These Parody Book Covers Of Famous Classics Will Make Any True Literary Nerd Laugh Out Loud
When it comes to my favorite books, movies, and games, I love in-jokes. There's a particular way that someone can poke fun at entertainment media while simultaneously proving that they like that book or movie just as much as I do, and I really appreciate that. If you're like me, you are going to love these spoof book covers created by The Online Pen Company, because they tell you exactly what your favorite stories are about, in no uncertain terms.
Spoiler warning: Mild spoilers for some classic novels ahead.
The season of giving is also the season of books. All of the big book awards ceremonies take place around the holidays, and every major publication and news outlet wants to tell you all about their favorite books of the year. Just in time for the holidays, these spoof book covers are here to give you a few eggnog-soaked laughs.
The Online Pen Company created 50 of these "hilariously honest" titles, all of which are based on vintage Penguin Classics. Each of the selected books is instantly recognizable — by its official title, that is — and even if you haven't read very many of them, you'll still be able to enjoy a few laughs over these great in-jokes. See 15 of my favorites below, and head over to The Online Pen Company for the full list:
'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak
"Sobbing for Days" is right. Markus Zusak's award-winning 2005 novel centers on Liesel, a young girl living in 1939 Germany, who steals books that the Nazis have banned and shares them with Max, the Jewish man her foster parents are hiding in their basement.
'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen
In high school, you either loved or hated this book. Whether or not your opinion of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy's love story has changed in the intervening years, you have to admit that this spoof cover brilliantly summarizes Jane Austen's most famous story.
'The Cat in the Hat' by Dr. Seuss
Do you ever wonder what happened after the Cat in the Hat left Sally and her brother to face their mother's wrath? It was nothing good or fun, that much I can guarantee you. Dr. Seuss' chief mischief-maker is the No. 1 reason "Why We Can't Have Nice Things."
The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
Sometimes, when you read a book as a child, it's easy to forget that the protagonists are also children, exactly like you, and are just as immature and inexperienced as you are. This spoof version of the Twilight saga serves as a funny little reminder that Bella Swan had no idea what she was getting herself into with Edward Cullen.
'Ulysses' by James Joyce
I think the general response to Ulysses, and to most books by James Joyce in general, is "...mmk." Seriously, this book is huge, with more than 700 pages of action and inaction that all takes place on a single day in 1904.
'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn
I love novels that have a bunch of nigh-unlovable characters, and Gone Girl is definitely part of that category. Nick and Amy Dunne look like the picture-perfect couple, but any assumptions one might make based on that projected image would be far from the truth.
'Metamorphosis' by Franz Kafka
"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." So begins Franz Kafka's best-known story, abut a guy who discovers that he really doesn't want to be a bug.
'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' by J.K. Rowling
The Golden Trio might have been a bit more chaotic than some of their fans give them credit for.
'IT' by Stephen King
If you know someone who has a big old fear of clowns, Stephen King's It is probably responsible for their phobia. King's novel spawned a 1990 miniseries and a film duology, but the book is just as scary as its screen adaptations.
'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier
In many ways, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is the quintessential gothic-horror novel. There's a young, new wife, a creepy manor house, a hostile housekeeper, and a dead woman. Put simply, this spoof cover isn't wrong at all.
'1984' by George Orwell
Folks, you have to laugh to keep from crying, trust me. Reading 1984 in this day and age is a frightening, eye-opening, bone-chilling experience. So do it. And then remember to chuckle a little.
'The Borrowers' by Mary Norton
Speaking of chuckling, I actually laughed out loud at this one. Us '90s kids grew up with Mary Norton's Borrowers books — first published in 1952 — and the 1997 movie The Borrowers, aka the first place a lot of us saw Tom Felton. And yeah, for a year or so, everything that went missing got blamed on the Borrowers, so this book cover is super accurate.
'A Game of Thrones' by George R.R. Martin
There's a rumor that every time someone mentions how much they love a particular character in A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin resolves to kill that character. I don't know how true that is, but based on what I've seen, I'm calling it plausible.
'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen
Framed as the recollections of a nonagenerian man living in a nursing home, this NaNoWriMo novel tells the story of Jacob, a young man who runs away to join the circus after his parents' deaths.
'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien
Hobbits love peaceful, predictable order, and dwarves love mischief and adventure. What happens when you throw one hobbit into forced cahoots with 13 dwarves and one meddling wizard? The hilarity of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit.