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The Shape of Water Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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"[A] phenomenally enrapturing and reverberating work of art in its own right...[that] vividly illuminates the minds of the characters, greatly enhancing our understanding of their temperaments and predicaments and providing more expansive and involving story lines. The dynamic between the movie and the novel is vital and fascinating, and people will be eager to talk about what each version has in common and how they diverge." --Booklist
About the Author
Guillermo del Toro is the award-winning director of numerous critically acclaimed feature films, such as Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Pacific Rim, and the co-author (with Chuck Hogan) of the bestselling Strain Trilogy. He lives in California with his wife and two children.
Daniel Kraus has landed on Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 10 Books of the Year (2015 - The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch) and has won two Odyssey Awards (for Rotters and Scowler). His novels have been Library Guild selections, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults picks, Parent’s Choice Gold Award winners, Bram Stoker finalists, and more. He co-authored Trollhunters with Guillermo del Toro. He lives in Chicago.
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The book begins with an intense depiction of Strickland's 18 month ordeal trekking through the Amazon to find amphibian man, or as the natives call him Deus Branquia. (Gill God). This is an important set-up because it explains why Strickland is a bullying, cowardly antagonist, and he is thusly far less one-dimensional than he came across in the movie.
Inside the thoughts and motivations of Elisa's resolute maneuverings to win the affections of Gill God, and the kaleidoscope of physical reactions he has in response make their love story all the more credible and undeniable.
There are sadly just a few pages of Gill God's thoughts, which are delightful, and I wanted so much more of them. He refers to himself as "we," refers to indoor light as " many fake suns,“and Giles drawings of him are his “twins” The intricacies of his physique, his movements and how he expresses his emotions through his body read like poetry, and there are endless descriptions. You know that he can think and more importantly feel like a human, although he clearly is not human. Its undeniable that he’s a magnificent one-of-a-kind creature, He understands what he is, and he is many things all in one. It is most poignant that he ultimately describes himself, as confusing as it is at first, it makes perfect sense, because therein lies the larger truth of what the movie couldn't fully capture. Still there was just not enough of him and way to much of Strickland. But I feel the exact same way about the movie. For some reason del Toro chooses to not fully share the most compelling element of the story, which is not the mystery of him - it's HIM.
Elisa's final fate is vague from Giles perspective as the movie ends, left with his optimism and beautiful quotation. The book, however, closes with Elisa thoughts, then Gill God's narrative, who absolutely knows what happens to his beloved in the “ever after.” He may have always known. It's fated and beautiful closure to this timeless fairy tale.
The foil to their relationship, the man who first captured and who later tortures the creature is darkly drawn and drives the story to its unpredictable conclusion. His soul is shaped by his desire to "be a man" and his history of cowardice and killing.
As he truly believes that his actions are right his mind becomes filled with a maddnes. Not only does he believe his actions justified, he starts to believe that he is a GOD in his own right. His contribution to the story is necessary as he provides the ability for the lovers to find each other.
This beauty and the beast story ends much too quickly, but culminates in a jawdropping surprise ending! A story which is well worth reading.