3.18.2011

Foreign Cover Friday: The Hunger Games


It began with my obsession of book covers (what bookworm isn't obsessed with covers?), and then grew when I discovered that some foreign covers are to die for, and others are just plain interesting. After I had filled a folder on my hard drive with saved pictures of interesting foreign covers, I needed a way to display them...because I am sure that I'm not the only person out there who had no idea that covers came in so many awesome--and sometimes bizarre--variations. Viola: Foreign Cover Friday.

Foreign Cover Friday is a new weekly feature on The Reading Fever, where I spotlight foreign covers of the books we know and love. I don't think I'll talk this much in the rest of the features, but by the end of this post, I sure had a lot to say. Bare with me!

This week's featured cover is:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I like the US cover, although I didn't at first. I never would have picked Hunger Games up, if I hadn't met the coolest woman in the aisle of the bookstore who changed my life by talking me into buying it, promising that I would love it, and telling me that the cover made sense for the story but NOT to judge the book by it. She was right on all accounts, and I totally wish I had gotten her name. 

So what's wrong with this cover? If you've read the book, you'll know that there's nothing wrong with it. The pin on the front, and the shapes around it that look like targeting cross-hairs signify exactly what the book is about. Even the font fits the book. It's a genius cover, really. But if you haven't read it yet, you might be put off by the cover since it looks like a book about highly advanced war...and The Hunger Games is about SO much more than that!

These, on the other hand, are some variations that I would have picked up purely based on the cover (if I were, you know, someone who does that....).


From left to right: 
German cover - title: The Tribute of Panem
Taiwanese cover - title: (No idea)
Russian cover - title: The Hunger Games

I like the face on the German cover. I'm not always a fan of books with faces, but I think the leaves and blood dripping makes it work...even if she has green eyes, instead of grey. The Taiwanese (is that correct?) cover sort of looks like a movie poster to me. I love the trees and sky, and the silhouettes of the girl and boy running. It makes me think of action and desperation. That coupled with the title, The Hunger Games, totally would have made me pick it up. The Russian cover looks more like the cover of a fantasy novel to me, but since fantasy is my favorite genre, I would have at least picked it up and browsed the pages.


These three covers are from Italy, another variation from Russia, and Denmark. I'm not going to lie; the Italian cover pretty much scared me when I first saw it. With the title, it makes me think of some cannibalistic girl playing games with her victims. Not a pretty picture. I love this other Russian cover (the guy makes a good Peeta), but it would never appeal to most of the men I know. It looks too much like the cover of a romance novel. The Denmark cover is interesting, and the translated name is pretty accurate, too. It means Death Game. The cover actually captures the book pretty well, with the girl running through the dark forest with a bow. 


These UK covers are so smart, I could kiss whoever was in charge of their marketing/designing/decision-making. Want to capture the attention of both genders? Just do this! The left cover is geared towards boys, complete with a blurb from Stephen King, and the right cover is geared towards girls, complete with a blurb from Stephenie Meyer. Although I'm sure this isn't the first time something like this has been done, I think they were able to capture the tone of the book, while remaining gender neutral. The only problem I see is that the characters look a little young for Katniss and Peeta.


These last three are from Sweden, Greece, and Japan, all literally translated to mean Hunger Games. My first reaction to the Swedish cover: *ooh, fire. Pretty....* I actually like it, especially since it ties in with the whole "girl who was on fire" thing. The Greek cover has the same feel as the US cover, but is laid out differently.  I like that, especially the outlined letters. It makes it look cool. And not much to say on the Japanese cover, except that I know some people who would seriously appreciate the art.


And as a final note: It was hard to choose just a few covers for this one, because (as I discovered with many popular books of this caliber) the book is available in a lot of countries, and there is one, maybe two or three, different covers for each country. I have collected at least 22 different covers for Hunger Games so far, and that's not counting the Catching Fire and Mockingjay covers. It's safe to say it's a popular book that transcends culture. 

So what are your thoughts?
Which cover do you like? Which do you hate?
How do you think they compare with the US cover?

7 comments:

  1. Neat to see these foreign covers all in one place and be able to compare them! I like the Taiwanese cover, the mockingjay symbol really pops out. And I agree, I think the UK idea of marketing to both genders with different covers is a good one.

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  2. That is so neat! I love the Denmark one!

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  3. For some reason, I tend to always love the German cover. I'm not sure what that says about me. Maybe I belong in Germany? ;)

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  4. Danya: I like that about the Taiwanese cover as well. I love the mockingjay symbol!

    Delphyne: Thanks for visiting! I like the scene on that one, as well.

    Juju: Lol. They do tend to have great covers, I've noticed. :)

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  5. I like the German one the best of these, but I think the US one is the best.

    Interesting on the UK covers, but I think they missed the mark on one thing; they should have switched the characters (meaning that the guys would probably be more likely to pick up a book with the girl on it and vice versa).

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  6. Lou: Yes! The German cover is pretty cool. :)
    Interesting point about the UK covers. I think there are a lot of guys and girls who would pick up the opposite covers, as you said.

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  7. The Hunger Games are a "manga" in Japan Lol

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