Shapely


I mean, if you want to get technical about it, the book “The Shape Of Water” was really a novelization of the movie. The film came out in 2017 (as evidenced by the fact that it featured so prominently in this past awards session) and the book was published in 2018. So it might’ve seemed like a moot choice to check it out from the library- why not just watch the movie? The Academy Award winning movie? The Guillermo del Toro phantasmagorical opera of a movie? What could I get from the book that I wouldn’t get from the screen?

A lot, as it turns out.

I mean, I’m assuming: I haven’t actually seen the movie (heresy!) But I feel safe in saying that this wasn’t your run of the mill paint-by-numbers novelization. The language was beautifully evocative, painting a complex and complicated thematic modern fairy tale. I learned the word ‘palavar’ and ‘fermata’. The point of view shifted through all the major characters, giving the plot a dozen faceted sides through which I could sympathize with the struggles and victories of each of the characters in turn, even (perhaps most significantly) with the villain.

I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite passage, so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend it if you’re looking for a story with a lot of symbolic layers.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 25, 2018.

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