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Guillermo Del Toro: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood's Guide to Dangerous Fairies Hardcover – July 19, 2011

23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142313401X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423134015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Husk on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book about a naturalist who discovers a darker world hidden in the shadows of nature. If you loved fairy tales when you were a kid, and want a darker, grown-up version, this book is for you. The book itself goes back and forth between the journal entries of the naturalist discovering the world of dangerous fairies, and his drawings and descriptions of these malevolent creatures. Del Toro's mark is evident, as the writing is surreal and almost cinematic. I am looking forward to the accompanying film!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lee White on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I read the book a few weeks ago and saw the movie today. The first few minutes of the movie wrap up the ending of the book. I found they compliment each other very well as the book did a good job of giving you the backstory for the events of the film. Taken together I was very impressed, but the book was good on its own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amanda J. Knapp on February 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after watching and loving the movie. As a fan of the film, it's pretty cool to be able to have "Blackwood's journal" documenting all of the things he saw/found... HOWEVER, even with having never seen the film I would still love this book and recommend it to anybody who's a fan of anything on the more unique side.

There are journal entries, but there is also gorgeous artwork of the creatures throughout the book. In addition to the pictures, there is quite a good chunk of the book dedicated to describing the creatures in a more informative/official manner, rather than a descriptive journal entry.

Overall it's a great book with a nice mixture of journal, novel, and artwork that ties very well into the movie, but is also great as a standalone book. I would highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kyle R. Hudson on September 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really can't say enough good about del Toro. Ultimately, he's not a director OR writer: he's a devoted fan--a fan of strange and dark fiction; H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, Algernon Blackwood, Robert W. Chambers, Walter de la Mare, Lord Dunsany, M.R. James, Arthur Machen, Gustav Meyrink, Edgar Allen Poe, M.P. Shiel, Clark Ashton Smith--who is lucky enough to be in a position to put the stories he loves onto the big screen, because most people in his position wouldn't, 'cause they have no taste. Further, he's taken one of the greatest tales of supernatural horror ever penned for celluloid (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark), and not only A) improved it, but also B) created an unbelievably complex and wondrously dark piece of theatrical property for it, AND released it to the public for their enjoyment!

If you are a fan of supernatural horror like del Toro is, you'll love this contribution to it. :)

Postscript: Apparently, the reviewer named 'SWitch1' is unaware that this book is fictional non-fiction, based on the character from del Toro's remake; a character whose life and sanity have been torn apart by one 'species' of fairy. Having discovered (quite brutally) that fairies are in fact real, Blackwood becomes obsessed with them and makes it his purpose in life to find out the truth about what he refers to as 'the Otherworld'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Solomon Kane on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even if it were not general knowledge, this book shows that GDT is a fan of such masters as Lovecraft, Blackwood and Machen. Indeed, I think of this as almost a modern update of one of the greatest horror tales of all time- Arthur Machen's "Novel of the Black Seal" (from "The 3 Imposters"). The theme is similar, and the ending (which is a perfect prologue to the film) is suitably ambiguous.
As in Machen's story, it tells the tale of a scholar who delves too deeply into the shadowy world of the "hidden people". Yes, it lacks the beauty and brooding menace of "Black Seal", but that is probably okay, since Machen's prose can be a bit cumbersome for many modern readers.
A good shivery read here... the tale itself is not too long and is a relatively subtle excercise in mounting dread. As a bonus, the "guide" excerpts are fascinating, as they document a lot of actual folklore from around the world. To top it off, the illustrations are excellent. Highly recommended.
Finally, I may have enjoyed this more than others because from the time I was a small child, I've always found the idea of "Tooth Fairies", "The Sandman", etc. to be very disquieting concepts, no matter how hard the adult world tried to sugarcoat them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophage on June 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A book that would be better read as a hard copy. This book didn't grab me.

Given the diary style narrative interspersed with the reference catalogue of fairy research, I think I would prefer a hard copy where you could flip through and have a better display of graphics ... the book lends itself to being visual and this was lost on the Kindle.

In the end, I skimmed the catalogue sections and just read the diary extracts. The catalogue covered the research into fairy gentry across the world, much of which I was already familiar with, ie folklore. (And besides ... where were all the nice little fairies???).

The narrative was about the researchers obsession which all came to no good and a grisly end. And it was only the thin mortar between the bricks. Ho Hum as a read but could have been good as a coffee table style illustrated book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr.M.Lawicki on February 22, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only recently discovered the macabre and fascinating works of Guillermo Del Toro and stumbled upon this book by accident while searching for his movie titles. I mainly purchased this book because its description appealed to me, not realizing that it is actually a tie-in or a prequel to the 2011 movie, 'Don't Be Afraid of The Dark." This book is a fascinating, haunting, and intriguing read that held me spellbound from cover to cover in one sitting. I always loved fairy tale stories as a kid, but this is definitely one for the adults as it is rather dark and disturbing. The story chronicles the life of a fictional nineteenth century British naturalist named Emerson Blackwood, a man whose love of the natural world is evident in the enthusiastic drawings of his subjects and discoveries. His life takes a radical departure from the beaten path when a colleague presents him with an intact (tiny) skeleton of a rather fearsome-looking creature purported to be tooth fairy. Skeptical at first, a mystified Blackwood deduces that the skeleton is authentic, and this revelation understandably turns his world upside down. The enthusiastic young scientist attempts to share this discovery with his colleagues at the British Museum, but they somewhat predictably believe him to be the victim of an elaborate hoax. Blackwoods unrestrained enthusiasm and persistence in his attempts to prove the validity of his discovery predictably ostracize him from the scientific community, who now believe him to be insane--or at the very least a fool. The undaunted naturalist ignores his detractors and continues his forays into the hidden, 'unnatural' world of the shadows.Read more ›
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