The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250165343
Branch Call Number: FIC Toro
Characteristics: 315 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Kraus, Daniel 1975-- Author
Alternative Title: Shape of water (Motion picture)

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c
c_tingstad
Oct 31, 2018

I really loved the concept of this as a movie but got too stressed out by it to finish the film, so I was quite pleased to see a written version. For the most part, I enjoyed it more than the film--it remains subtle, but is easier (for me at least) to make sense of what's going on. Its themes of marginalization, hope, and state violence shine through. The writing itself is gripping and visually stunning, and reading it having watched (part of) the film really highlights the strengths of both mediums. The one place it falls short of the movie is that I don't feel it captured the use of sign language or it's importance very well. Part of this may be chalked up to sign being an inherently visual medium but, frankly, I've seen it done better. It exceeds the movie in its ability to naturally weave more detailed backstory into the action for all characters, and for my taste I really prefer not actually seeing some of the more grotesque body horror the story contains.

The major one nuisance I have is that the book version clearly markets itself as a romance. I a big fan of the occasional romance novel, but this is very much not one. To me it's more in the realm of a scifi or action/thriller book and the romance is secondary. It's important, it's tied in to the other overarching themes, but in my reading it doesn't even rate on the list of "most prominent themes" and I feel marketing the book as a romance does it a disservice. If you're looking for a romance, you're not really going to find one here.

j
jeanmdavis
Sep 05, 2018

Intriguing story but too much icky gratuitous violence for my taste that detracted from the story.

Del Toro is exceedingly talented in painting a picture, in getting descriptions across that are nearly as vivid as reality. I was not a fan of how he handles chapters (ranging from three or four pages to three or four paragraphs), but I'll admit it feels vaguely like watching a movie that transitions scenes, albeit a bit too rapidly.

Though a period work, it is very difficult to connect with the book. I found it far too easy to detest the antagonist, who I can best describe as 'the worst human being imaginable.'

v
Voodoochick
Jul 18, 2018

I didn't really care for this book. For a story based on feelings, I didn't "feel" the characters. At times I felt like it was all over the place. Just jumping into the story line of each character without really knowing the why's of any of it.

s
Smeagol_precious
Jun 19, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, all the characters are so richly portrayed you even end up liking, in a way, the crazy military man. I have not yet seen the the movie, but I feel like I will appreciate it alot more now that I've read the book.

l
LizzieCent
Jun 01, 2018

Surprisingly good for a book "inspired by the movie". Thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and the movie probably made more sense since I had read the book.

m
mr_chocolate
May 10, 2018

I have not yet seen the current film of the same name, but am looking forward in seeing it. I did enjoy the book, and once I got into the pattern of writing, the story kept my interest and wanted to keep reading to see how it would end.
This is the first book I have read by these authors.

j
Janice21383
Jan 14, 2018

Note that this is "the novel of the idea that inspired the motion picture" and not the film. Also that del Toro is known for making films, not writing novels; but if it is like the film, this book should be at least interesting.

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