Guillermo Del Toro Book Club

GDT is a voracious reader. Technically, he says he has about “10,000 favorites”, but with a little research, I’ve found a few books that he personally recommends:

The King in the Golden Mask, by Marcel Schwob
In a March 2002 interview with IGN.com, GDT mentioned this French writer’s collection of short stories as his favorite book.
Source: IGN.com

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
GDT: “As a kid, you have this notion that you are out of place and out of time. I think the character of Pip relates very intensely to Dickens and to me, too. The character of Mrs. Havisham is as close as Dickens gets to those Christopher Lee gothic horror films.”
Source: New York Post

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
GDT: “If I had to choose one movie that I’d love to see survive a burning, I’d run into the woods with the can containing ‘Frankenstein.’ The book is incredibly important, too. When I read it as an adolescent, I identified with the Creature. As I became a lapsed Catholic, I identified with the Creature’s plea, ‘Why am I here, if I didn’t choose to be born?’
Source: New York Post

Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
GDT: “I think Stephen King can play the boogey man better than anyone else. Seldom has any writer tapped into the primal fear of death, absolute darkness and lack of soul to the point that it provokes almost spiritual horror.”
Source: New York Post

Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
GDT: “Incredibly poetic fantasy, philosophical ruminations in the form of literature . . . In many of Borges’ short stories, he asks, Can an imaginary world be as real as the actual one? This book has been a seminal one for me.”
Source: New York Post

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCuller
Charlie Rose asked Guillermo in July of 2009 if he would ever film a love story. Guillermo replied, “I would love to do Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter…I loved the old movie with Alan Arkin and Sandra Locke, but I think the book is so much more full of possibilities.”

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