Between Covers: With Two Men Named Charles


Welcome to a new feature here on Chicago Subtext called Between Covers. Sounds straight out of Chicago Now's very own Sex & The Windy City blog. Ohhh, cha-cha-cha! Racy, no?

Ahem.

Perhaps an explanation is in order.

Last week, I chatted with Suzy Takacs, owner of one of our city's excellent independent bookstores, Lincoln Square's The Book Cellar, and our conversation turned to the topic of book cover deju-vu, the occurrence of two or more books bearing identical or similar cover images. After our conversation, I decided to set about finding not only separated-at-birth book covers, but to do so with an eye on book covers similar to those of our beloved local authors.

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Well! Before I could even get my search underway, a completely unrelated trail of search-breadcrumbs caused me to find the Pantheon Books edition of Charles Baxter's The Soul Thief, which immediately reminded me of the cover of our very own Charles Blackstone's The Week You Weren't Here. Not identical, to be sure, but certainly similarly inspired, no? In fact, when I spotted The Soul Thief in my peripheral vision, I assumed for a moment that it was The Week You Weren't Here. So, I took it all as an inspired sign.

As an interesting sidenote, since we are talking similarities and all, both novels contain an obsessed,  near-stalker-ish character, and similar attention to subtle detail exist in both men's writing, with Baxter described as having  "...a great, registering eye for the real pleasures and attritions of life..." and Blackstone's characters as having "...a Proustian knack for recalling the smallest detail--from a
superficial conversation to the exquisite pain of the perfect kiss..."

Know of a Chicago author's book cover with a twin out there someplace? Do tell, and your keen observation skills could be featured Between Covers. 

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