Wednesday, July 31, 2013

People Are Freaking Out About the New Cover of Flowers in the Attic

It’s only been a few months ago that people lost their minds over the repackaging of The Bell Jar.  Now it’s V. C. Andrews’ 1979 trash classic Flowers in the Attic. This time the uproar might be justified, if a little overdramatic. Here’s the new cover, and if you know the plot, you’ll either gasp in horror or bust your gut laughing:

The new cover for the Kindle edition of Flowers in the Attic has nary a hint of what's inside.

Yep, that’s the cover Pocket Books has chosen for a story about kids locked in the attic by their religiously fanatical grandmother. There’s little hint of the abuse, neglect, or the subsequent explicitly-rendered incestuous sex between the brother and sister. (Couldn’t they at least make the house seem like it’s looming a little, or make the sun less sunshiney?)

I’m sure this version might trick some unsuspecting youngsters into thinking it’s a Nicholas Sparks-esque heart-warmer of a romance. Some might be scarred for life. Some will likely devour the sequels in rapid succession. 

The first edition of Flowers in the Attic was more in keeping with the psycho-thrillers of the era.

It would have been exactly the sort of thing I would have been thrilled to find when I was an adolescent. My mother didn’t often outright ban me from reading books, but she wasn’t very keen on my reading books with content that was too adult. The trick I learned was to seek out books that had young adult-looking covers, but with lots of juicy stuff inside. For kids today that are anything like I was, this book is like a stash box of smut.

What no one’s really remarking on is the fact that this new cover is for the Kindle version. So far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist in a print version  -- and likely never will, thanks to the hooplah. Do people pay that close of attention to e-book covers?

For anyone who missed the sleaze in its first bazillion printings, you can get the e-book right now for only $1.99.

What do you think about the romantic packaging for a book with a darker -- and more tawdry  -- story inside? Are you freaking out or chuckling?


  1. I laughed. It looks like an album cover for a soft-pop 70s band.

  2. Nothing too new here, though...did you see the repackages of NORTHANGER ABBEY and Fritz Leiber's CONJURE WIFE as 1960s/70s supermarket gothics? I can only hope those who purchased them hoping for Phyllis Whitney weren't too terribly disappointed...

    Meanwhile, my own closest approach to what you refer to was the remarkably smutty (or so it seemed to me as a pre-adol) Emile Schumachcer's STRANGE UNSOLVED MYSTERIES amphigory volume someone left around the house...almost as ridiculous as Harold Robbins's THE BETSY, but at least the latter had an attempt at a salacious cover (I was impressed yet also unconvinced mightily even as a 9yo by Robbins having a female character compare the flavor of her swain's spunk to sweet heavy cream...but perhaps we were meant to understand that she was sweet[heavy]-talking him...)

    1. Ha! I also came across some of my mother's Harold Robbins. I guess there was a time when he was unavoidable.

  3. My brother's favorite book was Flowers in the Attic. I remember the original cover well.

  4. My brother's favorite book was Flowers in the Attic. I remember the original cover well.

  5. These are nice book of Harold Robbins, I remember it very well.