Book Review “Guillermo del Toro – Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions”

Author: Guillermo del Toro, Marc Scott Zicree
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: October 29, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When I saw this book and literally jumped out of my chair and knew that I need to have a copy. A chance to get inside the mind of writer-director Guillermo del Toro? That is an absolute no brainer. He has created some of my favorite films and characters including the “Hellboy” series, “Pan’s Labryrinth” and even the new “Pacific Rim”, which is one my favorite films of the year. His films have this very mystical feel to them. They actually swift you away for two hours and are also so unique. When you think of all the pre-production work that went into those films, it leaves you dying with anticipation to get an inside look of del Toro’s personal notebooks, sketches and drawings from his films. This is a must have for any fan of his films.

Official Premise: Over the last two decades, writer-director Guillermo del Toro has mapped out a territory in the popular imagination that is uniquely his own, astonishing audiences with “Cronos”, “Hellboy”, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and a host of other films and creative endeavors. Now, for the first time, del Toro reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, sharing the contents of his personal notebooks, collections, and other obsessions. The result is a startling, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of the world’s most creative visionaries. Complete with running commentary, interview text, and annotations that contextualize the ample visual material, this deluxe compendium is every bit as inspired as del Toro is himself.

Harper Design did such an amazing job on this book. You can tell that there was a lot of love put into this release and making it look as good as possible. It looks like a $100+ book and it is going to have a very prominent place on my coffee table for many months to come. The colors in the images are super crisp and high-def. I literally found myself just staring at the difference sketches, doodles and designs from del Toro. All of his films are covered here including “Cronos”, “Mimic”, “Blade 2”, “The Devil’s Backbone”, “Hellboy 1 & 2”, “Pan’s Labryrinth”, “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark”, “Pacific Rim” and the unmade “At the Mountains of Madness”, which del Toro has been trying to get made for years. Also included here is a very impressive foreword by James Cameron. There is an afterword by Tom Cruise and several other contributions including Neil Gaiman and John Landis, among others. You can tell that del Toro is very respected upon his peers and it shows here.

If you think you know what to expect from Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities…think again cause it will definitely surprise you. It is jam-packed with such amazing material that was reproduced from his notes, drawings, etc with some really great concepts even including unused creatures and countless other ideas that could only come from the mind of del Toro. Along with the personal jots of handwriting, illustrations, notes, which are both in Spanish and English, there is also some new annotations from del Toro that even add more context and clarity to the thought behind his unique ideas. I wrote earlier that there was something unique about his films and that is that they all share this fairy tale feel to them. That is something that I really enjoy and it is well portrayed in this compendium to the writer/director. Overall, highly recommended.