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Customer Review

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more complete Max, October 11, 2009
This review is from: The Wild Things (Hardcover)
Long time fan of Maurice Sendak's marvelously devilish and ultimately comforting book, "Where the Wild Things Are". Taught it in school. Had my kids do a play on the story (complete with paper bag masks that were fantastical). It was with trepidation and intrigue that I learned about the upcoming Spike Jones' movie. It has the potential to be really good (The Polar Express), or really awful (How the Grinch Stole Christmas). It was with equal trepidation that purchased the book based on the screenplay of the movie, "The Wild Things" by Dave Eggers. And I'm happy to report, things are looking wild.

The first thing that the book (and now, presumably the movie) really does it honor the original source material. For example, when Max is "making mischief", the mischief in the novel is real, purposeful, and truly, truly awful. This contextual Max is one that evokes pain, true childhood pain that taunt little boys. Eggers hits on something right off the bat, that Max, who is just simply rotten in the original book, now has a reason to be rotten. It's brilliant, and makes you love Max more.

Max's most rotten action leads him to escaping the house, the symbol of his confinement, and into the primeval forest that will eventual envelope him and allow him to travel. I must admit that Eggers handling of the room's changing into a forest by just having Max run into one is a bit disappointing, but understanding. Once Max makes it to the island where the named Wild Things Are, the fantastical and amazing story of Max becoming their king is rewarding, deep, and personal. And the rumpus rocks.

Eggers says that the book is very loosely based on the screenplay. If this novel is any indication, we're in line for quite a visual, and emotional, treat. In the meantime, I'll settle into my book and spend time with a very real Max.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

James Hiller
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Beaverton, OR

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,745