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Feb 22

Haven't a clue what to say, it's flamboyant? haha, no wait, that's not a joke. Eject... eject...Click for full image

Tim Comments: Hot babe fairy queen, standing on slime-mold covered stairway to nowhere. Add in super-wussy fairy dude, you gotta feel for him, they put him in quite possibly the worst costume of all time. And the photo doesn’t do justice to the garishness of the blue background and orange border. And of course lots of different fonts.
Published 1985

Many thanks to Tim!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of artI would touch it without protective glovesI have seen worse. Far, far worseInteresting, but I would still read it in publicMiddling: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lamé picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show, Sir.... Good Show! (Average: 7.18 out of 10)
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25 Responses to “The One Tree”

  1. Ian Sales Says:

    No wonder Thomas Covenant is such a miserable bastard if he has to wear one of Demis Roussos’s cast-offs. Or is it Nana Mouskori’s?

  2. SI Says:

    People often get embarrassed showing off their new garden paving stones while wearing a large yellow muumuu.

  3. Christal Says:

    Is it just me or is his sword sparkly?

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Is the dripstone farting weather?

  5. Amy Says:

    I remember this series so fondly. My mother had all of them (I think some of the others are worse than this one!) and I would look at them all of the time as a kid. Even though the compositions are awkward, they are very detailed. I never read the books though. My mom said they were depressing.

  6. Carolyn B Says:

    I thought he was watering the grass, but maybe it’s just a crease in the cover? (No, I didn’t mean that as a euphemism – sheesh)

  7. Seamyst Says:

    Looking at it more closely, I’m convinced that he’s holding a wand or scepter or something similar, and that’s just an unfortunately-placed crease.

  8. Adam Roberts Says:

    There they are, standing on One Tree Hill. U2 have certainly changed their style since the 1980s, haven’t they.

  9. Dave Van Domelen Says:

    Amy: The first trilogy is kinda depressing, but at least each book ends with the sense that things have gotten better. But each book also begins with some sort of “no, it didn’t really get better” revelation, and by the second trilogy it had gotten pretty relentless in its drumbeat of downerism. Evil always comes back, always corrupts the good intentions of heroic people, always twists happy endings into ashes and bile. I had gotten into Covenant back in high school, so The One Tree was actually a book that came out after I started. I recall eagerly awaiting my library getting a copy (and then being rather dissatisfied by the results, but still hanging on for the end). A third trilogy started recently, with Covenant himself barely being on-stage in the first book (the focus shifted entirely to his sidekick from the second trilogy).

    So, in short…while the cover may accurately portray some characters from the book, it fails to convey the utter “everything you love will turn on you” theme of the book.

  10. GreyDuck Says:

    Well, and then there’s the whole “gloomy jerkwad leper rapist hero” thing. I’m not sure what Donaldson has about heroic rapists, but… oy.

    I read through the first & second trilogies, including this very edition we see before us. It’s amazing that I ever gave the author another chance, really. (And yet: Mordant’s Need is a great pair of books. No heroic rapists, even!)

  11. Nix Says:

    That guy doesn’t look remotely sorry enough for himself to be Thomas Covenant. Impostor!

  12. NGpm Says:

    I’d blush too if I were wearing a poncho like that.

  13. Tom Noir Says:

    Wasn’t the sequel called “That Other Tree”?

  14. Kristin Says:

    Thomas Covenant deserves everything that happens to him. Even that mu-mu.

    /read all three books waiting for him to stop whining and man up. spoiler alert: he didn’t.

  15. Jim Says:

    Those definitely aren’t Covenant & Linden on the cover. Are they Elohim, maybe? This book was devastatingly depressing.

    The first trilogy had fairly representative covers, in that each depicts an actual scene from the book. Not sure about the second trilogy.

  16. Dave Van Domelen Says:

    IIRC, the guy on the cover isn’t Covenant. Both of them are characters from one of the strange non-“The Land” lands visited in that book. I think she’s the ruler type and he’s a consort or bodyguard or something. But it’s been a few decades since I read it, and the series does not inspire re-reading.

  17. Scott Marlowe Says:

    Ee, gads. I have that edition.

  18. Phil Says:

    In Ireland, published as “The One Two Tree”.

    I’ll fetch me coat…

  19. Dalton H. Says:

    To increase male purchase of the book, all bookstore owners were ordered to fold the cover to create the illusion that the staff is a sword. It confuses commentors of bad book covers to this day.

  20. Dalton H. Says:

    In order to increase male purchase of the book, all bookstores who sold the book were ordered to fold the cover in a way that the staff looks like a sword. This illusion profounds bad cover historians to this day.

  21. A.R.Yngve Says:

    So this is the kind of cover that explains Donaldson’s best-selling success?
    [HEAD EXPLODES]

  22. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Damn that carpenter! He promised to have the staircase fixed by Thursday.”

  23. Gwyn Says:

    The art style looks weirdly familiar. Is this, by any chance, the same artist who produced a “Fellowship of the Ring” cover on which Boromir is standing before Durin’s Door wearing pointy red shoes, and a helmet whose plume is taller than any of the hobbits?

  24. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    @Gwyn: Yes. This artist’s work can be identified by brilliantly colorful costumes on stiffly posed people whose heads are a little too big. This image is atypical in that there is no bright purple on the clothing.

  25. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    Oh, and well-spotted, that.

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