Guillermo del Toro: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide To Dangerous Fairies is a book co-written by screenwriter/director/producer Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Golden in conjunction with the movie ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ which was written and produced by del Toro.
The book gives the background to the story in the film and leads the reader right into the first scene of ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.’ From the inside cover of the book: “It’s 1894, and a young man’s life is about to be destroyed. There’s a world that exists in the shadows of what is traditionally believed to be scientific fact. But when a biologist named Emerson Blackwood finds proof that man’s understanding of the world barely scratches the surface of what is really lurking our of sight, he begins a journey to unearth the truth…He also learns, however, that some secrets are hidden away in the dark for a very, very good reason.”
It’s a good, scary, and disturbing story for grownups. Written as part catalog/encyclopedia of dark fairies, and part diary. The book takes the form of a first-person narrative of the main character’s investigations of fairies and how his life is affected.
Fans of Guillermo del Toro’s movies may recall that tooth fairies (the obsession of Emerson Blackwood in this book) were featured in the movie ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’.
It would be best to read this book after watching ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ as it answers some questions left by the film. These answers are not pointed out boldly but subtly, and casually within the text. Even though those who have seen the movie know what happens to Blackwood, the story is still compelling to read.
If read alone, the book leaves readers hanging, so for that reason it doesn’t work as well on it’s own.
The book is illustrated by the film’s director Troy Nixey with jacket and additional illustrations by Keith Thompson. The illustrations are well done and evocative, but quite disturbing. Definitely not for children.
The book is well done but the authors do not get Emerson Blackwood’s voice right. He is supposed to be a nineteenth century man but the manner of speech is all wrong. The language should read like that of an Edwardian era Englishman with a classical education of that day but it is decidedly written with the voice of 21st century American. That aside, though, Guillermo del Toro: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide To Dangerous Fairies is a fun read and adds to the enjoyment of the movie.
Please click here for a review of the movie ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’.