Should You Bother Reading THE SHAPE OF WATER?


36521316  SYNOPSIS

The year is 1962. Elisa Esposito, mute her whole life, works as a janitor at Occam Aerospace Research Center in Baltimore, along with her friend Zelda. 

Elisa’s monotonous life takes a turn when she meets with the amphibious man who is kept in the Center to be studied by Richard Strickland, the soldier who captured him in the Amazon. Elisa and the creature automatically feel drawn to each other and start to communicate with sign language. Soon, they develop a deep love for each other. 

Strickland, obsessed with the creature in a twisted way, wants to dissect it before the Russians get ahold of it. To save her beloved from the hands of Strickland and the Russians, Elisa, with the help of her friend Zelda and her neighbor Giles, must orchestrate a plan to sneak the amphibious man out of Occam unnoticed. 


GENRES: Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance

As most of you probably already know, The Shape of Water is also a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was released at the end of 2017 and received numerous awards since it came out.

Until recently, it was unclear to me whether the movie was based on the novel or the other way around, since the book was released only a short while after the movie. Turns out the answer is neither of the foregoing options.

I found out in an article that The Shape of Water was actually Daniel Kraus’ idea, not del Toro’s, and that Kraus shared his idea with the famous director when they were working together on some other project. Del Toro loved it, and together they decided to make a movie and a novel out of it. Both were written simultaneously and independently, though del Toro and Kraus talked a lot about where the story would go as they were working on it. 

The result? Two extremely similar stories, with just a couple of differences. In this case, is the book really better than the movie? Or can you get the most out of the story by watching the movie only?

Continue reading “Should You Bother Reading THE SHAPE OF WATER?”

Is TIN MAN by Sarah Winman the New CALL ME BY YOUR NAME?

36676536 SYNOPSIS

Ellis and Michael were thrust into each other’s path when they were twelve. Quickly, they became the best of friends and the close friendship they shared, which helped them deal with the joys and pains of growing up, somehow blossomed into something more along the way. 

Years later, Ellis is all alone. His wife, Annie, died in a car accident a few years ago and his childhood friend and first love, Michael, is nowhere in sight either.

Lonely and grief-stricken, Ellis recounts the events leading to his marriage with Annie and his losing touch with Michael. When given a box full of Michael’s possessions, Ellis burrows into Michael’s diary and finally finds what answers he needed to fill in the blanks in their story. 


GENRES: Contemporary, LGBT

When I first read the synopsis of Tin Man, I couldn’t help but compare this book to André Aciman’s masterpiece, Call Me by Your Name. First love between two young men and some unfortunate circumstances that prevent them from ending up together? Yes, please! 

Those who have the misfortune of knowing me in real life know ALL about Call Me by Your Name—whether they wanted to or notbecause I made it my mission to share my unconditional love for this story. I also wrote a review stating the reasons why you should read the book and watch the movie, so feel free to check it out if you’re interested in knowing my thoughts on the subject.

Since I love this story with all my heart, it is no surprise that I feel drawn to books built on a similar premise. In a way, Tin Man also sounds like a follow-up to Call Me by Your Name. While André Aciman’s novel solely focuses on Elio and Oliver’s whirlwind romance from its blossoming to its end, Tin Man explores a darker side of first love: what comes after it ends and how is one supposed to go on when that kind of unbounded love has been taken away from them. 

So, today I want to look into the similarities and the differences between Call Me by Your Name and Tin Man and let you know if fans of André Aciman’s incredible novel should go into Tin Man with such high expectations. 

Continue reading “Is TIN MAN by Sarah Winman the New CALL ME BY YOUR NAME?”