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Guillermo del Toro Books In Order

Publication Order of Strain Trilogy Books

The Strain (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fall (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Night Eternal (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Trollhunters Books

Trollhunters (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of John Silence Trilogy Books

John Silence (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Monsters of Hellboy II (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hellboy II: Art of the Movie (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cabinet of Curiosities (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Guillermo del Toro Deluxe Hardcover Sketchbook (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Omnibus Books

The Complete Strain Trilogy (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Guillermo del Toro didn’t come into writing novels the usual way–he had spent most of his professional life thus far actually making movies. He not only had an incredible eye for film direction, he also wrote and produced.

Guillermo was born in Guadalajara in 1964 to a Catholic household. Filmamking was in his blood even at a young age, and he was soon making short films with his father’s Super 8, using toys and his own family as stars. His interest in films soon expanded to make up effects, and under the guidance of makeup artist Dick Smith (known for his work on The Exorcist), Guillermo soon started his own company called ‘Necropia’. At this time he mainly only directed Mexican television shows and lower-budget films.

His first major break-though film, Cronos, came out in 1993. Written and directed by del Toro, the story surrounds a fateful device that brought immortality at a terrible price, and established his friendship with acclaimed actor Ron Perlman. It won nine academy awards in Mexico and an International Critics Week prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

His next film, Mimic was with a major Hollywood studio and had a very negative impact on him. So negative, in fact, that he went back to Mexico and founded his own production company, The Tequila Gang. It was also during shooting that his father, Federico del Toro, was kidnapped in Guadalajara and ransomed back to his family at twice the demanded price.

Of all the films he made, some of his most popular are comic book adaptations like Blade 2 and Hellboy, and fantasy like Pan’s Labrynth. Guillermo loved fairy tales and horror from an early age, and always thought of them as two-sided–one side beseeching the reader to conform and obey out of fear, the other side more savage, preaching anarchy. This dichotomy is prevalent in his movies, often represented directly through his characters. This also may have stemmed from his youth having been spent with a domineering Catholic grandmother who tried to ingrain in him the practice of self-mortification, and who twice attempted to exorcise him.

Del Toro’s first novel came in 2008, when he was about 44 years old. Coauthored with Chuck Hogan, The Strain is the first of a three-part series following the investigation by Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the deaths of an entire plane on a JFK International runway. What makes the story even more engaging is the ‘drawbacks’ in Ephraim’s character. He is divorced, has a kid, works with his former lover, and is conflicted by his medical duties and his disagreement with the CDC’s apparent lack of concern. Abraham Setrakian, a pawnbroker who knows what–who is behind the mysterious deaths, is almost a van Helsing in this story, knowing just a little more than the others about what danger lies ahead of them without knowing quite how to destroy it.
Following The Strain was The Fall in 2010 and The Night Eternal in 2011.

The Fall furthers the plight of Dr. Goodweather and Setrakian as they search for the Occido Lumen, an ancient text that may aid in defeating the now burgeoning vampire race led by “The Master”. In The Night Eternal, the Vampires have created a police state though use of atomic weapons have exterminated most of the human race, save only those they find useful for food/labor and a small but effective resistance. Del Toro and Hogan took the ‘vampirism disease’ concept and turned it in more than a few different directions. In 2013 del Toro managed to get The Strain adapted to television and shown on FX Network. He directed the pilot episode which was also scripted by Chuck Hogan.

Although he focused mainly on directing and producing movies, Guillermo still returned to his writing roots, and came out with Trollhunters, co-written with Daniel Kraus. Trollhunters involves a couple of teenage boys dealing with puberty, girls, and monsters. His view of the fairy tale is once again present in his characters that fight to maintain an order through fear versus those who fight that fear and try to free themselves of an evil no kid should have to witness.

A couple more books released by del Toro explored other dark realms. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Black’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies acts as a novelised prequel of his film, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. It takes place over a century prior in this same world and stars a young scientist named Emerson Blackwood. The Book of Life is about two otherworldy companions competing for the heart of a girl during Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration. It’s a little light-hearted compared to some of his other tales, but with a darker tone just the same.

He also decided to release his notes and artistic personalizations over his years in cinema with a book called The Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Curious Obsessions. It is not a work of fiction so much as an annotated compendium of his journals, sketches, and notes on his movies as he made them.

While he hadn’t delved into the print world nearly as frequently as he had film, del Toro was nevertheless prolific in his writing; much of his films’ screenplays bore his mark as well. He brought much of his Catholic upbringing into his work, incorporating varieties of angelic and demonic creatures locked in battle. Insects also seemed to feature prominently into his works.

Perhaps most poignant is his refusal to let children be happy-go-lucky characters in his stories. He in his own youth and young adulthood had witnessed more than his share of death and violence. He often walked by a morgue on his way to his job in Guadalajara and remembers having seen decapitations, shooting victims and other random corpses being brought in. The neighborhood in which he grew up was a violent one. The children in his stories tend to be more jaded and willing to survive than remain terrified and wait for help. He despised Hollywood’s depiction of children as brainless sassy kids and showed the world that horror can, in fact, happen to them as well.

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