Coupland is one of my favourite authors – and judging by the number of times his books have been reprinted and translated, I’m not the only one with a soft spot for his work. Microserfs is about a team of programmers who work at Microsoft, who eventually cash out their shares and build a new life – and a new company – together. The novel documents their physical, emotional, and (dare I say?) spiritual transformation – from cogs in the machine to individuals.
The covers of the novel seem to either take inspiration from the standardized cubicle workplace setting, or the theme of metamorphosis.
My favourite will always be the paperback sporting nothing but the book barcode as decoration. (My copy of Girlfriend in a Coma is the same edition, although I have yet to find any other Coupland novels in the same style.)
By far, the kookiest cover award goes to the German printing. Why not take the theme of transformation to the max with a FLAMING ANGEL rising into the sky? The French cover (right) and the Spanish cover (left) are thematically similar to the North American covers – although all in all I think the foreign covers are brighter and more vibrant.
And here’s another reason the internet is a beautiful place – during my research I found not one but two graphic designers who put together interpretations of Microserfs covers – some of which I like better than the official covers.
My favourite by far is Bryan Connor’s image, featuring lego letters. “As it turns out, good looking letters are difficult to make from legos (especially M’s),” he notes. But his efforts are totally worth it – after all, Lego and Coupland go together like Ketchup and Kraft Dinner. Jeremy Pohl’s covers fall more on the whimsical side of things – although I have to say his hand-face is kind of unnerving.
Cover to Cover is a weekly project comparing and critiquing the various covers of popular novels. Find more posts in this series here – and feel free to link to your blog in the comments if you do one of your own!