5 Hilarious and Terrible Foreign Covers of Familiar Books

1. A Game of Thrones – Russia

In the dark times before HBO/Starz/Showtime/Taco Bell/KFC/NASA told us what everyone looked like, bizarre fantasy book illustrations reigned supreme and this Russian cover for A Game of Thrones from the 90s is beautifully, horribly no exception.

Who even is that in the front? Arya? Joffrey with unfortunately-shaped armor that gives him ladylike curves? Is that supposed to be The Hound? Yoren protecting Arya from the Kingsguard? And who the heck is that ponce with a hat? Is that supposed to be a direwolf beside him because it looks like a husky with a mental deficiency.

Russia, you’re so strange.

2. Eragon – Italy

Apparently, Italy missed the memo that the first book is The Blue One and that it’s the second book, Eldest is The Red One but the confusion is understandable considering the dragon on the cover is name Saphira like sapphire like blue rock.

I’d also just like to point out that in the International Covers Gallery on his website, Christopher Paolini has pictures of his leather-bound copies of the series that look like they belong on your grandma’s bookshelf next to the 1984 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.

3. The Hobbit – Sweden

Tove-Jansson-The-Hobbit

Being such an older and ubiquitous book, there were lots of weird foreign editions to choose from but this one is just beautifully bizarre.

I like to call this “Ten Year Old Bilbo Takes a Power Nap” because, I mean, just look at it. Between the nightcap and the youthful, cartoony face beneath it there’s just a lot here that makes no sense, up to and including the battle axe. Sting? More like Smash! Maybe they confused him with Tyrion for a hot minute.

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This action figure deserves its own article.

4. The Catcher In The Rye – Arabic

The Catcher in the Rye cover Arabic by دار المدى للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع

The original cover of The Catcher In The Rye is already kinda out there with its terrifying carousel Pale Horse Of Death thing going on (I still have nightmares of the giant poster in my freshman year English classroom), this one is. Um. It’s there.

Some other covers play up the hat or just go full abstract, but this one… this one looks like the kind of project I’d make in the third grade when we had to design new covers to go with our book reports. It certainly gives Holden Caulfield a reason to be so depressed and obnoxious. Just look at that hairline, you’d be whiny too!

5. Harry Potter – Korea/Japan

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source

No, it’s not technically a cover, but it’s too amusing not to share.

I recently discovered in my adventures in NYC’s Koreatown that Harry Potter is actually split up into smaller, easier-to-carry novella-sized volumes since small books are much more popular there.

While it must be nicer to carry than the massive tree-chunks that were the later books, that means that the entire series is broken up into 23 volumes.

In Japan, there are only 19 books, much more convenient!

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Special Mentions go to:

Harry Potter and the Cooky Art Teacher Vibes

(Germany)

Harry Potter and the Alarming Reminder That He’s WAY Too Young To Be Putting His Life In Danger Like This
(He Should Be Worrying More About Pokemon Cards Or Something)

(Spain)

Harry Potter and I Have No Idea What Is Happening Here

(Italy)

Harry Potter and Have They Ever Seen A Train Before, That Might Be the Ocarina Of Time?

(Sweden)

Harry Potter and The Only Things Still Clean on Laundry Day

(Denmark)

Harry Potter and IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE UMBRIDGE THEY DID NOT NEED TO MAKE HER WORSE and Also Why Are There Two Harry’s and Hermione Is Now Part House Elf Now, Cool and Everyone Is Wearing Ravenclaw Colors There’s So Much Wrong With This Help

(For f&@(‘s sake, Finland!)

And Finally:

Harry Potter and I’d Like To Point Out That Snake Has a Face

(Ukraine)


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