33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Who The Wild Things Are,
This review is from: The Wild Things (Hardcover)
I am a long-time Eggers fan. And while I liked the original book when I was a kid and I think the movie looks good, the only reason I read this book is because Eggers wrote it.
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. Eggers fans will find that this is pretty different from his other books. But the best part about Eggers' writing has always been his honest and humane portrayal of emotions and relationships, and this signature quality rings true through the Wild Things just as it does with any of his other books.