Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wild Things


by Dave Eggers

Remember "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak? A boy runs from home and hangs out with gigantic beasts. Dave Eggers took this children's book and turned it first into a movie of the same title and then into a novel called "The Wild Things". It goes into more detail about Max-- he has a teenage sister and a single mother who's dating a very lame man and he's trying to cope with the ups and downs of boyhood.

It's such a quick read. Almost 300 pages, but in going along with Max on his adventure, the reader is carried along by his exuberance and over-excitement. The beasts truly are wild and definitely not the brightest bulbs in the box. But each one of them has their own personality, which brings a sort of reality to them, as if they could exist. Maybe they do...

It's been so long since I've read the picture book by Mr. Sendak that I don't remember the reason why Max ran away in that book, or if he even did (was it a dream?), but it was creative of Mr. Eggers to place him in a stressful, confusing family situation, with a sister with whom he used to be close but is now embarrassed by him and a mother who doesn't have time to pay attention to him because of her job and her new boyfriend. These dynamics give the story a definite foundation and the events logically build to Max sailing away in a small boat.

This new spin on a classic children's book is vivid, lively, and full of adventure. You don't even need to read Mr. Sendak's version in order to get enthralled with this one. It's a very enjoyable read for all ages.




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