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The Wild Things (Fur-covered Edition) Hardcover – October 27, 2009
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All of the protagonists in Eggers' previous books are adults. It is interesting to see how he handles Max as his main character. Max's parents are divorced, his older sister ignores him, his mother's boyfriend is embarassing and incompetent, and he rarely sees his father. He loves his mom but she is swamped with work and he has to fight for her attention. On top of that, his neighborhood is being torn down and re-developed. His friends' parents are overprotective and frown upon Max riding his bike around alone. He is scolded in gym class for playing too rough, and his neurotic science teacher expounds at length about how everything and everyone will someday expire, even the sun will eventually burn out. Eggers' descriptions of a modern American childhood are spot-on. A lot of younger readers can intensely relate to Max, and older readers can gain a perspective on what it's like to grow up with a single-parent in American suburbia.
As far as the actual wild things go, Eggers has said that his goal with this book was to not so much show "where the wild things are" but rather "who the wild things are". These characters have real fears, hopes, passions, and relationships with each other. A lot of the wild things are not all that different from the humans in Max's life, except with these new creatures, Max finds himself in a position of leadership and control. The relationships between Max and the wild things are very moving and again, very true to human interactions people deal with every day.
People who read this book because they enjoyed the original story or the movie will be very satisfied.Read more ›
On one side, for children reading the book, it's a bit dark, psychological, and tense. I think without a parent to mitigate and dampen the effect of the Wild Things' more wild inclinations (wanting to eat what makes them unhappy), I think the book might be a bit overwhelming for the a few 8-12 year olds. I can imagine that it would, however, tickle the minds of many.
This isn't a typical children's story, and it doesn't aim to be, just like the original. It's about complicated childhood drama, and the feelings so many of us have when we want to run away as children. It's about that very real feeling that even in the places we love, we can feel alone, scared, and even betrayed. This sometimes, or in my experience with kids of this age group, leads us to do regrettable, childish things--run away for an evening, hide somewhere for a prolonged period of time, knock stuff over, yell, essentially misbehave. As if the dissolving of structure and certainty makes us want to return somewhere wild, and that's exactly what Max does, and what many of us have done.Read more ›
Max is sick of the people who surround him (a weary mother, a distant older sister, and assorted friends and neighbors) and still troubled by the divorce that left his family fragmented. So he often acts out -- throwing snowballs, drenching his sister's room, and playing pranks on his mother's dumb-grunt boyfriend. One night he puts on an old pair of wolf pajamas and goes on a rampage through his house, finally biting his mother when she tries to restrain him.
Horrified, he runs out of the house and ends up trying to sail a small boat to the city where his father lives... only to end up on a strange island populated entirely by monstrous wild things. Their only interest is in in having whatever kind of highly-destructive fun they want, and Max soon joyously joins in on their rampaging... having convinced them to crown him their king. But the land of the wild things is not a safe place, and Max soon discovers that "erratic and wild" has its unpleasant side...
The whole idea behind "The Wild Things" is to take Sendak's picture book and resculpt it as a novel. And David Eggers does a pretty good job fleshing it out, using Max's "everyday" life and troubled family to show why this kid would want to join up with the Wild Things.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first watched Spike Jonze's film interpretation of Maurice Sendak's class, Where the Wild Things Are, several years back. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jeffery Spencer
Overall, I really enjoyed The Wild Things by Dave Eggers. Read more
That was fun. Fun, quick, and easy!
I haven’t seen this movie yet, and although I’m sure I read Sendak’s original book when I was little I can’t really remember anything... Read more
Something I noticed while reading this book was just how fast it read. I found myself running alongside Max as he started wild rumpus, I found myself sharing in the joys and the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Blake