It’s time for another installment of Bad Book Covers. Today we’ll look at Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851).
Previous posts in this series include: Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, The Moonstone, Dracula, East Lynne, Lady Audley’s Secret, Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Scarlet Letter, Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, Little Women, Jekyll and Hyde, Pamela, Ivanhoe, Anne of Green Gables, Vanity Fair, Turn of the Screw, She, The Jungle Book, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and A Tale of Two Cities.
1.) These are all professional book covers instead of fan or amateur artwork (or at least I hope so). I’m more than happy to pick on marketing boards who thought these were good ideas, but I don’t want to pick on fans trying to express their love of books. If a fan cover made it in to this collection, then I’m very sorry and you are clearly a good enough artist to make me assume it was professionally done.
2.) I’m ridiculing the covers, not the book itself.
3.) I’m going to swear. A lot. If this isn’t your thing, then don’t read it.
Plot Recap (SPOILERS)
Full disclosure, I’ve never read Moby Dick because I don’t have the mental bandwidth for 700 pages about blubber and how the sea is a cruel mistress. All I know about this book is that it’s super long, and far too boring to also be this gay (Melville was probably gay–as has been amply studied over the years in queer theory circles–and more than a little in love with his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, who did not reciprocate his affections).
I do, however, have a colleague who loves this book more than life itself so I figured I could at least check out some of the artwork. Here’s what I do know about the plot: there’s a captain named Ahab who (I think?) had his leg bitten off by a whale he was trying to murder once, and instead of calling that a fair draw, Ahab is determined to find the whale again and spear-stab it until one or both of them dies.
This is exactly what happens, the end.
ON TO THE COVERS.
This book is now called Gently Bumping People Who Try To Stab Me.
‘Mocha Dick’ is the insult I never knew I never needed.
*Whitney Houston voice*: AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
Our Cod is an angry Cod
You’d think out of the five covers on this cover that at least one of them would be passable.
Free Willy, but where Willy is relentlessly bent on annihilation.
I could stare at this cover of nothing for 500 hours trying to find significance that doesn’t exist.
This is the most apt representation of the book I’ve seen yet.
The Rainbow Fish is back, and he’s pissed.
I can only imagine this looming white whale gently encouraging this vulnerable little ship in the voice of John Hammond talking to those velociraptor babies in Jurassic Park.
Joaquin Phoenix is back on his weird experimental art kick, and it’s even less funny than last time.
With all this phallic imagery, how could Ahab not succeed?
Someone’s only made it through the outline stage of their art class.
Time to bury this tiny whale with this tiny shovel.
I’m not entirely sure what type of animal that’s supposed to be, but I’m glad it’s giving the ship a mutual belly rub.
“DON’T YOU DIE ON ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH.”
“Tell Drusilla … *cough* … tell Drusilla … I’m sorry.”