Total Pageviews

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Worst of the Stephen King Book Covers

I don't usually do posts like this, but I was inspired by my favorite King blog who does this kind of thing all the time. He's got a list of the worst to best Stephen King book covers, using only first edition covers and ranking them from the ones he likes least to those he likes most. I asked him about doing a "worst ever" list and he said that while he'd like to see a list like that some day, he himself probably wouldn't do it.

So I am!

The way I compiled my list was simple. First, I googled the book covers for all of King's books, be they novels, novellas released by themselves, collections or e-books, and I looked through the google results for the ones that I liked least. I automatically discounted movie tie-in versions, which are always bad, and foreign language versions, just due to me not understanding the various cultures they come from and I don't want to seem like I'm just making fun of a foreign culture for being foreign. But dangit, some of those covers were weird. Yeah, I guess I just made fun of them anyway. Sue me.

I also didn't generally go for the artfully minimalist covers Simon & Schuster recently put out. They're fine, if not what I generally go for in cover art, and I'm not sure how well they'll age, but I wasn't about to list the covers as being bad just for being minimalist. After all, most of them were pretty dang representative.

My criteria for my choices were not 100% the same across the board. I'll be honest; in several cases I actually was pretty okay with all the covers. But I was committed to choosing one as the worst for all cases, and thus, I'm doing this list as an opposite to what Bryant usually does; best to worst. Each one of those chosen I could find something about it I didn't like; it wasn't representative, or in some cases, misleading, or in many cases just ugly or cheesy.

Let's start with a special list, which is:

Books That Only Have One Edition (as far as I can tell)
The following books I only ever have seen one cover for, so as with the others, I'll rank them best to worst.
This was a specialty release from Cemetery Dance, an illustrated version of a poem King wrote in college that is essentially the birth of Randall Flagg. I've never seen a physical copy of this book, but hot damn do I love this cover. So, obviously this one goes last.

I have yet to read this one, but its cover makes me think it's just a story about a baseball player. I know it's more than that, so it's a tad misleading. However, the intent of this cover is absolutely to harken back to days of yore and good old stories about the Grand Game, and it works well, so it's getting placed pretty low.

Again, never seen a physical copy of this, and I only know it exists thanks to the internet. I listed it this low because as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with this, per se, it's just not all that interesting.

I like this cover. As far as I can tell, it perfectly encapsulates the purpose behind this book (a coffee-table book of photographs of gargoyle statues), and it's arty as well. I guess it's only rated ahead of Ghost Brothers because it's kinda cute, and therefore not really appropriate to something I'd call a nightmare.

I said I wouldn't do any of the minimalist covers, but this is the only cover this story received. There's a graphic novel called Road Rage that's based partially on this story, and there's a cover for the anthology He Is Legend that it initially appeared in, but neither of those count. This one is ranked as high as it is because it's just kinda boring.

This one is kinda cheesy. It's a horror story about baseball, so, we have a baseball with a skull face on it. If King's name wasn't on it, I'd pass.

Now this one is just lazy. It's a photograph. With red banners across it. If I could whip this up in Microsoft Paint in just a few seconds, it shouldn't be on a professionally published book.

Speaking of Microsoft Paint, this actually looks like that's what was used for this one. I guess I'm kinda not being fair because this essay is really just kind of an extra, not really a book, novella, short story or anything. It's King waxing political on the whole proliferation of guns in the US, and I almost left this off for the express reason that it's sort of akin to judging JRR Tolkien on the cover of his "Letters of JRR Tolkien" collection. But holy geez, if you're gonna release this for public consumption, even as a Kindle single, something better than this had to have been available. I would have accepted even a photo of a flag at half-mast, maybe with a partial dissolve to a handgun or something. This is beyond lazy. This is almost insulting.

Honorable Mention
This book is being released this May, so I'm not actually sure if this is one of the covers being planned on or if it's someone's mock-up, but there's another cover out there that looks so awesome. This one is kinda meh, but the other one is amazing. I also don't really know which one's more representative, so I just picked the one I liked least. The one I liked best is here.

The Main List
These books all have at least two editions to pick from in the English language.

Other than not-great art, I don't hate this one, but I love the only other version I saw.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this cover, hence its low place on the list. I chose this one as the worst version for this particular book mainly because it makes me think a casual shopper would believe Stephen King has written a book called JFK Slain in Dallas, LBJ Takes Oath. The headline placed in a more noticeable spot in a more eye-catching font, and there are other editions where it's very clear what the title is.

While the cover is appropriately moody, but I have two issues with it. First, the trees are bare, when this plot takes place in the middle of summer. Second, who is that ghostly woman in the lake? It can't be Johanna, because she didn't die anywhere near the lake, and if it's Sarah, why is she white? The original cover is more honest.

Again, I couldn't really find a cover for this version I outright didn't like, but I chose this one because it makes the story look like your average haunted house tale, plus the woods around the house are so dense that you practically can't see the house unless you're almost right at it. However, there's nothing overtly wrong here.

Nothing really wrong with this one (other than the protagonist's shirt being described as blue in the book, but I'm not about to get picky over something that tiny), but the tag line really does try and sell this as a horror novel, which it isn't. You're gonna see that come up a lot here.

I actually like this cover fine, but all the others for it convey its mood so much better.

Again, nothing overtly wrong with this. I just don't like that it makes it look like a horror novel when it isn't. I told you it was going to come up a lot in this list. 

None of the covers for Cell are all that bad, but what decided me on this one is the tag line. Your Number is Up. Oooh, I'm sooooo scared.

Again, nothing wrong with this cover art, but my only question is what does any of this have with Wolves of the Calla? This cover could be slapped on almost any King novel and make as much sense. Which is to say, none. It tells me nothing. It's by Stephen King and it's probably a horror novel, that's what the cover tells me. But it's not a horror novel. Nothing here tells me that. I generally like these editions of the Dark Tower books, but not this one.

Again, this cover tells me nothing except that it's by Stephen King and a woman is in the story. What makes this worse is that some editions make it more obvious that it's a sequel to The Shining, and this one doesn't even hint at that.

None of the Bill Hodges books' original covers are all that inspiring. Nearly all of them have better covers in later editions. This is the one that's the most representative of the three (I think; I haven't actually read these books yet), and therefore the one I'm ranking the lowest on this list.

The worst thing about this is that it's an ugly shade of red. Otherwise I guess it isn't too bad, but I think it would be embarrassing to read this on the bus. In all honesty, though, none of the covers for this book were truly terrible, and all were representative.

None of the covers for this one are particularly inspiring, but this is the one that would least tempt me to pick it up off the shelf. As I said about Face in the Crowd, I wouldn't even pay this one a second glance if King's name wasn't on it.

Actually, this one is very nice, and probably should be ranked lower, but I don't like that it has nothing to do with the theme of this book, which is bad things being done to women by men. Its original cover was much better. Another thing is, if it's really full dark, no stars, then why is a sort of mid-afternoon sunny patch right there on the cover?

Another I didn't truly dislike, but of the two versions I've seen, this is the lesser. The previous one was darker and more ominous. This one almost looks cheerful.

Again, I don't really dislike any of the covers for this book, but this one is a bit misleading. It actually looks like it has something to do with a town being drowned, which it does not, at all. I also don't know who that couple is supposed to be. Bobby and Carol never really were a couple, and this looks like two kids, not two college-aged young adults.

Another meh cover for the Bill Hodges trilogy. What I don't get is that only one edition for this book has any hint (aside from the title) that there's a car anywhere in this story. I guess I'm just not a fan of the all-white-blood-dripping-down covers, but I do admire the consistency, which is why this one is second down in that series.

Ur is about a pink Kindle from another world. The initial cover shows, well, a pink Kindle. This one has a pink outline that, if you look closely, is actually a Kindle. While that's not bad, it just looks like a pink border at first glance.

Replace Stephen King's name with, say, Nora Roberts's, and I would assume that this is actually a futuristic romance novel. While this isn't a horrible cover, the others are so much more evocative.

I don't hate this cover in the slightest, but there's already another one out there that's better. I rank it this high on the list solely because it doesn't really do much for me.

Don't hate it, don't particularly love it. It's pretty, but it doesn't seem to have much to do with anything. You could slap this same image on 'Salem's Lot or The Tommyknockers. Hell, it might work better on The Tommyknockers.
Beautiful artwork, I mean just gorgeous, but again, this looks like The Tommyknockers, or at least some book about a haunted house, which it isn't. So points off for being very misleading.

There aren't any truly awful covers for this one, but this one is the only one that makes you think Trisha is lost in a field somewhere instead of in the deep woods.

This is actually the cover that started me thinking about a list of Bad Stephen King Covers, and I thought it would rank more highly, because I love this book so much, and this version is so recent, and yet...what the fuck is this shit? Some asshole with a bullet in his mouth? What does this have to do with The Stand? Absolute sweet fuck all. But it's not as awful as some others, which tells me this list is about to get weird.

Another misleading one. The Green Mile is a celebrated dramatic story that's more dramatic fantasy than it is horror, and yet this cover makes it look like a straight-up scarefest. Who is that on the front page? Who in the story is meant to inspire that kind of terror? Really no one. There are only two really evil characters in this book (well, one is less evil than just stupid and mean-spirited) and neither one is an ominous figure.

This is the worst of the Bill Hodges trilogy covers, because it breaks the pattern of raining blood for no reason that I can see, and because it's just the ugliest of the three alternate covers. Mr. Mercedes has three covers that are okay, Finders Keepers has a confusing alternate cover, and this one has an awesome alternate that should have been the first edition.

I like the ominous figure on the cover, but this cover also makes it look like it's a horror novel, and the banner on the side is small enough (and you have to tilt the book to read it) that you might skip over it entirely. Somewhere, someone has bought this in a second-hand store thinking they're going to get a scary story, and instead end up with a few essays and two short stories from a very young Stephen King.

I have a few issues with this cover. Truth be told, it was a toss-up between this one and the original version, which makes Roland look like a clean-cut kid, but this one lies on several levels. First, the Tower does not appear in this story, and this cover, with the Tower prominently displayed and the words "The Dark Tower" being in much bigger print than the book's actual title (which is small enough I missed it entirely when I first saw this in the library), it makes it look like it's about, well, the Dark Tower, when the Tower doesn't even appear in this story and is barely even mentioned. I'm not saying the Tower shouldn't be on the cover. It should. But Roland should be what draws our eye first. Also that Tower looks short and stumpy.

Appropriately dark, I guess, but good god, that font. What an eyesore. Somehow what almost makes me think marquis lettering does not convey horror to me whatsoever. Also, every single alternate cover for this one is better by far.

Pretty enough, I guess, but what's this book even about? Of the last three books, this is the one first edition of them that literally tells me nothing. Is the Tower even a factor in this book? Why is Susannah not on the cover of a book named after her when she is on the cover of the immediate previous one?

Another one that could be worse, but it does absolutely nothing. It's not representative, it's not evocative, it's not interesting. There are a million better ways to advertise this story, and many alternate covers that do just that.

The Bazaar of Jackson Pollock Paintings That Have Been Rained On.

This one is the last of the covers I didn't really have a problem with overall, but I chose it as the worst because it makes this look like a tale of the supernatural, which it really isn't, for the most part. I waffled a bit because some of the covers for this make it look like horror, but are still representative. This one is, too, but again, focuses on the one aspect of the story that might be considered supernatural. I find that a bit misleading.

Again, what an ugly shade of red. It's worse when you look at all the other covers available for this collection.

Weirdly, I wasn't offended by any of the covers for this one, as they all promised a glowing green light and evil times ahead. I picked this one due to sheer cheese.

This one isn't offensively bad, but it looks like a novel for young teen girls, like maybe even a teen romance.

I don't know what edition this is, but my biggest question is; what car is that, because it's not Christine. Christine was a 1957 Plymouth Fury. This car is from the 1920's. 

And that's not Church. Church is a black cat, and he doesn't turn evil upon return from the dead. Otherwise, this is a pretty eye-catching and creepy cover.

Aside from this being about the cheesiest way to sell any horror novel, what this cover utterly fails to communicate is that this is not a novel at all. Much like Secret Windows, this one has likely been picked up by some unaware reader in a used book store who thinks he's buying a scary story. It's not a scary story, or a story at all, but King's examination of horror fiction.

Is that really the best illustration from this book to be cropped for the cover? Without the rest of the wolf, it looks less like a monster and more like a stuffed dog.

Oh my, where do I start with this one? First, that's absolutely hideous art. Second, spoilers here, Tad is never within snapping distance of Cujo's jaws without a solid glass window between them. And what exactly is that line of blood supposed to represent?

I'm going off memories that are over a decade old, here, but I'm pretty sure a bear's head on a spring has nothing to do with this story. If it does, it's bearly (haha) a mention, whereas one of the Kan-Tah's or even a sheriff's hat might be more appropriate.

You might have picked up on the fact that I really don't like misleading covers. This one is not only misleading but also incredibly generic. This is a horror tale, but this cover is cheerful and even a bit soothing.

What are we selling, here? First, like Full Dark, No Stars, this one is named after a dark time of day and yet has a bright orange color. Why? Also, this is another cover that tells me absolutely nothing. Nothing other than that the graphic designer was drunk that day. This one also suffers from "Stephen King's Name Will Sell the Book" syndrome. Published well past the point where King had become an institution, Just After Sunset would be utterly unsellable with this cover, had King's name not been prominently (if blurrily) plastered on the cover.

The first Signet re-release cover on this list, and trust me, not the last. This one is the best of that lot because at least one of the stories contained within has to do with a baby. However, this cover really makes this book look like it's a novel about a demon baby, when in fact it is four non-horror novellas.

Merry Christmas from Stephen King. Again, if King's name wasn't on this puppy, I'd assume it was a pleasant story about dreams and pretty deer. As it was, I thought the story might be one of King's more touching ones, but nope, it's actually horror. Well, kind of. It's pretty dark.
No, sorry, this one is Merry Christmas from Stephen King. Of all the symbolism they could have taken from this story (a typewriter, an axe, a pill bottle, a crashed car), they went with...snowflakes behind a fence.

The demon on the cover of this thing looks incredibly silly, like something out of a kids' horror story. And just what is it supposed to be? I haven't read this book yet, but nothing I know about it says this dumb-looking thing fits anywhere.

Oh, good lord. First, this isn't a horror story. Second, no one's eyes turn red (is that the same eyes as my avatar??!) Third, CHARLIE ISN'T EVIL. Everything about this cover screams "evil kid who can start fires". Charlie is the protagonist.

Deeeerp. Actually this one narrowly beat out the first edition cover, both of which make this look like a story about a car that eats people. Yes, the grill gets compared to a crocodile's smile several times in this book, but the car itself spends literally the entire thing in a shed, attacking no one in the direct sense. Also, thith car lookth like it'th about to athk you if you want to play Dungeonth and Dragonth.

At no point does the Invisible Man put on his best detective outfit and go sit on a park bench. In fact, I have no idea what this cover is trying to say.

This one isn't exactly wrong and more hideously tacky. And why are there stars in this skull's eyes? I get the idea of a skull standing in for a white clown face, even if it is a bit blunt, but the stars?

Porn at an amusement park! I know all the Hard Case Crime covers are lurid on purpose, but of the three covers I've seen for them, this is the only one to have an actual goddam naked lady on it. While I haven't read this, I have it on good authority that there's not even implied sex in this thing.

Again with Signet's first reprint run. They show up far too often. The thing is, this is actually pretty representative, but you'd only know what this is if you've read the book. I had to look to see that that was Elvis in the glasses frames, and still, that tells me nothing about the tone or intent with this story. The original run, with a sinister-looking store in a creepy sunset setting, is far more appropriate.

What story is that from? There are so many good ones in this collection that would have provided some truly eye-catching covers (one edition realizes this, and uses the hand with eyes from I Am the Doorway) but this one chooses a weird x-ray guy.

Again with the covers that look like they're marketing this to children. Sigh.

Signet really wants me to believe this is a horror novel. Again, I loathe misleading covers. This one might be the worst because while Signet's other covers are just kinda bland, this one openly lies about the kind of story you're about to read.

Yay, Vampire porn! No, seriously, it looks like part of the True Blood series.

I don't know why so many editions of Skeleton Crew use The Monkey as the inspiration for their covers when I would have gone with The Mist or maybe The Jaunt or Uncle Otto's Truck but this one is the worst of the lot as the red eyes just look so ridiculous.

This one is also lurid, not quite as bad as Joyland, but worse for giving me exactly the wrong idea about what this story is all about in any sense. There are no femme fatales in the novel, and it's not even really a mystery. At least it isn't the kind of mystery being sold here.

The Dark Half is many things, but a zombie story it is not. What sucks is that this cover isn't really lying; there is a "man" who crawls out of a grave, but again, if I didn't know better, I would assume that this is a zombie story.

This summer, surprise the girl of your dreams with this romantic tale of the Cowboy Who Brought Roses. It's weird that this one ended up so high on the list, but maybe it's due to just how peaceful and serene it feels when the book is anything but.

Again with the misrepresentation. This is not about a man with a healing touch, religion plays little to no role in this, and in no way does this communicate anything to do with the story. Not only that, it's cheap and tacky-looking.

"Hey, designer, we're publishing a Stephen King non-fiction book this afternoon. You have five minutes to give me a cover." "No problem, boss. Just let me nab a photo of King off google image search and whip something up in Paint." I know that's not how this cover was made, but that's how it looks. Again, it's just lazy. I'd put it higher up on this list, but the worst is yet to come.

Yet again, we have a Signet cover misrepresenting this as a horror novel. It's not a pleasant novel by any stretch, but this makes it look like...I don't know what. Certainly not a quasi-futuristic thriller about a death march masquerading as a sporting event.

I'm hardly the first person to wonder just what in blue fuck is going on with this cover. The image is literally saying nothing, and communicates nothing about the story within. Even the tag line is misleading; this has nothing to do with "the best men", as the protagonist, Ben Richards, isn't the best anything, and is actually kind of a dick.

This Chinese dragon hopes you're getting enough cale. Actually, I had a hard time picking the worst cover for this one because nearly all of them make it look as though it's all about fighting a dragon, when in fact it's literally about seeing something through its eyes. This one wins for sheer ugliness. Forget whipping something up on Paint, this one looks like they pasted a child's drawing of a dragon on green construction paper.

I'm probably being too hard on this one, as it was the 70's, but I can barely count the ways this cover misrepresents the novel. First, that's not a hedge lion, it's just a fluffy dog. Second, no blind children appear in the story. Third, does anything about this cover say "horror novel"? Weird how King's later stuff got covers that tried to sell it as horror when this one tries to sell it as a family drama about a blind kid, his loving parents and his chow-chow.

The three doors in this book are separated by several miles each, and they're on a beach beside an ocean. Signet's second re-print run fails even harder than the first!

 At least the doors in The Drawing of the Three actually appear. There are no giant lizards in The Regulators.
For some reason, the way the first edition of this novel chose to represent a story about a man losing weight until he dies was a bloody red hand. It might be an attempt to represent Taduz Lemke's touch, but it doesn't sell the main concept at all. Signet gets its first reprint even worse by removing the threatening red and still not selling the concept whatsoever.

Presenting the most boring book cover in the Stephen King canon. It hits all the wrong notes; it's tacky ugly, it's not representative, it tells me nothing at all about the kind of story it is and it looks cheaply slapped together. A perfect storm of shit.

Talk about your basic "too artsy for its own good". I have no idea what's going on here, and it's not evocative or attractive in the slightest. Just like The Talisman, this is wrong in all the worst ways, and it's even uglier. But unlike The Talisman, this looks like someone took their time on this. This, evidently, was what their time and labor produced.

Well, this is a surprise. I knew I hated this when I saw it but I didn't realize it would take the top spot. Abe Books put out editions of the first three Dark Tower books and while none of them are particularly inspiring, this one makes me want to hurl (and I'm sorry that the quality is so bad; this is the only photo I could find). The Tower looks like a tree, Roland looks like Noah Wyle and the whole thing gives off a definite "children's western adventure" vibe that is wholly inappropriate. At least Wizard and Glass has a dark and forbidding cover. This one looks positively jaunty. It promises a rollicking fun adventure!

Well, I hope this was a fun post. I still have just under 300 pages to go in The Tommyknockers, and I'm honestly not sure when I'll be done as this promises to be a busy period of time for me. I'll have the post up as soon as I'm done reading.


  1. A few things I'd toss out as commentary:

    (1) I'm sure the idea with the "Mr. Mercedes" cover was that everyone figured if they put a bloody car on the cover, everyone would assume it was another "Christine." Or, worse yet, another "From a Buick 8."

    (2) Boy, that one for "The Stand" really IS awful.

    (3) It drives me nuts that "End of Watch" didn't follow the same design as the first two novels in the series. WHY?!?

    (4) Personally, I love that paperback cover for "The Gunslinger." You make good points, though.

    (5) "Christine" -- WTF

    (6) I don't have any trouble seeing the werewolf as a dog on that "Cycle of the Werewolf" cover, but I look at that horrid "Cujo" cover and see only a bear.

    (7) "Just After Sunset" -- Hard to say enough about how awful that one is.

    (8) Give "Dreamcatcher" this: if nothing else, it depicts a scene from the novel.

    (9) Oh, there's a bit of sex in "Joyland." Not enough to really justify that cover, though. That's Hard Case Crime for you, though.

    (10) I'm surprised the Presley estate licensed Elivs's image for that "Needful Things" cover, and I'm equally surprised Signet paid them what it must have cost.

    (11) I think the idea with the original cover of "Thinner" was that it represented the hand after the lady gypsy shoots a ball bearing through it. It doesn't represent the core concept well, though; no doubt about that.

    (12) I don't hate that cover for "The Talisman," but yeah, it doesn't really do much. There wasn't enough room to do much with that cover, though, given how large they made both authors' names.

    (13) "Wizard and Glass" -- Yeah, I'm not too fond of that one, either. Or any of McKean's interior art. Yuck.

  2. (1) I actually liked FaB8, but I agree, they probably wanted to make sure people didn't think this was another "killer car" novel from King. Enough people assumed FaB8 was "Christine Redux" that I can see why they wanted to avoid the car image. But I do like the cover that has a bloody tire tread running over an umbrella.

    (2) The first time I saw that one on a shelf in a book store I wondered who approved it. Seems like modern-day King re-issue covers are either really true to the story (because he's a brand name and everyone knows what the story is) or utterly, completely wrong.

    (3) I would not be troubled at all if the first re-print covers for each of the Bill Hodges novels had been their original covers.

    (4) Oh, don't misunderstand me, it looks really cool. It's just wrong. When I was a kid I assumed The Dark Tower was a LOTR-style fantasy, just perhaps with more horror. I missed the subtitle of that one all together. When I saw the cover with Christian Bale as Roland in a library, I assumed it was a sequel.

    (5) Tell me about it. I mean, how hard is it to screw up Christine?

    (6) Yes, I couldn't agree more.

    (7) Again, what is that cover trying to convey? Why, of all the covers likely submitted, did that one win? Were they in a hurry to get it out?

    (8) Sure, but how important a scene was that compared to, say, Jonesy's memory bunker or, I dunno, the Dreamcatcher itself?

    (9) Ah, well, like I said, I haven't read it, but I did read elsewhere that this cover was incredibly misleading, the person making it sound like no one takes their clothes off in the course of the story whatsoever.

    (10) I'm surprised they decided to pay for that instead of one of the umpteen images they could have used that wouldn't have required it.

    (11) I guess I didn't realize that was meant to be an actual hole, just a handprint. That said, yeah, nothing at all to do with the central concept. It would be like a cover of Pet Sematary being a rotting jogger.

    (12) The thing about The Talisman is that it's a novel rich in imagery, and yet none of its covers really do it justice. I do like the one with the car in the distance, though. It's suitably creepy and signifies Jack's journey.

    (13) Yeah, I'm not much for impressionistic art in a novel. I've always hated Phil Hale's "Smiling Roland" and "Snarling Detta" pics, but his photos overall are gold compared to this shit.

  3. If no one else does, let me thank you for this post. It was hilarious and very entertaining. You're right, it is a very Bryant-esque entry. I wouldn't have thought I had strong feelings about cover art, but danged if I don't want to throw in my two cents on a few of 'em.

    1) The Dark Man does have some pretty cool artwork, but the poem, if you can call it that, is at least as bad as the artwork is good. It may be the worst thing King has ever put out.

    2) I have to disagree with you a little on Faithful. It gets the point across in a way that tells you exactly where the author's sympathies lie. And it's not meant to have any connection to anything else he's written, so I think it works perfectly fine for what you get.

    3) I have had the same thought about the cover for 11/22/63. That book stands as one of his best, in my opinion and that of many others, and surely they could have gone with something that conveys the JFK storyline without being so confusing.

    4) I'd never seen anything but the original artwork to the hardcover of Duma Key, and I think it's one of the most intriguing, moody covers I've seen for any King work. I first saw that and wondered, "now, what could be going on here?" I'm not a publisher, but I think that's the reaction you want.

    5) I can't believe they actually used that Cell tagline on a Stephen King novel. That straight-up belongs on a shitty direct-to-video movie (which I know, Cell eventually became, but still).

    6) Joyland does contain sex, but it's actually pretty sweet and tender, not at all bawdy. I consider it the same quality as Hearts in Atlantis and 11/22/63, for sheer nostalgia. Hopefully you'll agree it's a real gem, when you get to it.

    7) That cover for Eyes of the Dragon has everything to do with why I have such a strong resistance to reading it, as we discussed in another thread a few weeks back.

    8) I would rate those covers to The Stand, Misery, and The Shining as much higher/lower? Those are horrifically bad. The Shining has the seventies as a semi-valid excuse, as you noted, but that cover for The Stand has to have come within the last ten years or so.

    Anyway, thanks again. I will not be the least disappointed if you get sidetracked on something similar in the future.