The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

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...

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Title:The Shape of Water
Author:Guillermo del Toro
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Shape of Water Reviews

  • Sophia Triad

    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 adult a

    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 adult audience or adult audience etc. – especially the last decade. Books full of dearly loved monsters. People included me are attracted to anything different and extraordinary for a variety of reasons.

    Can I suggest the books by R. Lee Smith for you to try? I consider "Land of the beautiful dead", "Heat" and "Cottonwood" masterpieces in the erotic horror category.

    And of course there is also Clive Barker the author of "Cabal", "Abarat", "Sacrament" and so many other books who taught me firstly and before it becomes fashion trend exactly what erotic horror and erotic fantasy mean.

    Not that before the 90s there were no books about monsters. But you mainly felt sorry for them, not lust for them.

    I could definitely place this book in the above mentioned categories, however on the lighter side of monster romance fiction. There is no gore, not much rejection by the plain and common humans because there is no interaction with them and the love story and sex are more implied and less described.

    The book is lyrical and emotional. It is a manifesto against the hate and fear for anything different. A beautiful love story. It has a happy ending because it needs to have a happy ending.

    It can be read easily. The chapters are short and the situations (locations, feelings, dialogues) are so well and detailed described that they reminded me movie scenes. Each chapter corresponds to a scene and it mainly has one main character or two main characters on the spotlight.

    I highly recommend it, even if you have not watched the Oscar-winning movie.

    Which obviously is a masterpiece!

    I am not a film reviewer but you can trust Stephen King’s words (who is a veteran on monsters) :

    (From Stephen King's social media pages)

    I decided to read the book, before I watched the movie and I do not regret it!

  • Carol
  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

    THE SHAPE OF WATER is a strange book. For a variety of reasons.

    , which, to my knowledge, has never been done before.

    (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

    THE SHAPE OF WATER is a strange book. For a variety of reasons.

    , which, to my knowledge, has never been done before.

    (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 short.

    , which I almost always hate outside of 500+ page fantasy novels, preferably in a long-running series.

    BUT.

    Somehow del Toro and Kraus pack so much personality, so much meaningful information, so much feeling into those tiny, tiny chapters that the only reason I noticed their length is b/c when I buddy read a book, I usually comment in the group thread every five chapters.

    Getting through five chapters went a lot quicker than it usually does.

    As for the alternate POVs (six of them), it doesn’t work outside of epic fantasy, b/c you don’t have enough time to connect with your storytellers, but that wasn’t a problem here. The short, powerful chapters had an effect usually reserved for significantly longer books—I felt like I knew the characters, and knew them well, almost immediately.

    So there’s that.

    The story itself . . . It had ups and downs.

    Basically, the military captures a mythical fish-man-creature in South America and transports it to a research facility to poke, prod, and torture it (b/c ‘Merica). Then a woman on said facility’s custodial staff falls in love with the fish-man-creature and tries to rescue it before its dissected for research.

    Pretty simple, right? Government bad, underdog good. Love conquers all.

    Yes and no.

    B/c despite the apparent simplicity of the setup, there is nothing simple about this story.

    Elisa is an orphan with mysterious scars on her throat, the byproduct of a surgery she has no memory of or explanation for that left her unable to speak. Her loneliness is palpable. Strickland is a career military man clearly suffering from PTSD, yet he is a wholly unsympathetic character, b/c dude is a sadistic bastard. His training only serves to give him the experience and authority to break more shit than a civilian could. Lanie is a housewife whose newly gained independence is yanked away with the return of a husband she’d reconciled herself to losing.

    And the list goes on.

    All of this is made more intense by the 1960s setting. The evil man has more power. The orphan, the gay man, the black woman, and the white housewife have fewer options, are thoughtlessly victimized in ways that fifty years later seem incomprehensible.

    SO. Not only is TSoW a fantastical story of captured sea gods and thwarting the Man, it’s a complex social commentary—it’s remarkable how much was accomplished in just 312 pages.

    That being said, I did have a few minor issues, most of them spoilers, so don’t click the spoiler tag unless your prepared for the consequences:

    1.

    2. Worst sex scene I’ve ever read. It’s so bad that when I texted book bff about it, she not only immediately recognized my quote referencing it, she responded WITH THE NEXT LINE:

    3. In the words of book bff: those fingers will haunt me forever.

    What fingers? O.o

    Someone loses a couple of fingers in an altercation with fish-man-creature. They get reattached, but b/c reasons, we know there’s s possibility they won’t take.

    Eww.

    You have no idea.

    BUT. A couple of lost digits, etc. are hardly reasons big enough to stop you from experiencing THE SHAPE OF WATER for yourself. I can honestly say, it’s been a unique experience, and it’s one I highly recommend.

    Now I’m going to watch the movie. I’ll let you know how it goes. *winks*

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  • Tina Haigler

    4 1/2 stars!

    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

    4 1/2 stars!

    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, and character development. Parts three and four are where most of the action is. Getting through the first two parts is worth it, once the story picks up pace and the excitement starts. To be honest, the first half of the book is very interesting but it's not very exciting. You can tell from the length of the chapters if it is going to be storytelling or action. Anything over two pages is storytelling. I really enjoyed the pace of the action chapters and how quickly it switches points of view. It gave a sense of urgency to the story.

    The characters were amazing as well. Even the characters I didn't like were fascinating. There's the main protagonist, Elisa, an orphan who is mute, works as a janitor, and has a serious shoe fetish. Also her next door neighbor Giles, an elderly, homosexual artist, her best friend Zelda, a fellow janitor, Hoffstetler, a Russian scientist assigned to the creature, and the creature, of course, who was never given a name, was sometimes referred to as the asset. The main antagonist is Strickland, a military man, in charge of the creature. We also have POV chapters of his wife, Mrs. Strickland, but she is more of a connecting character, interacting with characters of the main story but never interacting with the main story itself.

    I didn't love Elisa but I didn't hate her. She kind of wallowed in her own pity and I'm never fond of that. She had a terrible upbringing though so I tried to be sympathetic. I did love Giles, Zelda, and the creature though. Zelda has that spunk that I love to see in characters and Giles was just a sweet old man. The creature was magnificent and I would've loved to learn more about him. Hoffstetler was more of a gray character. You never really knew if he would do the right thing or not. Strickland was one of my favorites to read. I have always been obsessed with psychology and how different minds work, so reading his POV was frightening and at the same time fascinating. As far as the wife, I was pretty neutral towards her but liked her more toward the end. I also liked knowing how interconnected the characters were even though they didn't realize it.

    Definitely an enjoyable, moving book. My only issue was I wish the action would've picked up before the second half of the book. It took a little too long to get to the suspense. Now I'm very excited to watch the movie. I hope they did the book justice.

    *Side note: I also listened to this on audiobook. The narrator was excellent and each person had a different voice. The accents were great and I could tell who was talking without looking at the book or hearing names. I highly recommend listening to this one if you enjoy audiobooks.

  • Jolene Haack

    Husband: You're already finished that?

    Me: Yup.

    Husband: Didn't you start it today?

    Me: Yesterday.

    Husband: Still! Was there fish sex?

    Me: Yeah. (gentle readers it was not graphic)

    Husband: SERIOUSLY?!?!

    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!

    Husband: STILL.

    Me: He's a man, babe.

    Husband: ...............still

  • Mohammed Arabey

    A Brilliant Novelizations...

    For a Magical Movie..

    Of Hope and Acceptance and Love

  • Huda Yahya
  • Jilly

    The book is awesome, as long as you remind yourself to stay in the moment. The fantasy. The UNreality. Because, if not, you will be thinking weird shit, like me. See, I'm a weird shit thinker. I'll let you know where my twisted mind went in just a second.

    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

    The book is awesome, as long as you remind yourself to stay in the moment. The fantasy. The UNreality. Because, if not, you will be thinking weird shit, like me. See, I'm a weird shit thinker. I'll let you know where my twisted mind went in just a second.

    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 out of anything they don't understand.

    Luckily, the female mute janitor that cleans the

    lab where he's kept is

    pure-hearted enough to think she and the Swamp Thing are in love, so she decides to try and save it. And, have sex with it. Because, you know. That only makes sense.

    This is where the weird shit thinking comes in. I can't help but thinking that this creature may not exactly be the best choice for a sex partner. Why? Well, aside from the obvious..(ugly children)..

    Because it reminded me of that gorilla that learned sign language. Coco. You remember the story? That gorilla could communicate with the humans. And, the humans naturally loved Coco, and Coco loved the humans. Does this mean that Coco and the humans should have gotten down with hot monkey sex? No. Because that is gross, and weird, and wrong, and about a thousand ways to Sunday creepy. Yet, the extent of the communication between Swamp Thing and our heroine is actually less than Coco's communication and understanding with her human caretakers. The book gives us a couple of chapters with Swamp Thing's POV and I gotta tell ya, I wasn't impressed. Sure, his thoughts were sweet, pure, and simple. But, they were NOT sexy. And, not that particularly intelligent. Yes, it is sentient, but not even close to being like us. To me, this made the idea of Swampy Sexy Times very icky.

    See? My name's not even Doreen. Swamp Thing is a moron.

    But, if you could erase all of the mental images I just put into your head, you will love this book. Because it is intriguing and has a fun throw-back to the 1950's feel to it. It's totally worth reading.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I

    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. . . . .

    But that’s not something that ever deter

    Find all of my reviews at:

    I

    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. . . . .

    But that’s not something that ever deters me from a book (seriously, I’m totally the

    gal who’s always going to be first in line for “the next

    ”). It also can’t be because it was “weird” because one of my favorite films of all time will forever be . . . .

    The only thing that can be blamed? The writing. Overwritten literary fiction good v. evil with a side of monstersmex is apparently not my cuppa. Not to mention all the various sideplots about becoming a modern woman in the 60s or a closeted homosexual ready for love too late in life and the Russkies and good lord almighty once again . . . . .

    Before you troll me please note I am NOT a reader who willingly seeks out things I will dislike in order to post some ragey review (in fact, those people are all on my bottomless blocked list). I want to loooooooove every book I read . . . or at least I want to not feel like I wasted my (and potentially a buddy’s) time. Since I’m not a big moviegoer as soon as I saw

    also had a print version I immediately went to the library. And I waited. FOR MONTHS. Not even kidding, Stepheny has been waiting for this journey to begin since her baby was born, it seems. For the past three days all I’ve done is think about all of the other books I have waiting to be read that are sure to bring me more joy than this. And that’s not a good thing.

    opted for the audio version. I hope to all that is right in

    the Wizarding World that she ends up having a better experience than I did.

    And speaking of Stepheny. I was smitten with our resident Harry Potter re-reader extraordinaire pretty much from the jumpstart, but the moment where she told a 12-year to go eff off sealed the deal and had me saying . . . .

    I am 100% aware that I absolutely S.U.C.K. as a buddy-reader for a multitude of reasons, which makes me ever-the-more thankful she still wanted to play in the same sandbox as me.

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