The creature's alien nature IS the platform for its character, the main premise: knowing its exact origin (well, beyond it being a nebulous blanket that alludes to classic 1950's monster movies- "somewhere far away") would diminish that. In fact, it might be best to think of the creature's existence not as that of a "character" in the most strict sense of the word, but as an allegory to those who are in some way different from "the norm", who are "silenced", those who make the contemporary Western mainstream nervous- immigrants (like Del Toro himself for instance), LGBTQA+ people, disabled people, people of color, and women with any sort of agency.
The creature's origin is kept intentionally vague: what matters is that even though it's form is different, unknown, alien at a glance, if one bothers to hear its voice, it is just a person with thoughts, feelings, desires. While imperfect, by understanding, befriending, helping, and even loving the creature, presenting it as someone sympathetic and worthy of affection and protection rather than seeking its destruction like it was the norm in stories this one is inspired by, it directly alludes to the source material, and the fact that such cultural anxieties that demonize certain people based on ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, or gender, are pointless.
It's not a fluke or a choice made to score "diversity points" that the creature is sheltered by a Black woman, a gay man, and a woman who's disabled, poor, and orphaned at a young age- the creature's identity is as vague and ambiguous as the shape of water (see what they did there?), and this in general is a story about acceptance, understanding, and the solidarity that exists among the differently disenfranchised. It's all about empathy without questioning why, which is a beautiful and important sentiment that isn't just a "mainstream social issue" and cannot be divorced from the story.
So, TL;DR: No, it doesn't explain it, but it doesn't need to.(less)
Husband: Didn't you start it today?
Husband: Still! Was there fish sex?
Me: Yeah. (gentle readers it was not graphic)
Me: It's about social outcasts! About seeing someone as they are, in a way that no one else sees them!
Husband: Yeah but still.
Me: But he's a man!
Me: He's a man, babe.
That's how I had described this book in my TBR not knowing much about this story and.... meh close enough.
I would categorize this book as Magical Realism and full disclosure... not my jam. I liked the characters, I liked the story okay.... until the end when the magical realism stuff starts happening.
To be completely honest, I'm not sure I would have finished it if I hadn't listened to it as an audiobook!
Will check out the movie and update after!
“Man should be better than monsters.”
“Ah, but who are the monsters?”
I have always had a soft spot for misunderstood monsters who are unreasonably feared. The key work here is “unreasonably”. When their life or the life of their beloved is threatened of course they are allowed to become vicious.
And it’s not just me. I am sure that most of you know that there is a huge number of fans that enjoy PNR books i.e. paranormal romance, monsters’ erotica, erotic horror, fantasy books for young ...more
Now...I went into this knowing that it would be pretty odd. All I'd heard about this book was that it involves a woman who falls in love with an amphibious man/creature. Definitely up there on the strange scale.
The first 100 pages or so were pretty slow, I wasn't invested, and almost gave up. We have 2 main POVs, that of Elisa - a mute janitor working ...more
First, about the book. It has multiple POV's and is about an amphibious man-like creature that the army found in the Amazon and immediately captured to study it in the lab. It sounds about right.As we learned in E.T., they want dissect the crap ...more
THE SHAPE OF WATER is a strange book. For a variety of reasons.
1. Dual film/book release, which, to my knowledge, has never been done before.
2. It’s only 312 pages long, but it has a cumulative 130 chapters (split into four sections).
That’s an average of 2.4 pages per chapter.
In the past, I’ve knocked an entire star off my overall rating of a book if a mere portion of it felt choppy and chaotic b/c short chapters. And before TSoW, I considered a ten page chapter to be s ...more
This book was beautiful. I can't think of any other way to describe it. The story, the characters, the words themselves. It was all beautiful. The best way I can think of to describe the way this book made me feel is I'm a shoreline and the words in this book are the waves in the ocean, coming and going, each time leaving something, but also taking something with them when they leave.
The book is split into four parts. Parts one and two are mostly storytelling, atmosphere building, a ...more
....After finally deciding to watch the movie (that I enjoyed MUCH more than I thought I would) just had to checkout what Guillermo del Toro did with the book....and so glad I did!
....The setting is Cold War era America 1962, and unlike the flick, the novel begins with a human monster....Richard Strickland....assigned a dangerous mission in the sweltering jungles and rain forests of South America to locate and capture a legendary new life form, i.e. Gill-God...Man-Fish with supernatura...more
I hate that that’s my reaction to this book, but good god almighty was it a slog for me. And it sucks double because I obviously read it wrong being that the handful of my friends who have already read it really enjoyed it. I don’t know what happened. I mean, the story is one that’s been told a time or twelve before. . . . .
“Man should be better than monsters.” “Ah, but who are the monsters?”
But that’s not something that ever ...more
If you’ve ever had a little secret crush on The Creature from the Black Lagoon this is the book that was ...more
A moving, mesmerizing, uplifting, and beautifully-written narrative, The Shape of Water plunges us into Occam Aerospace Research Center, a government facility in Baltimore, where a mysterious Amazonian creature (Deus Brânquia) is being kept for further study in the deepest recesses of the laboratory. Richard Strickland, a dom ...more
Buddy read at
This was a beautifully told story about so many individuals that just didn’t fit into the time or place they were born into and how each touched the others life. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The prose is beautiful and it helped me connect to each of the characters in a different way.
It makes me want to protect Elisa, our mute heroine that finds little ways to defy authority and be the woman she is. She is a good friend to those she cares for and so easy to love in ...more
Described as one half of a “bold two-tiered release”, The Shape of Water is the companion novel to the Guillermo del Toro film of the same name. But what exactly does this mean? Curiosity piqued, I decided to do some digging around, and found out that the idea for a story about a mute woman falling in love with an imprisoned river monster actually came to author Daniel Kraus when he was a teenager. In the years that follow ...more
Truth be told, most film novelizations don’t break much new ground, the worst are mere rote retelling of what viewers saw on the big screen. Some can provide a better backstory and a more detailed character development, the kind of elements better adapted for the printed page as opposed to film.
Guillermo del Toro, one of the coolest directors in recent history, got the idea for his academy award winning film from ...more
Buddy read with the wonderful weekly UF Wednesday group over at BB&B.
In its many forms and shapes.
The dedication of this book sums up so perfectly just what this book is about.
It’s about being different, struggling in the box the world tries to force you into because it can’t understand and accept your difference and finally breaking free to fight for those you love.
I absolutely loved the beautiful writing, the amazing characters, their depth of feelings whether it was f...more
I was beyond excited for this. Ever since I saw the trailer. I haven’t seen the film which only made me more curious for it. Pan’s Labrynth and Pacific Rim are two of my all-time favorite films. I love them with all my heart and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen them. This looked to be similar and it was, the Guillermo Del Toro visual aesthetic was leaping off the page, the imagery was vivid in my mind, its sharpness boosted by the trailer. Strangely though, you don’t see the acto...more
Its very odd and weird at the same time...
A fish-god-man falling love with a mute girl.... 💖
I'm so excited to watch the movie.
It’s 1962, at the height of the Cold War. Deus Brânquia (the Gill-God), an amphibious man, is chased by the US government, with plans to study him for Cold War advancements. Richard Strickland, the villain of this story and a soldier obsessed with his assignment, is able to capture him in the Amazon. The creature is brought to the Occam Aerospace Research Center where it is to ...more
I thought Guillermo del Toro took me for a ride in the movie theater. Little did I know that the true trip would be found in his written words. With a book, inspired by its movie name-sake, I did not expect the book to offer much more than what I saw on the big screen. BOY, was I wrong!!
Experience a connection beyond words.
The Shape of Water, the novel, allows voices to be heard, that are usually ignored. It tells the stories that are often regulated to the sidelines. It mak ...more
I vote for more such movie-to-book things! There are so many that I would love to read as a story. If all the powers that be is/are listening i.e.
The Shape Of Water is a romance drama story with fantastical elements set in the backdrop of the Cold War . If this was only a book , I wouldn't even have given it a chance. Elisa Esposito , a mute woman , works as a cleaning woman in a secret government facility . There she meets a humanoid amphibian cr ...more
|Fox Book Club: Best Fantasy||39||801||Dec 07, 2019 10:09AM|
|READ THE BOOK OR JUST WATCH THE MOVIE????||5||68||Jun 10, 2019 06:19AM|
|Disgusting||16||165||May 03, 2019 09:35PM|
|Goodreads Choice ...: The Shape of Water - Jan 2019||11||99||Feb 08, 2019 07:09AM|
|Play Book Tag: The Shape of Water, by Guillermo del Toro, 5 stars||3||17||Jan 31, 2019 04:45AM|
|Around the Year i...: The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus||1||9||Jan 14, 2019 01:42PM|
|Fiction Fanatics: August 2018 - The Shape of Water||3||14||Aug 22, 2018 02:42PM|