Books have so many covers over their lifetimes, so it’s hard to say any updates are “alternate.” Sure, they’re not the iconic images we’ve grown to love (or hate), but books are given new life through new art and interpretation all the time. As we all sadly know, most still judge a book by its cover.
Most of the new covers here aren’t as earth shatteringly awesome as the minimalistic Nabokov cover updates, but there’s still some wonderful stuff here.
We’ll start with the classic coming-of-age to end all coming-of-age stories, The Catcher in the Rye. In my world, you’re not a true American adult until you’ve read this. This is one of the better cover updates. It’s mysterious, a bit weird, and entirely fitting for the story inside.
Who doesn’t love a good horror tale of duality? The undeniably classic Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde gets the best update of the bunch, complete with creepy tentacle mustache. While the book might be a little dry for today’s audiences, it’s still awesome, and this cover is insane.
While not the most exciting cover, the literal interpretation is spot on and pretty artful, considering. George Orwell’s ubiquitous 1984 often gets a thoughtful update, and this 2011 winner of 50 Watts’ Polish Book Cover Contest is no exception.
An example of an entirely too obvious cover is this one for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a legendary tale of authority smacking rebellion.