So I was in Arran for a while. I planned to make a post about the Penguin ‘Great Stars’ series when I got back, but the day before I did, Joseph at the Book Design Review beat me to the punch. Well, the one thing he hadn’t figured on was that I’d already taken photos of the books. YOU DIDN’T THINK OF THAT, DID YOU JOSEPH? That’s right: nobody’s impressed by your tastefully curated, regularly updated blog that’s really a must-read for anyone interested in book design. NOBODY. Also, I like your logo.
I may be slow on the draw, but I will steadfastly refuse to concede that something I have planned to do has been rendered redundant. Call it strength of character.
The series was designed by Stefanie Posavec, and they’re very appealing pocket-sized matte books, written by David Thomson, the critic and author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. Unfortunately they’re not really a steal at £7.99. Or if they are a steal, it is the wrong kind of steal. It is the kind of steal where you wonder where your money has gone and maybe you feel taken advantage of. They’re a bit more affordable at Amazon though.
These are the four books (the quotes are from the back covers):
Look, I’m hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don’t give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.
Humphrey Bogart – 9781846140761 – cover – Amazon
Cooper was heroic, of course, in his own mind as much as in his scripts. He was manly, tall, ruggedly handsome. He was a man for a fight.
Gary Cooper – 9781846140778 – cover – Amazon
Ingrid Bergman was far more than just a sweet, virtuous, “natural” Swedish girl - she was a dark sensualist over whom many men might go mad. Her very gaze delivered a climate of adult romantic expectation.
Ingrid Bergman – 9781846140785 – cover – Amazon
She could look demure while behaving like an empress. Blonde, with eyes like pearls too big for her head, she was very striking, but marginally pretty and certainly not beautiful … But it was her edge that made her memorable – her upstart superiority, her reluctance to pretend deference to others.
Bette Davis – 9781846140723 – cover – Amazon