The Ugliest Book Cover Ever

I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868) as a youth, but wanted a review of it before I posted my thoughts.  So, I listened to it on CD during my drive to school.  I will post my reaction to the content of the novel later this week, but I had to dedicate an entire post to just the cover art of the book on CD. Have you ever seen an uglier depiction of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy?

Who is responsible for this travesty?  Who decided that this horror belonged on the cover of this CD edition?

I’m pretty sure that Alcott would NOT have approved.  I don’t approve either.  Yikes!

Have you ever seen an uglier book cover?  I’m pretty sure this one takes the cake!


57 thoughts on “The Ugliest Book Cover Ever

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  1. LOL! That gave me a great laugh when I saw it. How hilarious that such a horrible illustration was used. Maybe a passive aggressive cover designer who doesn’t like the book…

  2. I ponder regularly the idiocy of the publishing practice of not involving the author in the illustration decisions. This is surely causing LMA to turn over in her grave. The Simpsons meets The Alcotts/Marches.

    I do hope you’ll comment on your Little Women reading, though, and link up to my blog. I’m just about ready to reactivate the LMA challenge for 2013.

  3. That is pretty horrible. It is like they were trying to bring some ethnicity into them while keeping them white at the same time. It looks very strange. And the book is so pretty and trite (trite in the best possible sense) that you expect delicate and pretty looking girls, like the movie version with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst.

  4. Did you read “March” by Geraldine Brooks? It is quite interesting. It is about the father in “Little Women” and what he was doing during the war. It is a different kind of “sequel,’ that is for sure. I enjoyed it.

  5. Dear Emily,
    Wow! NO, as a matter of fact, I Haven’t!! I actually just posted a picture of my most favorite Christmas ladies on my blog today!!! How strange!
    I laughed out loud and everything. Very cute post.

    Love, LIs

  6. Yikes! I saw the picture before I read the title of the post and it startled me!
    I agree with Caitlin; the March girls are always depicted as being so lovely and delicate. This is so jarring.

  7. I actually think Alcott would laugh at this cover and think it was amusing. (I hate this cover though! Because I treasure Little Women.) 😉

  8. I am NOT savoring that cover. I wholeheartedly agree that Alcott would not have approved. I imagine her looking, bewildered, at this artist’s interpretation of her beautiful work saying to herself, “Obviously this person has not read my book.” I believe she would be more befuddled by that ghastly cover, than the technology inside.

  9. I am NOT savoring that cover, at all. However, I thank you for making me laugh. I could imagine Alcott finding herself more bewildered by the artists’ ghastly interpretation of her beautiful work than by the technology found inside that disastrously masked plastic case. Out of compassion for her, I hope she would see the humor in it’s ridiculousness and laugh her a** off!

  10. You are too funny! I’m having my morning cup of coffee and nearly spilled it when I saw the cover. They definitely went with a different approach- perhaps a failed attempt to modernize it to appeal to new young readers? Thanks for making me laugh anyway!

  11. Emily, I am here at the referral of our friend Hugh. I agree with your assessment. It reminds me of an advertisement for a bad TV show episode not a book classic. I love your bookshelf, especially “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Best regards, BTG

    1. How wonderful of you to stop by! Isn’t Hugh fantastic? And yes, the book cover is as you describe, more cartoonish than sophisticated. I don’t think I’ve seen a worse one, and I feel like I hit the jackpot in finding it just so I could post it on my blog. Ha ha!

  12. I have never read this book before but telling by the cover i probably would not read it myself. Even though you are not supposed to “Judge a book by its cover.” but looking at the cover for a while it is not the “ugliest book cover ever.” Quiet frankly that is very rude to say because there are way worse book covers out there but that’s only in my opinion. Also like i said before i have never read this book so i don’t know if this is a good type of cover for this book. That’s all i really have to say.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

    1. Well, I if you read Little Women, I think you’d change your mind on my being “rude.” It really is the worst possible cover for this heart-warming, American classic. Alcott doesn’t deserve such little regard for one of her best-loved works.

  13. This is a veritable Sistine Chapel compared to the ugliest book cover I have ever seen which was a sort of a Crumb cartoon version of the four sisiters.
    Can’t find the image but frankly be glad you don’t have to see it Horrible.

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