Review: Stranger Things – Worlds Turned Upside Down
Published by Del Rey Books on October 30, 2018
The official behind-the-scenes companion guide to the first two seasons of Stranger Things and beyond, featuring exclusive color photos and stunning concept art.
Note: This book has been designed to mimic a used book. The marks, scuffs, and tears on the cover and pages are an intentional design element.
Stranger things have happened. . . .
When the first season of Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in the summer of 2016, the show struck a nerve with millions of viewers worldwide and received broad critical acclaim. The series has gone on to win six Emmy Awards, but its success was driven more than anything by word of mouth, resonating across generations. Viewers feel personal connections to the characters. Now fans can immerse themselves in the world—or worlds—of Hawkins, Indiana, like never before. Inside you’ll find
• original commentary and a foreword from creators Matt and Ross Duffer• exclusive interviews with the stars of the show, including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and David Harbour• the show’s earliest drafts, pitches to Netflix, and casting calls• insights into the Duffers’ creative process from the entire crew—from costume and set designers to composers and visual-effects specialists• deep dives into the cultural artifacts and references that inspired the look and feel of the show• a map of everyday Hawkins—with clues charting the network of the Upside Down• the Morse code disk Eleven uses, so you can decipher secret messages embedded throughout the text• a look into the future of the series—including a sneak preview of season three!
Adding whole new layers to enrich the viewing experience, this keepsake is essential reading for anyone and everyone who loves Stranger Things.
This is a book that just made me smile the minute I received it and any time I would pick it up after that. The entire book is so incredibly retro, straight down to the worn look, complete with plastic protector to prevent further damage. I mean, even the FAIR condition sticker from Melvad’s General Store on the front brings me joy. So much in fact that it took me like a week to summon the courage to remove the outer most plastic wrap because I was afraid that sticker was not part of the actual finish of the book. I don’t know why I had this silly fear, but I did. Luckily I decided the urge to see the inside was enough I had to risk the initial plastic coverage. You can imagine my delight when I realized the sticker was actually under the protective wrap, and was in fact a part of the finished book. The plastic I removed was thin and tight enough, that when I inspected it, I thought the sticker was on the outside.This is just one tiny example of the details they put in to this book that make it transport you to a different time and place. And if I was this excited about just the outside of the book, I knew I would love what the inside had to offer as well.
Heh … even just the inside of the dust jacket was worth it!
The book contains much of what you would expect, including a foreword by Matt and Ross Duffer, interviews with the cast, explanations about the decisions and thought process that went into pretty much every detail of the show, from house selection and furnishings, to costumes and location. I enjoyed reading about how nervous everyone was about the initial filming, about how the boys just clicked and what scenes were more of a challenge for the new actors. It was an interesting way to revisit the show that I love so much, letting me recall details by getting a completely different perspective of show.
So, if reading the behind the scenes details of the show isn’t quite enough, they have also included secret messages, which can be discovered and deciphered using the included Morse code disc. You can see the decoder (and where to find it in the book) from this tweet from Del Rey. It also gives you an idea for the size of the book as they flip through the pages.
— Del Rey Books (@DelReyBooks) November 6, 2018
And yes, I did decode messages I found in the book, though I haven’t quite figured out what the decoded messages mean. I am wondering if they will make more sense once Season 3 starts? Or maybe it will click after I think about it more? Regardless, it was fun to hunt and decode. It’s a nice touch to add a bit of a quest or treasure hunt for us to make the book a bit more interactive rather than just all behind the scenes and background information.
As we are all anxiously awaiting season three, it was a thrill to revisit details from the first two seasons and the interviews and behind the scenes information really added to that experience. However, I have to confess the visual aspect of the book, including the styling and photos, were probably my favorite aspect of the book.
Over all I love that this is the type of book I can flip through and read bits and pieces as I have time, I can focus on a character or a place or whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. So I definitely find it interesting beyond just the visual (as much as I love it). It is a book that guests can ohh and ahh over as they get the experience of exploring the Stranger Things world because what really makes the book shine is the overall style, all the retro details and the photos. The rest is just an added bonus.