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Bright Lights, Big City

7/13/14

Hi there,

The book cover I want to try to my hand at is "Bright Lights, Big City."  This is a book that I loved upon first reading it in college.  I've only read the book once so I'm not going into this with any preconceived notions in mind, but I'm looking forward to getting inspired with another reading and trying to come up with something that's really enticing and captures the mood and energy of this great Jay McInerney novel.

Here are the existing covers that I've found online.  The top left cover is the one that I first read and still own.  I've never seen the others before, but of all of these, my favorite is the one on the top right, which reminds me of the paperback cover of "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis.

                        

Now I'll reread the story and make some notes of things that seem important for mood, tone and story.  Excited to dig into it!

7/19/14

Hi again!  Just finished rereading "Bright Lights, Big City."  It had been a long time since my first read back in college but I still liked it a lot.  I made a few notes on repeated ideas within the story and ideas that I might be able to use toward my cover:

- Two sides to the same person, clean cut vs. seedy

- Bolivian marching powder

- How you see yourself versus who you really are

- Ideal versus reality

- Alienation

- Hanging on by a thread, all you've got left

- Feeling misplaced like you're always standing outside yourself

- Could show city buildings and high rises from above with a tiny alienated, overwhelmed man in the center

- Another idea: Man reflected differently in two different glass buildings, two sides to the same person

- Something with a ferret, like the one the main character gets in the book -- he's ferreting facts for work, there's the actual ferret he releases in the department and his behavior is kind of ferret-like

- Could show a man half in sunlight, half in shadow


Here are some images I put together that capture something about the book for me.  I'm drawn to the idea of reflections, something that's a version of you but isn't exactly you...

8/14/14

Hi again!  I've put together a few possible covers "Bright Lights, Big City" and would love to get some feedback!  Here they are below with some explanations of what I was thinking...  If you're familiar with the book, I'd love to know how you think these capture the story and if one works beest.  If you haven't read it, do they make you want to?  

VERSION 1:

About half of the story takes place with the main character at his office at a well respected magazine struggling to stay straight and focus on his fact-checking job but continuously giving in to his desire to numb himself with cocaine and all-night partying.  It's like he sees himself two ways -- the good, smart, well behaved guy who's a talented writer and the the one who stays out all night partying, wakes up in strange places and, after he gets fired, lets a ferret loose in his office.  The ferret is like him in a lot of ways -- typically a nice, smart animal, but after being confused and hurt and afraid, he acts out and causes a lot of pain.

VERSION 2:

With this one, I tried to capture the idea that while the main character is working as a fact checking for this venerable institution of a magazine (the look in inspired "Time Magazine" with a more highbrow font), there's this wild, animalistic side him that he can't seem to control. He's doing things he shouldn't do, getting into things he shouldn't be getting into and hurting himself and others along the way, which is so far from the person he has always believed himself to be.  

VERSION 3:

With this cover, I aimed to capture the idea that the main character sees himself one way but keeps acting out in the opposite way.  He's confused about his life and everything that's been happening professionally and personally the past year or two and instead of dealing with it, he's loading up on coke, which makes things even more confusing and out of control.

I explored a lot of ideas with city lights and photos of the city but it all just felt so expected and overdone.  Any feedback would be so helpful!!  Thanks in advance.

Oh, and I just realized I left an "e" out of the author's last name -- brilliant!  Will fix in the next round...

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