'The Great Gatsby' movie tie-in cover rankles some fans

F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' is experiencing huge sales in advance of Baz Luhrmann's cinematic take on the novel, but a cover featuring Luhrmann's leads doesn't appeal to some.

By , Staff Writer

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    A new movie tie-in cover for 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald is getting a chilly reception from some readers.
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Print copies of F. Scott Fitzgerald's “The Great Gatsby” are selling like hotcakes these days. But even as the novel enjoys a resurgence, a new cover has some fans steamed.

While the original cover (you remember it from high school – that blue backdrop and the two huge eyes) is still available, a new version of the book is also available with a movie tie-in image. That one has much of the cast of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation – Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby; Carey Mulligan as his love interest Daisy; Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s husband, Tom; and Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway – all gracing the book's front. Actress Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson and Elizabeth Debicki as tennis player Jordan appear as well. 

But some readers – and booksellers – aren’t happy with the new edition.

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“It's just god-awful," Kevin Cassem, a bookseller at New York indie bookstore McNally Jackson, told The New York Times. McNally Jackson isn’t carrying the new version of the book. “'The Great Gatsby' is a pillar of American literature, and people don't want it messed with,” says Cassem.

Meanwhile, Cathy Langer, the lead book buyer at Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore, said the two covers mean readers just have more options.

“It really depends who you are,” Langer told the Times. “If you think it's cool to have the movie star on the cover, then that's what you'll buy.”

“Gatsby” is currently number two on Amazon’s overall bestseller list (the original cover version holds the spot) and is also number two on the Trade Paperback Fiction IndieBound list for April 22. In addition, sales of “Gatsby” e-books have spiked sharply this year. According to the Times, 125,000 copies have been sold so far this year, compared with 80,000 in all of 2012.

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