I am sure that many if not all of you will have heard of Agatha Christie, and I hope that many of you have also read some of her novels; for they are quite brilliant. But today I will not be reviewing her work, rather I will be reviewing the covers of her books, I love the aesthetics of books as well as the words inside them and how a book looks and feels is an important part of getting it to sell. So although you should not judge a book by its cover you should still appreciate quality publishing and art – I have often bought books solely because they have a great cover.
Tom Adams is an American Illustrator born in 1926 and is most famous for the paintings that he created for the front covers of Agatha Christie’s books (the Fontana editions). Agatha wrote eighty novels and short-story collections; Tom Adams did covers for seventy-one of those – that’s quite a commission! That figure does not even take into account the fact that for several of Agatha’s books Adams did more than one design; for many he did two and for several he did three cover designs. Now it happens that I really like his artwork for these books so I have taken to collecting Agatha’s novels – but only those that Adams did a cover for. But don’t get me wrong, I am not collecting them just for the cover – I love to read them as well.
Adams’ paintings for these books were often surreal or disturbing and he was not afraid to display death, in many forms, on these covers (after all, that is what these books are all about), he never gave away the plot or the murderer in his art but there are often hints of significant objects or themes that only make sense once you have finished the novel. Although I like all of his art, I do have a few favourites which I have shown below; let me know if you like them and I also recommend that you read Agatha Christie’s novels if you have not already done so.
If you want to see all of Tom Adams’ cover art check out this website here.