cover love: brutal

I think it’s a pretty fair assumption to say that titles have a big impact on the way I perceive a novel’s cover.

When I saw the cover to Michael Harmon’s Brutal, my first thought was, “Whoa.” And then I thought, “I wonder if this book is about domestic violence.” There is something very disturbing about a little fake house sitting on fake astroturf-looking grass with the words BRUTAL floating above it in a happy fake blue sky.

Brutal’s cover is the ten millionth reason why I insist that covers (like all pieces of art) can immediately evoke an emotional response. In the same vein that Tim Burton can pull off creepy and imaginative, this cover’s designer does the exact same thing. There’s a sense that Brutal’s fake scenery is just the tip of the iceberg.

And I’m dying to know what’s going on inside that house.

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4 thoughts on “cover love: brutal

  1. SO true! I want to know whats going down in the house, and like why are the windows grey? do they have shutters? why can’t I see in the house? and why is it so SMALL? so visually beautiful and makes me want to read the book, which i guess is what they were going for!

  2. The way that the title is lined up with the roof of the house and how much “empty” space there is between the two also makes this interesting to me. I also like how the shape of the house makes it appear to be falling forward or otherwise expanding.

  3. I was going to mention the “tilt shift” technique as well. But the whole cover itself seems very imbalanced. Yeah the title is centered over the house, but it makes the whole thing off-centered. The grass and horizon is tilted. Even the author’s name isn’t exactly in the center of the cover vertically. All of those things give you a sense that something is ‘wrong’ (not that the title makes it any less obvious). Good cover.

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