Andy's Reviews > The Wild Things

The Wild Things by Dave Eggers
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's review
Mar 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011
Read from March 21 to 22, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I've had this sitting on my shelf since it came out. I had seen it in a few stores in Christchurch without much desire to get it until in Wellington I found the fur covered version. I had to have that. Since then I've sat on it until I saw the film (usually the other way round I know but this was based on the screenplay rather then the other way round).

So I saw the film a couple of weeks ago and liked it quite a lot. Now, having been off work sick for the last 4 days or so I picked it up as a comforter. I'm not sure whether my chest is tight and I'm sneezing a lot because of my cold or the fur.

Very similar to the movie treatment, Eggers fleshes out Max, his family and particularly the Wild Things, creating a collection of complex, articulate and dangerous beasts. In an emotionally delirious state Max discovers the island and the inhabitants and proclaims himself King but rapidly discovers life isn't quite so simple. Max is portrayed as having a genuine emotional problem, akin to ADHD rather then just being boisterous and a child. It provides an emotional punch as he reacts in ways even he can't comprehend or understand. The beasts manifest his feelings and emotions and reflect those of the others in his life around him, tying him up with confusion and an inability to alter what happens.

It's an interesting look at how confusing it is to be a child, knowing you're the centre of everyone else's world even though reality seems to signify you're not. He's challenged, "You think that you're that powerful. That you're the reason everyone is happy or sad?" and it's heartbreaking his response.

I liked the book though preferred the film. It's not perfect but it is worth reading.

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