4 out of 5 stars

Ian Nathan’s book, Guillermo Del Toro: The Iconic Filmmaker And His Work is a brilliant way to learn about the acclaimed director’s life and career. Nathan’s book might be unofficial and unauthorised, but this isn’t a cheap cash-in – Nathan’s book is a glorious looking tome which is well written and researched. It offers genuine insight into de Toro’s creative process. It’s a must-read for those who have an interest in del Toro’s unique career and off-beat visual style. 

Nathan, a former editor of Empire knows his subject and his clean writing style takes us from Guillermo Del Toro‘s beginnings as a film fan in Mexico to an Academy Award winning filmmaker. It’s an epic journey and Nathan covers it all in a concise way, detailing the visionary director’s inspirations and following his thematic interests. 

This isn’t a strict biography though, and the main way we learn about Del Toro as a person is through the creation and production of his films. The book is all about Del Toro’s movies and Nathan informs his readers about how they came to be. And boy, does it sound like serious hard work.

For a man who has made so many classic films, del Toror’s career often feels cursed. The section on the making of Mimic offers fascinating insight into the workings of Bob Weinstein (brother of Harvey) as he fights and bullies the director during the film’s production. It’s heartbreaking to read about how the director’s vision was crushed by an ignorant producer who appears to have no understanding of the creative process. Also painful to read are the sections on del Toro’s failed attempts at bringing The Hobbit and In The Mountains Of Madness to the screen. However, the book does end on a high note which looks at the production and success of The Shape Of Water and charting the course for his upcoming releases, Nightmare Alley and Pinocchio

Not only is Ian Nathan’s Guillermo del Toro: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work a great read, but the book is also lovely to look at. Loaded with images from del Toro’s films, the hardcover book also features a slipcover which will look good sitting on any film lover’s bookcase.