The Burglar

This page is for covers of various edition of Lawrence Block's book, The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian.
Click here for his web site.

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Arbor House Book Club edition, 1983
cover design by Antler & Baldwin Inc
A great classic.
Penguin Audiobooks, read by the author. This cover also seems the most common for both paperback and hardcover books.

Jacket design by Todd Radom, Jacket art by Doug Henry

From the detail of the illustration, I'd say the frame is too busy.
My paperback copy, details to follow (when I find it). Well, actually I had to buy another and after all that there is no credit for the designer. It is a Pocket Books edition, a division of Simon & Schuster.

I'm guessing the designer has not read the book, but maybe I am being too literal and precious. Perhaps a book jacket illustrator just interprets the title, while leaving enough spaces to include the wordage.

(30th July 2002)
A glance at some of the other titles in the series shows where the artist is coming from on these.
(18th May 2002)
UK Hardback first edition 1984, published by Victor Gollancz.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of the jacket designer.

Pretty poor, I'd say.
(22nd May 2002)
Large print version, complete with the Significant Paw Prints.

Published 1999. No indication of who designed the cover.
(26th May 2002)
No Exit Press, published 2002.

I'll have to think about this one.

Having looked at the next couple of titles due out later, there seems to be a skyline and keys motif running throughout the new editions, as shown in Ted Williams and Choosers.

(20th Jan 2003)
This yellow version is the UK edition.

(29th May 2002)
This was No Exit's previous offering, so the above is a distinct improvement on that.

(18th June 2005)
A new one on Amazon from HarperTorch, 2005, perhaps the most inappropriate yet. Green? Who are these people?

(28 May 2002)
A disappointingly minimalist and un-mondrianesque French offering.

They could at least have tried some colour variations in the title.
(20th Jul 2002)
The next three are from the collection of Mr Block himself. Thanks to Lawrence for digging them out and to Maggie for sending them (twice).

Descriptions from LB in italics.
The first is Brazillian,

Cover design: Ettore Bottini
Cover photo: Heloisa Mesquita
Publisher: Companhia Das Letras
Date: 1999

The painting on the cover of the Brazilian edition actually looks like a Mondrian, although the whole cover's in black-and-white. And for some curious reason they've retained the hat that appears on the No Exit UK edition. (No Exit selects their covers from Clip Art, paying no attention to relevance but trying to get the effect of the book. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't, but it never costs them much.)

Cover design: Joan Batalle
Cover photo: Fototeca Stone
Publisher: Plaza Janes
Date: 1998

The other's the Spanish edition which shows the sky reflected in the side of a modern office building, with a grid effect. You can sort of see what the art director was trying for.
and Japanese

Publisher: Hayakawa
Date: 1998
Designer uncertain, but the name Picaro Taro is under the large light blue rectangle and a Google scan suggests this person is a designer.

I also have a Japanese edition, published by Hayakawa, that is loopy enough to be interesting---a cat's head, and a batch of rectangles, all in various primary colors, sort of floating in the air. I also have the Greek edition, but don't think it would interest you---it copies the No Exit cover, with the floating hat and nothing at all Mondrianesque anywhere.

(13th Aug 2002)
I now have a copy of this thanks to a friendly Japanese second-hand bookseller in Cardiff who ordered it from Amazon Japan for me.

Signed by the author in London a while later.
(24th Sep 2005)
A remarkably incongruous contribution from Germany, offered on eBay.

Published 1992.

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Original page 2002, rewritten February 2011