Sunday, August 25, 2013

BiblioFile: Luis Barnavelt i zegar czarnoksiężnika

Yes, it’s time to uncover another zwariowany cover from the collection of Polish editions in the Lewis Barnavelt series. Keeping up this year's theme we’re going to take a quick peek at Luis Barnavelt i zegar czarnoksiężnika.

If you’ve been following our posts in this series then you know that the cover illustrations that Amber Publishers released as part of their 8-book Lewis Barnavelt series have nothing to do with the story. This again is very much the case for their version of The House with a Clock in its Walls but, to be fair, for a long time we were almost willing to give the publisher the benefit of the doubt on this one. The cover shows a male figure – supposedly Lewis (or Luis) – popping up out of a hole in the ground. We know this doesn’t happen in the book. We also know the book does not feature Lewis levitating as he does in the 1979 made-for-television adaptation but ... as we said, we were almost willing to let Amber go for this because we assumed this was a scene adapted from the evening expedition into Jonathan’s backyard. You remember the scene in chapter three: Uncle Jonathan eclipses the moon, there are strange sights and sounds, and we learn about Texaco, the long-dead cat buried in the garden.

So there we were, thinking this cover art was someone’s interpretation of the backyard scene, and then we found a larger photograph and wondered just what the heck was going on. As is usual with this series we don’t know who the original artist was, but we’d love to know what he or she originally created this illustration for. We envision the image was for a book called Holes as the three characters seem to be in various stages of falling into them: the central figure in front prepares to fall as his ball caps leaves his head, another is falling to the right as its hand grasp for support, and on the left is a ball cap and glove of a third person who fell some time ago. Everybody is dressed in blue and two of the three ball caps feature some sort of red symbol which also is seen on each shoulder of the central character.

After this the only mildly interesting thing is the fish-eye effect that brings to minds M.C. Escher’s Hand with Reflecting Sphere. Green leaves cover an aqua-colored sky. Allow your eye to follow one of the trunks back to the ground and there you see an ant crawling on the tree’s woody appendage.

Nice try, Amber - you almost fooled us.  (Not really of course but if it makes them feel like they one-uped the Bellairsia staff then so be it.)

The back cover features the basic image as on the front, although transparent so that a synopsis can be displayed for benefit of the Polish readers. There are no other images of other books in the series and appears worth zl 14.80. 

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