IT'S relatively routine for a novel to be licensed as inspiration for the Hollywood big screen, but it’s far less common for the content of an internationally successful film to be delivered concurrently in literary form.
In their most recent collaboration, Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro and his Trollhunters co-author Daniel Krause have teamed up to present del Toro’s Academy Awards ‘Best Picture’, The Shape of Water, as a book.
On the morning of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2018 presentation ceremony, del Toro and Krause’s new print project was released.
As an alternative to the movie, the pair’s exquisitely balanced prose allows readers the luxury of overlaying their own visuals onto the haunting emotive storyline.
By 1962 standards, central character Elisa Esposito’s life has always been exceedingly mundane. Mute since birth and now orphaned, Elisa works the nightshift as a janitor at a US Government aerospace research centre in Baltimore.
One night, however, she glimpses something her low-level security clearance should never permit her to see – and so begins a connection that grows ever stronger as she is drawn back time and again.
The object of Elisa’s fascination is an amphibious human, captured in the Amazon Basin and transported in absolute secrecy to the centre, where studying the “creature” becomes priority number one for US scientists striving to gain a Cold War advantage.
To Elisa, though, this man is much more than a mere laboratory specimen, and through their own version of sign language the two begin to communicate.
Is there even the slightest chance that this unlikeliest couple can build a future together? Elisa’s one chance at preserving the relationship pits her against the full force of both US and Soviet operatives.
As a bonus, this book includes a scattering of illustrations by artist James Jean.