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The Wild Things by Dave Eggers - book coverThe Wild Things by Dave Eggers

Review by Teresa Schmidt, Mercer Librarian

"Adaped from the illustrated book 'Where the wild things are' by Maurice Sendak, and based on the screenplay 'Where the wild things are' co-written by D.E. and Spike Jonze."

Dave Eggers' version of The Wild Things takes off from Maurice Sendak's beloved children's book and imagines a boy with modern problems and a wild solution.

Max is constantly frustrated from fights with his sister, his overworked divorced mother, and her irritating and embarrassing boyfriend. He finds comfort in the woods in his neighborhood and in creating "mischief of one kind and another." Dressed in his wolf suit and riled up one evening, Max finally pushes too far, and runs out into the woods to escape. He finds a boat and sails "in and out of weeks" to a far-away island, where he finds his Wild Things.


The creatures there are scary, threatening, neurotic, and fascinating. After Max is declared their king, he finds himself navigating the social life of these beasts, trying to find ways to keep everyone together and meet Max's ultimate goal: have fun all the time. Just like boys in the real world, though, Max neglects to look ahead and think through the consequences of his words and actions. The problem is, when you're dealing with creatures large enough to eat you up in one bite, not thinking ahead can get you into serious trouble.

The Wild Things is often dark, sometimes funny, and an interesting, quick read. If you remember Where the Wild Things Are from your childhood, pick up The Wild Things to get a whole new outlook on Max and the dangers of a little boy's imagination.

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