Following last Wednesday's post on Margaret Millar's An Air that Kills:
One man dies in this novel; here's how the discovery of his body is described:
Two barges, sent down from Meaford with winches and dredging equipment, located the car in twenty feet of water just below the cliff where Lehman had found the tire tracks. The car was barely damaged. the windows and windshield were unbroken and Ron Galloway was still inside, fastened snugly to the driver's seat by his safety belt.So, who's that above on the cover of the 1985 International Polygonics edition?
Who exactly is drowning here? It can't be poor Ron Galloway, who enters the drink in a comatose state, courtesy of best friend and pill pushing pharmaceutical salesman Harry Bream.
It's understandable that readers of Die Süßholzraspler might expect someone at some point to drive into a wall, just as folks with the International Polygonics edition would've been keeping an eye out for a floating body. I expect those who read the Allison & Busby edition braced themselves for Mrs Millar's description of a struggling, drowning man.
Readers of the 1976 Penguin edition may have found some satisfaction; the cross-scarred wrists depicted on the cover feature in the novel, appearing fleetingly on page 243 of the 247-page book.
They're of no importance to the plot.
Forget those covers – they're bland and boring. The best, the steamiest, the sexiest is the 1960 Bantam edition:
Four years later, unmourned publisher Lancer got Thelma's hair right, but little else. While acknowledging that this ugly edition was published when Twiggy was at her height, I must ask: Can the femme fatale in blue bra be considered plump?
Or am I being just too damn picky?
The least colourful cover I've yet to find comes from Tokyo publisher Sogensha. It's also the most accurate. The small lake on its cover could very well be located outside Meaford, Ontario; I see nothing to indicate otherwise, except for the fact that the area is blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. This doesn't do it justice:
The most beautiful feature on the cover lie in the words of A.E. Housman, who provided the novel's epigraph:
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,Published in 1995, Sogensha's is the fourth – yes, fourth – Japanese edition. We Canadians are still awaiting our first.
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.