. It's like each cover designer was just told "murder mystery" so the cover is just stuff that is either mysterious or a murder weapon. A knife, a jar of poison, and a noose? For a book that has none of those things? Perfect.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:32 AM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


You're aren't very good at jokes.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:32 AM on February 7, 2013 [37 favorites]


HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT THIS COVER OF LITTLE WOMEN THAT I MADE to put on a public domain ebook that I'm gonna sell online for 2 bucks so I can make dozens of dollars! Feel free to totally mistake this for something a traditional publisher would create so that you can write endless outraged comments about how thoughtless marketing departments are willfully ignorant of the classics in order to make a profit! HOW DARE THEY?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2013 [17 favorites]


Also, just wait until they get Anne of Green Gables mixed up with the House of the Seven Gables! They won't know which way to go between young girl hijink, sexy blond covers, brooding mansions, and witchcraft. We will probably end up with Twilight leavened with Puritan guilt and paranoia.



Actually, I might read that.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


I've actually worked with this publisher before and they've given me some exclusive previews of their upcoming covers:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Anna Karenina

Lord of the Flies

Atlas Shrugged

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
posted by kmz at 6:36 AM on February 7, 2013 [19 favorites]


Cheap Knock-Off Has Poor Cover OMFG.

The media on Prince Edward Island will be going fucking mental.
posted by Segundus at 6:36 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh I would've totally read Tess if it had that cover. Because I'm sexist! Get it???!!?!?
posted by Mister_A at 6:40 AM on February 7, 2013


A knife, a jar of poison, and a noose?

*That* should have been the Anne of Green Gables cover!
posted by mazola at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but where are the zombies?

Away yonder, on the other side of the shark tank.
posted by notyou at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2013


Needs more Kirk Douglas.
posted by Artw at 6:43 AM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


It bothers me that a lot of the press coverage of this doesn't really emphasize that this is just one person trying to make a buck... it's not as if Penguin or Random House were going to be selling this in bookstores. I've read so many comments that seem to assume it's some evil corporate plot to sex up children's literature when it's really not that.
posted by Jeanne at 6:47 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


The article Segundus linked seems to think Amazon itself is behind it.
posted by kmz at 6:48 AM on February 7, 2013


I like that they used a bargain-bin Michelle Williams clone.

OK, we can all agree that the new cover is silly. But this part is puzzling:

Copyright versus trademark. When hell freezes over and Steamboat Willy drops into the PD, that will just mean that people other than Disney can sell copies of Steamboat Willy. Not that everyone gets to make Mickey Mouse scat-porn while Disney has to just shut up and take it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:50 AM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Awww...
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on February 7, 2013


The article Segundus linked seems to think Amazon itself is behind it.

Well, they are in that they provide a tool for people to create terrible POD covers with. On the other hand, have you seen the POD covers people come up with when they don't have such a tool?
posted by Artw at 6:56 AM on February 7, 2013


What will happen when a young orphan girl is spirited away to the remote island home of a stern older woman and her subservient brother? Read Behind the Green Gables and find out!
posted by pracowity at 7:03 AM on February 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


THERE IS NOTHING CARROTY ABOUT THAT HAIR AT ALL

AT.

ALL.

posted by Madamina at 7:06 AM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yow. I'm thankful Gilbert isn't on the cover. Can't wait to see what this publisher does to Tyrion Lannister!
posted by dragonplayer at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Read Behind the Green Gables and find out!

Oh dear, next a mashup of Lord of the Flies, Lord of the Rings, and Lord of the Dance.

Or Huckleberry Fin Fang Foom.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would read the SHIT out of Huckleberry Fin Fang Foom. With Luke Cage as Jim.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:13 AM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


I have the feeling we're all kindred spirits.
posted by pracowity at 7:13 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Huckleberry Fin Fang Foom is going to put you IN HIS HILLBILLY PANTS.
posted by Artw at 7:15 AM on February 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


They could have at least given her puffed sleeves.
posted by drezdn at 7:18 AM on February 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


Lord of the Fly Ring Dance. "All the single ladies..."
posted by BeeDo at 7:21 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Don Quixote

Wuthering Heights
posted by Iridic at 7:25 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


What will happen when a young orphan girl is spirited away to the remote island home of a stern older woman and her subservient brother? Read Behind the Green Gables and find out!

Flowers in the Attic of Green Gables (pardon, I have to flush my brain now.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:28 AM on February 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


"But you're wiry voluptuous. I don't know but the wiry voluptuous ones are the best after all."
posted by Sys Rq at 7:28 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The hair colour thing is bad, considering that Anne's hair colour is a major part of her character and becomes a plot point at different times. But I'm actually more bothered by the modern clothes - moving Anne from the 1890s to the 1990s.

Anne has been remarkably lucky over the years. Because her appearance is so famous (skinny, red hair, big grey eyes), most covers get this right. Whereas my favourite Montgomery book - The Blue Castle - has had some bad ones. On the paperback cover, skinny and slightly strange-looking bobbed-haired Valancy has been painted as a voluptuous woman with long, thick-hair, often with the other main character (again described as not handsome but cheery) looking both modelish and constipated in the background.

There's a Vorkosigan cover out there that has Miles as a tall handsome court fop, and he's supposed to be a hyperactive dwarf.

I think that cover is supposed to be Gregor and Laisa, but it's a bad one of them too. At least the new Ivan cover really does look like Ivan, even if Tej is wrong (and a bit white-washed).

posted by jb at 7:31 AM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Considering some of these I think Anne got off lightly.

Laugh all you want, but this would make a sweet Yngwie Malmsteen album cover.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:33 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


One of my all time favorite bad covers is this early/mid '70s Penguin edition of The Diamond as Big as the Ritz and other stories, depicting, presumably, Percy Washington as a glam Richie Rich-meets-David Cassidy figure lying in bed with a borzoi, a cigarette, and an ice cream sundae.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:52 AM on February 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Green Gables 90120

Or perhaps Beverly Hills C0A 1M0.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:04 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Putting new life into saying "you can't judge a book by its cover".
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:11 AM on February 7, 2013


Madamina: "THERE IS NOTHING CARROTY ABOUT THAT HAIR AT ALL

AT.

ALL.
"

If not then how me a carrot learn typing? Checkmate, literature majors.
posted by boo_radley at 8:14 AM on February 7, 2013


She needs little vampire teeth holes in her neck and a twinkle in her eye.
posted by resurrexit at 8:23 AM on February 7, 2013


Yeah but "redhead with freckles" does it for me every time.

Even muscley Carrot Top? Because even if you're into the dudes, and even if he's ripped, and even if you like freckly redheads, that motherfucker is still Carrot Top.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:26 AM on February 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of my all time favorite bad covers is this early/mid '70s Penguin edition of The Diamond as Big as the Ritz and other stories, depicting, presumably, Percy Washington as a glam Richie Rich-meets-David Cassidy figure lying in bed with a borzoi, a cigarette, and an ice cream sundae.

Wow! I wonder if Good Show Sir would make an exception for literary fiction. Unfortunately they want original photography of the book in question.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:28 AM on February 7, 2013




There was some outrage in my Twitter stream, if that helps. Particularly on the heels of the Bell Jar cover.

Ugh:

“If Sylvia Plath hadn’t already killed herself, she probably would’ve if she saw the new cover of her only novel The Bell Jar,” wrote Jezebel’s Morrissey, who then added her aesthetic judgment of the artwork: “Also, it’s ugly and the colors suck.”

It's seems all you need to do to be a writer on Jezebel is to have a the skills and wit of a YouTube commenter.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:56 AM on February 7, 2013


I love that new Bell Jar cover is pure chick lit.

Much as I find that new cover god-awful, Foz Meadows had a really good post the other day about how denigrating it as "chick lit" is also rather anti-Plathian:
It's a nesting doll-slash-oroborous problem: women's writing is frequently seen as being less powerful, important and universal than men's, even when it deals with identical themes; as a result, it's assumed to be of interest only to other women, and overwhelmingly marketed in accordance with a deeply outdated and stereotypical view of what women find interesting; thus, women who dislike being treated as an uncomplicated, amorphous demographic on the basis of gender learn to associate both chick lit and its trademark covers with an attempt to patronise them; which leads, unfortunately, to a situation whereby many feminists are dismissive of chick lit precisely because it's female-oriented -- or rather, because the type of femininity used to market it is narrow and traditional to a degree they can neither endorse nor tolerate, even if they're otherwise capable of admitting that femininity isn't incompatible with feminism; consequently, their denigration of the genre is seen as confirmation of the original, sexist assumption that women's writing is inherently less intellectual than its male equivalent, which tells both critics and marketeers alike that they were right all along, and to keep on treating such novels as unthreatening, light-hearted fluff, regardless of their actual themes and content.
posted by Phire at 8:57 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: it's ugly and the colors suck.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:07 AM on February 7, 2013


If this makes a few more people read good books then YAY!
posted by srboisvert at 9:12 AM on February 7, 2013


I love this.

5-Star Amazon Review.
"For those of you who have not read this series, I will give you a summary: Anne is a young red-headed orphan sent to live on a farm on Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately the adoptive family wanted a boy but she does her best to fit in and warm their hearts. However, after coping with her feelings of abandonment and insecurity, getting her best friend drunk, getting teased by a boy in school, and losing the only real father figure she's ever known, she dyes her hair blonde, dons a plaid shirt and becomes the town whore of Avonlea. The second two books continue with Anne's life of debauchery, manipulation, and promiscuity. In the final book she is promoted to Island whore. A must-read for any young girl trying to find her place in the world!"
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:58 AM on February 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


I heard the NPR story about this. It was amusing that the person they interviewed, part of some Alcott fan group, couldn't come out and say "the model has big breasts and Anne doesn't", and kept dancing around the subject.
posted by happyroach at 11:43 AM on February 7, 2013


I heard the NPR story about this. It was amusing that the person they interviewed, part of some Alcott fan group, couldn't come out and say "the model has big breasts and Anne doesn't", and kept dancing around the subject.

I suspect you heard the same As It Happens interview I heard. That's a CBC show that some NPR stations air.

I suppose it's possible that an American show would cover a story about Anne of Green Gables, but I don't see why they would. Do Americans know about Lucy Maude Montgomery? (I suspect not, considering you've confused her with Louisa May Alcott.)

It's really no overstatement at all to say that in Canada, Anne of Green Gables is a big frigging deal. Getting her hair colour wrong on the book cover is... Well, it's not a mistake many Canadians would make. I suspect it's on the citizenship test.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Typical Josie Pye, to steal Anne's rightful place.

Dude, it is clearly Ruby Gillis (hot but tragic)!
posted by naoko at 4:01 PM on February 7, 2013


Also, Americans definitely read Anne of Green Gables - my Facebook feed has featured this book cover situation several times, and all of my friends are PISSED (I am too, Ruby Gillis jokes aside).
posted by naoko at 4:20 PM on February 7, 2013


As a young boy from North Carolina, I read the Anne of Green Gables books on a trip to PEI, and loved them.

Like a lot of my childhood stories, this one ends "I think this is part of why my father thought I was gay years later."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:26 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


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