Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

The Lonely Undertaker

He wanders through the covers of historical novels, forlornly seeking his missing hearse…

Serious point. Nothing makes an author’s heart sink faster than the realisation that the work they sweated to make original is to be marketed as an also-ran to someone else’s. In this case I believe the imitation stems from The Alienist, but I’m willing to be corrected.

Here are a couple more designs that I admired on sight, whose less-fresh offspring I’m now seeing everywhere:

5 responses to “The Lonely Undertaker”

  1. The cover of The 39 Steps immediately pointed me in the direction of Bill Bryson's One Summer: America 1927, while the design for The Night Circus reminded me of the spectacular cover designs for the latest reprint of the three novels that make up Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy…


    I was rather pleased that the girlfriend I leant my original paperback copies to never gave them back so I could buy them again with these Crushed covers. They sit in the shelf next to the Ebury Press paperbacks of The Kingdom of Bones and The Bedlam Detective, with Titan's reprints of Rohmer's Fu Manchu books, which have a wonderful cover design.

    Imagery aside, the last time I wandered blankly through one of the two Waterstone's here so many of the thrillers appeared to have appropriated the typeface from Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. Odd that….

    — Paul Gooding