Saturday 10 March 2018

Book Review: The Shape of Water by Daniel Kraus (and Guillermo del Toro)

Title: The Shape of Water
Daniel Kraus (Guillermo del Toro)
Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date:
27 February 2018
Review Copy from Publisher

It is 1962, and Elisa Esposito—mute her whole life, orphaned as a child—is struggling with her humdrum existence as a janitor working the graveyard shift at Baltimore’s Occam Aerospace Research Center. Were it not for Zelda, a protective coworker, and Giles, her loving neighbor, she doesn’t know how she’d make it through the day. Then, one fateful night, she sees something she was never meant to see, the Center’s most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man, captured in the Amazon, to be studied for Cold War advancements. The creature is terrifying but also magnificent, capable of language and of understanding emotions…and Elisa can’t keep away. Using sign language, the two learn to communicate. Soon, affection turns into love, and the creature becomes Elisa’s sole reason to live. But outside forces are pressing in. Richard Strickland, the obsessed soldier who tracked the asset through the Amazon, wants nothing more than to dissect it before the Russians get a chance to steal it. Elisa has no choice but to risk everything to save her beloved. With the help of Zelda and Giles, Elisa hatches a plan to break out the creature. But Strickland is on to them. And the Russians are, indeed, coming. Developed from the ground up as a bold two-tiered release—one story interpreted by two artists in the independent mediums of literature and film—The Shape of Water is unlike anything you’ve ever read or seen. (Goodreads Synopsis)

The Shape of Water was a wonderful read. Having already seen the film, I knew what to expect. However, I thought it interesting the way the book focused on different characters. The movie is all about Elisa, and Strickland is presented as 'the bad guy'. However, in the book, we get a lot of information from Strickland's POV, and through that, we can see what drove him to become the monster he is by the end of the tale. I found that fascinating, and I love how the two mediums work together to bring you the full story from all points of view. The writing style is beautiful, the story remained gripping despite the fact that I knew what was going to happen, and in conclusion, if you liked the film, I highly recommend you also buy the book and give that a read. It is no lie when Kraus and del Toro say they go hand in hand.

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