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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly insightful and intriguing, 19 Nov 2013
By 
Parka (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
Length:: 2:20 Mins

If you like Guillermo del Toro's films, heard of his Bleak House but have never seen what's inside, or just admire his sense and sensibilities, this is going to be an incredible book for you. It provides wonderful insight into the working mind of a director and eclectic collector.

This is a big and heavy book. The hardcover is nicely embossed to make it feel like a wooden bookshelf. Inside, the book is filled with plenty of pictures and extensive text which makes for a substantial reading.

The book's roughly split into three parts, covering his collections, notebooks and lastly the unfinished projects.

The first part shows off the amazing collection of items found in his man cave, also known as Bleak House. There are photos of the different rooms and the incredible amount of objects he collects. There are movie props, huge piles of books, all sorts of character figures, a few life-size sculptures, one is of H.P. Lovecraft, in the hallway there's the monster Sammael from Hellboy and many more. The whole place feels like an intimate museum. The photos are delightful, and when you look closely you can spot surprises, such as a Totoro or a book you might also have read.

In this section, GDT also talks about his graphic inspirations, on how he read paintings, analyse films, explains his techniques of storytelling and his idea incubating notebooks. Fascinating.

The second part on notebooks actually looks at the eight films he has made so far, namely Cronos, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II and Pacific Rim.

In interview style, author Marc Scott Zicree (MSZ) and GDT talks at length and in detail the inspiration behind each film. It's really insightful to read about how the ideas morph and evolve. No all ideas get used, of course, but you'll still see them in the notebook pages. You'll gain much more if you've watched the movies, although that is not totally necessary, but highly recommended. Pacific Rim's coverage is sadly much shorter than the other films.

The numerous scanned notebook pages really provides another dimension to how GDT's mind works. There's quite a lot to read from the notebooks' captions alone. Also included are amazing concept designs from GDT himself.

GDT says the notebooks are for his daughters, but they only draw manga style and find his drawings reprehensible and horrible. That's pretty funny. Author MSZ managed to elicit lots of interesting bits of information with thoughtful questions.

The last part on unfinished projects is quite brief. Five projects are mentioned with each taking two pages.

Interspersed throughout the book are also write-up by prominent guests, such as James Cameron, John Landis, Alfonso Cuaron, Ron Perlman, Mike Mignola and others just to name a few.

What's missing in the book is perhaps his role as a producer on other films. I would love to read about what he does as a producer. It's not mentioned in any way, but that's a small issue.

Overall, this is a truly insightful and incredible book. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful gift for Guillermo fans, 22 Feb 2014
By 
A. Morris (Hertford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
My missus loves Del Toro and this glossy book was a nice, unusual gift for her. A great book to leave on the coffee table for guests to flick through. Great photos of his second house, his thinking space and full of collectables ... basically his man cave.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 19 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
Amazing book that shows glimpse into the mind and home of this brilliant man. Looks beautiful and is a fascinating read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected gift for del Toro's fan., 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
Gave this as a present for Xmas and it was the right choice.
The packaging is amazing: it's a sturdy cover that reminds wood.
It's full of pictures and lots of insights.
Great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 28 Dec 2013
By 
Truman (Manchester) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
Goodness me, this is a beautiful book. Due to a combination of overzealous book buying and the physical constraints of my bookshelves, I've reached the point where I will only hold on to books that are either somehow unique or personal favourites - Cabinet of Curiosities, I feel, qualifies as both.

Every page of this book confirms that Del Toro is a true visionary, and it's truly sad that the lengthy film-making process means that his output will inevitably be somewhat limited. We should appreciate what he has managed to produce. His takes on Hellboy stand out in a field of bland and overly-similar comic book adaptations, and in my humble opinion the realms of fantasy and horror have never been so well combined on film as in The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth. Even his latest effort, Pacific Rim, which could have been an utterly brainless monster vs robot snorefest, is thoughtfully designed and executed.

If you like Del Toro's films, or even just well-made books, then this is a must-buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yup, definitely, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
I bought this for a friend and subsequently had to get one too. Gorgeous artwork and a glimpse into to the creative mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
I love Guillermo del Toro: love his movies, his writing, his view of the world and his style of living.

This book is wonderfully presented and written. It's a great window into the life of GDT.

I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about GDT, but also the act (art!) of making films and the mind behind such wonderful characters and creatures like Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth.

A fantastic read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning, 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
Bought this as a present for my girlfriend and she absolutely loves it! The book is beautiful and big, the images and illustrations are just astounding. A true masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 7 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
A well crafted book with a good selection of information presented in a logical and entertaining manner. This was a gift and the recipient was delighted!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great book, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions (Hardcover)
I got this as a present because I already own one. It is such a great book, great visuals and such a good approach to del Toro's universe.
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