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The Wild Things

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,858 Ratings  ·  763 Reviews
Loosely based on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Eggers's novel follows the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. During a fight at home, Max flees to the island of the Wild Things and becomes their king. But the Wild Things want as much from him as he wants from them.
Audiobook, 10 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 20, 2010 Caris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who wants his childhood to be ruined like his adulthood
Shelves: 2010
I fear that I gave Dave Eggers too much credit for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. In that book, he describes his life as the newly appointed guardian of his younger brother and their time spent in the Bay area. As it happened, I started that one just days after coming back from San Francisco. I fell in love with the city while I was there and was thrilled to have it intimately described to me while the high was still there.

That, and I’ve got a younger brother who I would be the guar
Jul 26, 2010 Suzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know a lot of people didn't like this book, their arguments being that it was an unnecessary adaptation/elaboration on Sendak's masterpiece, and a little haphazard and irresolute . . . but I think it works. Actually, I think it's perfect for the tone Eggers is trying to set. The discomfort and awkwardness of his narrative reflects the growing pains of Max, and more than once I found myself tense with the same frustration, anger and despair that he experiences on his journey. I don't know what ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Animals howl, he had been told, to declare their existence.
-- Dave Eggers, The Wild Things

There are times I love Dave Eggers and there are times he exasperates me. He threw me back and forth between an amazed joy and an exhausted boredom, sometimes in the same chapter.

There is a lot to admire in this book. Eggers flushes out Sendak's monumental children's book and also give depth to the movie that Spike Jonze made about the book (and Eggers co-wrote). The book allows for more depth to the inner
Jun 09, 2011 Lon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who loves Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and senses the archetypal symbols and rich interplay of wildness and domesticity, the friction between Dionysian and Apollonian impulses, will marvel at this brilliant novel. What's brilliant isn't the storytelling--he just follows the satisfying, basic narrative arc of the children's book--what's brilliant is how he fleshes out the character of Max, how expertly he plumbs the pubescent psyche of Max.

I would say we, the reader, understand Max
Matt Guion
Mar 20, 2012 Matt Guion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Fantasy, coming-of-age

Synopsis: Max is wild. Life is changing to quickly for him, his mother seems neglectful, his father is gone, and his sister doesn’t want to play anymore. One night, Max dons his wolf suit and wreaks havoc upon the house, shortly before running away and sailing out to the land where the wild things are. Max relates to these beasts, and soon enough, he is made their king, and he must find some way of controlling them, while also making them happy.

Review: This is a no
May 06, 2012 Kirstie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like quite a bit of what Dave Eggers does but I have had a hard time with this story as an adult. Quite clearly, it has affected many of us adults as children and has lent itself space inside the compartments of our brains for many years. I was really excited about the film, especially considering it stars Catherine Keener and there was an Arcade Fire song prominently featured on one of the trailers/previews for it. Lol, I'm a sucker for good music used in films.

Anyhow, what I saw in the film
Mike Lawson
Sep 24, 2010 Mike Lawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant to pick up Where The Wild Things Are by Dave Eggers because I’m so in love with Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I was afraid that Eggers was going to ruin the beloved chidren’s book.

It was hard to think that any author – even Eggers – could capture that whimsy that accompanies the original picture book. Maybe Eggers could get the whimsy, but could he also get the message of how powerless youth are, and how liberating their fantasies can be?

In short, yes he could.

Aug 06, 2016 Karlijn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
De kaft is toch leuker dan het verhaal.
Dit verhaal was waar ik op hoopte en meer. Max, oh Max wat beteken je veel voor me. Alle monsters hebben iets gigantisch. Het mooiste aan dit boek zijn de prachtige zinnen die me regelmatig weten te raken en die mooi genoeg zijn om te noteren. Where the wild things are kan ik me allang niet meer herinneren, maar ik krijg meteen zin het weer eens te lenen in de bieb.
Oct 15, 2009 Oriana marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
can't wait can't wait can't wait

fuck off, haters.
Brandon Will
Aug 21, 2010 Brandon Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Dave Eggers knows just the right things to do to tap into the deepest wishes of our pop-culturally-conditioned hearts, placing emotion within the kinds of neat things we didn't even knew we desired to see developed.

For instance, movie novelizations have always been kind of a joke. They were more popular before home video came into the picture, but still lingered with some popularity for about a decade after. So many of us grew up reading them, and sometimes they'd be neat -- for instance, the "
Jennifer (aka EM)
Sorry, Dave ... not one of your finer efforts. Please go back to fictionalized journalism like What is the What or Zeitoun, both of which are brilliant and among my favourite novels. I don't mind your autobiographical stuff (and this, I sense, is part of what this is) and I've not read the Sendak book upon which The Wild Things is based (I don't think - or maybe I have but it left no impression, clearly), so it's not that I have any particular allegiance to the original. And it's not even that t ...more
Nov 28, 2010 Kyara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sendak's book always disturbed me. "We'll eat you up. We love you so." How do you explain that to a 3-year-old. But the book enthralled me too...Max, leading wild rumpuses...then coming home. It confused me, worried me.

All those mixed feelings are here in this book. Eggers, whom I love, co-wrote the screenplay and then re-adapted the movie for this novel. Haven't seen the film; probably won't.

This book disturbs, enthralls, confuses and worries me. But finally, it comforts me.

Children lead lively
Megan Baxter
Skeptical, I was extremely skeptical. We already have a Where The Wild Things Are and I'm not sure it could possibly be improved upon. I did enjoy Spike Jonze's movie adaptation quite a lot, but this exists in book form. Why would you do a novelization when the picture book is so perfect?

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasb
Jan 15, 2016 Matti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is some kind of version and an elaboration on the best children’s book in the world, Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It adapts the story to present day and to a young adult audience.

I didn’t really expect much from this book, but it turned out to be pretty good. It depicts the inner world and turmoil of a wild boy with surprising accuracy. There are times when Max wonders about his own behavior and reactions, and why things turned out the way they did, and he doesn’t really und
Robert C.
Jan 03, 2014 Robert C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Needed a book to listen to on the dark walk to and from work and chose this from the York Library collection because I remember it being a movie with an interesting poster, and because the idea of children and monsters interacting appeals to some crazy part of me.
It's a story of Max, an eight year old, who lives in a world of his own where everything around him is only there for him to enjoy and experience as an adventure. He's kinda selfish, and doesn't realise that he hurts his family, friends
Jo Anne
May 01, 2014 Jo Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Where the Wild Things Are when I was 7 years old, and instantly fell in love with the bad little boy and the big, scary monsters. I was a bad little girl who loved scary things, and a book about monsters just spoke to me. It became my all time favorite book, and now, when a friend has a child, they receive a copy of the book.

So when I heard that the book was being turned into a movie, I was mad. Why? Just leave things alone, I thought. Of course, I hated the movie. Then the Dave Egg
Ginger Mae
Aug 11, 2015 Ginger Mae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When I picked this book up, I was pretty wary of it, once I realized what it was – an adult novelization of the children’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. For one thing, why was the novelization of a beloved children’s book shelved in the adult section? And for another thing, I LOVE the original. How much would the author mess with it? I never finished watching the movie, although what I saw was alright – not great but alright. Knowing that this was based on the screenp ...more
William Weaver
I don't think that this book really knew where it wanted to go or what it wanted to do. The beginning is strong in a way that's hard to mess up: a child is having trouble with a difficult situation that is way more adult than he is prepared to deal with, so he runs away from home. I think everyone alive has read Where The Wild Things Are, and I'm aware that this book is inspired by that one and based around the script the of the more recent movie version. What you wind up with, though, is less t ...more
Nov 20, 2009 Kerri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Well, here's the thing. If you're in the camp that believes that the Original WWWTA should remain untouched, in its pristine, double-digit-word count form, then obviously you're going to be upset by the book (and the movie), because obviously, you can't make a movie or a novel out of that tiny work of perfection without adding *a lot*. So, knowing that, and knowing ahead of time that you're against the concept of the novel or movie even existing—why in the world would you want to read it or see ...more
Jul 28, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the film. As I've told anyone who will listen, it's the best thing I've ever seen that reminded me of how wonderful and--more importantly--how terrible being a child is. The book makes that all the more apparent.

I get why some wouldn't like this, as it does stray from the film. But to me, that's what makes it unique. Like the film is a companion to the original picture book, this is a companion to those. It builds on somethings that the film had to gloss over, and it leaves some of the vi
Aug 17, 2012 Mallory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing wrong with this book, it's actually quite cute and it's very readable. The problem isn't with Dave Eggers' writing, either, because he's a solid writer and there are moments in the book which are adorable. The problem I had with this adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are is that I'm not sure the source material needed an adaptation at all.

I have been excited to read this book since it was published, and it's been around for a while. The concept is happy-making and the cover art
Oct 22, 2009 McLean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If the movie didn't exist, this would be an exciting book. But given the movie, this book becomes entirely unnecessary. My hope in reading Eggers' novel, based on the script he wrote with Jonze for the film, was that it would have some additional insight into character motivations, backstories, etc., that would deepen my appreciation of the film.

Sadly, this didn't happen. The book doesn't delve any deeper than the film. The only noticeable difference (aside from some inconsequential plot and nam
Jan 01, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
Favorable reviews of the Where the Wild Things Are movie have said that Spike Jonze really remembers what it's like to be a 10-year-old boy. I'm gonna have to argue that point. I like to think that 10-year-old boys are less boring. (Oh, snap! Sorry, Spike!)

Dave Eggers, on the other hand, not only REALLY remembers what it's like to be a 10-year-old boy, but Eggers is also a gifted, gifted writer. In the very loose "novel tie-in" (beautifully published by Eggers' McSweeney's imprint) he takes the
Jul 21, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'd put this somewhere between three and four stars, actually. I really enjoyed this "novelization" of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" but in the end was left wanting more -- more explanation, more resolution, more something. Still, Eggers does a great job of showing why Max is such "wild thing" -- not that I've ever been a little boy, but this sure seems to capture the confusion, imagination, and immaturity that can fuel a boy's adventures (and troublemaking). The first par ...more
H R Koelling
Oct 26, 2009 H R Koelling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I could think about while reading this book was my own childhood. The author perfectly captures the feelings, confusion and wonder of being a small boy. I literally felt like the long-gone little boy that I used to be who was confused by the world but so happy and energetic to explore and engage it. I felt the fear the Max felt. I felt the loneliness that Max felt. I was enthralled and upset by how unfair and how wonderful the world can be.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but this makes me wan
Yesha Naik
Apr 09, 2010 Yesha Naik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant book. I can’t decide what I love more, the first part, where you get to know Max’s inner, real, true self, in a way that I never thought an adult writer could capture the true ongoing vivid inner life of a kid. It’s like Calvin, but in long prose form and a tad bit older…
Or the second part, where you get to be with Max as he meets and negotiates with the Wild Things, ends up their king, their savior, their destroyer, their brother, their prey, and their kin.
Or the last littl
Ellen/The Writer
I had started it over a year ago but lost interest about halfway through. But since one of the challenges was ‘Read a book with red and green on the cover’ and this was the only book I have with red and green, I picked off my shelf and read the remaining 149 pages. I can’t say that I enjoyed them.

I like the idea of kids imagining a world of their own, a world that’s better, more fun and where things happen according to their own rules. This book was a bit too much for me. I like the children’s b
May 09, 2016 Em rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who loves Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are will marvel at this brilliant novel. What's brilliant about this novel is not the storytelling-- Eggers follows the satisfying basic arc of the children's book-- What's brilliant how he fleshes out the character of King Max, how expertly he portrays the pubescent psyche of Max. The reader seems to understand Max more then the reader understands themselves, The reader is permitted to feel Max's pitiful miscomprehension of the complex world aroun ...more
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Dunedin Public Li...: The Wild Things 1 4 Jul 15, 2014 09:49AM  
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Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly ...more
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“One might think that a boy who was out in the snow for so long would get cold, but Max was not. He was warm, partly because he had on many layers, and partly because boys who are part wolf and part wind do not get cold.” 10 likes
“Maybe he hadn't thought the war through. It had seemed like simple fun when he had first pictured it, with a glorious beginning, a difficult but valor-filled middle, and a victorious end. He hadn't accounted for the fact that there might not be much of a resolution to the battle, and he hadn't imagined what it would feel like when the war just sort of ended, without anyone admitting defeat and congratulating him for his bravery.” 7 likes
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