By now many of you have probably seen The Shape of Water in theaters and know the story of the mute janitor, her African-American friend and coworker, her gay artist neighbor, and the reluctant Russian spy who conspires with them. All of them outcasts of society, coming together to save an amphibian man plucked from the Amazon by a manic soldier to be dissected and weaponized in the name of the US government. The novelization of this year’s Best Picture, having been written concurrently yet separately from the film, truly takes advantage of its medium, allowing us a more profound insight into the characters we love -- and love to hate -- from the film, with enough lush details and differences for it to stand out on its own. Get ready to dive into the pages and fall in love all over again.— Darcy
The Academy Award's Best Picture of the year is now the New York Times-bestselling, must-read novel of 2018.
"[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." —Booklist
Visionary storyteller Guillermo del Toro and celebrated author Daniel Kraus combine their estimable talent in this haunting, heartbreaking love story.
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.
“Most movie novelizations do little more than write down what audiences see on the screen. But the novel that’s accompanying Guillermo del Toro’s new movie The Shape of Water is no mere adaptation. Co-author Daniel Kraus’ book and the film tell the same story, of a mute woman who falls in love with an imprisoned and equally mute creature, in two very different ways.” —io9
Praise for The Shape of Water directed by Guillermo del Toro
Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Picture
Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Director
Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Music (Original Score)
Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Production Design
Winner of the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Director of a Motion Picture
"With encouragement from critics and awards voters, discerning viewers should make Fox Searchlight’s December release the season’s classiest date movie—for perhaps the greatest of The Shape of Water’s many surprises is how extravagantly romantic it is.” —Variety
"It is never less than magnificent.” —TheDaily Beast
"A visually and emotionally ravishing fantasy that should find a welcome embrace from audiences starved for imaginative escape.” —The Hollywood Reporter
Awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film at the74th Annual Venice International Film Festival
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.