What book turned out to be not what you expected at all judging by the cover/blurb?
Posted on 3rd of June, 2019


Just do a search for "Vexin Classics" to see just how disingenuous publishers can be to draw attention to books. It's pretty much open season on public domain books, which means everyone and their dog tries to trump each other with covers to try and draw in the readers, but these people took it to new lows by making use of paintings of nude women for the covers. These covers were not even tangential related to the subjects either. So you had a nude woman on the cover of Frankenstein, a nude woman on a horse on the cover of Pride and Prejudice, and even a nude woman on the over of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Good question! I've tried to stop judging books by their covers, but back in the days when physical libraries were still a big part of my life I admit that I have grabbed eye catching books off the shelf without doing more research about the book in question. Those where the days when I couldn't just quickly pull out my phone and do a quick Google search for reviews about the book. The only criteria you had to base your decisions on were the book cover, the information on the back, the author description on the inside and that was about it. Times have obviously changed a lot since then, but for all the bad books I ended up reading because of their nice covers, I also discovered some good ones that I would never otherwise have read.

The Princess Bride. - I know most people only know about The Princess Bride thanks to the movie, but the the movie itself was based on a book that has a very different tone to film. This in itself is not necessarily bad and I've come to love both versions for what they are. What I still cannot understand to this day is what the cover of The Princess Bride that was at my local library had to do with the story. I've even come to doubt my own recollection of the cover over years just because it was so weird and out of place compared to the actual story. Your question reminded me of the cover and after looking it up, it turns out to have been the work of an artist named Ted Coconis. I can't even begin to describe how bizarre the covers is, so everyone will just have to search it out on their own. Just keep in mind that it is not safe for work. If anyone asked me to describe the story of The Princess Bride purely by looking at this cover, I can assure you that it would have been nothing like what was actually in the book.

Watership Down. - I'm including this one because the version I read had a cover that made it look like a children's fairytale with cute and cuddly bunny rabbits. I also had no idea what the title was supposed to mean as it sounded a bit nautical to me. In the end the story turned out to be way more violent and disturbing than what I could have dreamed of looking at the cover picture.
If I wasn't already familiar with John Le Carre and the types of books he wrote I might not even have picked up his book, "The Constant Gardener." For those who have not seen it, the cover features a couple of bees buzzing around, which coupled with the title, makes it seem like the book is about gardening of bees. The book is actually about a British diplomat who investigates the death of his wife, who was an activist. Far from being an accident, he uncovers a whole international conspiracy. The book was actually based on a true story and got a film adaptation in 2005, which thankfully did not feature any bees on the movie poster.

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