Some imprints aren’t afraid to be innovative with their book covers, and that surely describes what Pantheon has done for the June paperback edition of NBA finalist Only Revolutions. The dense experimental novel by Mark Z. Danielewski—it follows a cross-country road trip narrated by two dueling narrators, Haley and Sam, whose monologues are printed separately, one from the “front,”, the other from the “back.”—was released as a flippable hardcover, with an enlarged image of an eye on the cover. For the paperback, Pantheon, at the author’s request, also made the book flippable and added a horizontal design element, swapping out the traditional vertical look.
The paperback again plays on Danielewski’s theme of circularity—the book is exactly 360 pages, with each “o” in the text appearing in color and the page numbers enclosed in circles—with two front covers and no back. “[Mark] is very concerned with numbers... and he wanted the cover to be able to turn like a circle,” said Pantheon publicity manager Michiko Clark.
Pantheon isn’t the only Random House imprint going horizontal with its covers, either. Vintage took a similar approach to a more traditional fiction work with the paperback edition of Charles D’Ambrosio’s short story collection The Dead Fish Museum. The April title, which features the image of a door laid sideways against a wall, splays the author’s name lengthwise across the cover, with an added tag proclaiming the book’s Pen/Faulkner Award Finalist distinction as if its image were to be read bottom-to-top.
John Gall, Vintage’s art director on Dead Fish, who worked with designer Rofrigo Corral, said he liked the overall effect and “the visual trick of the cover working both as horizontal and vertical.”