“Lock up your daughters… Darcy’s in town!” (Cover)
This Pride and Prejudice cover leaped out at me from the shelf at Art On King/Modern Times in Sydney’s Newtown a week ago and I just had to pick up the 352 page paperback for a closer look. With red edged pages and a bold “Look at me cover” it was damn enticing for just AU$19.95 and as I’d seen it online previously I was so excited to finally find it in a shop. ISBN-13: 978-1843440710
I resisted purchasing as I’m budgeting at the moment (yes, Jennifer Duke, budgeting when it comes to books… wonders will never cease). I regretted it later. The book, from Pulp! THE CLASSICS is hilarious and has launched their entire new collection. This new imprint is from Oldcastle Books promises the original unabridged text with updated covers (and a “dash of wry humour”). Also, who doesn’t think Mr Darcy with a cigarette is strangely fantastic?
It completely taps into that slightly rough and weathered look of the old pulp paperbacks and, in Newtown at least, this is very amusing. With many secondhand bookstores down the road selling actual pulp-style classics, I’m not sure whether this was intended or not, but in this circumstance they seem almost hipster-sarcastic as opposed to a tribute to the 50s/60s that typified these images.
In fact, there’s even a graphic art print shop down King Street (the road this book shop is on) that stocks updated pulp-style posters. Obviously, this is in vogue for the past year or so (and Etsy has gone crazy with these designs).
The Pride and Prejudice cover was launched on 28th January 2013, and a number of the titles they have selected appear to be quite strategy. Pride and Prejudice has been launched due to the 200th birthday (yay!), while The Great Gatsby, released a little later, was due to the film. The Hound of the Baskervilles was launched due to the success of the Sherlock Holmes series – which I have yet to watch.
Other titles available include Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Wuthering Heights, A Christmas Carol, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Robinson Crusoe, and they all come with the same style, somewhat coy humour on the cover lines and different colour-tinged page edges. (Note: not all of these have been released yet, if you go to the Pulp website, it will show you the expected dates).
These books also come in eFormat, but considering the text is the same (and the Kindle I have is black and white) it sort of destroys the point a little. Why wouldn’t you want a paper copy? The only thing different about the text is the chapters, which use this really nice thick-heavy font to make the numbers standout – similar to old paperback style.
There’s also an online game associated with the books that I’m surprised hasn’t taken off more. You get to choose the tagline for the book or re-jig a quote into something more uh, pulpy.
One tagline that cracked me up was “Got Milk?” for Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Genius.
For a bit of extra amusement, the blurb of this book is:
Mrs Bennet is on a mission to marry off her five daughters to rich men.
Enter, Mr Charles Bingley and his rather fit friend, Darcy.
LOVE, LOATHING and BITTERSWEET ROMANCE follow…
You can order it on the Pulp website, grab it from the Newtown store (if you’re a Sydneysider) or, as we’re all Janeites, fetch it from the Jane Austen Giftshop for GBP6.99.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know your thoughts.