Amanda's Reviews > The Wild Things

The Wild Things by Dave Eggers
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Dec 03, 2009

it was ok
Read in December, 2009

I was really excited about this movie. I thought it was a really interesting interpretation of a childhood favorite. The original Where The Wild Things Are always seemed to me to be a novel of escape. To escape from an unsatisfactory home, Max dreams up this wild place where it's all fun and no rules and all love, warm and furry. The movie takes that idea and expands upon it, and with the movie comes this book. Now, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I do know the book diverges slightly from the script.

The basic tenet is the same, that Max comes from a struggling household and feels like his life is horrible. In this book, Max is impulsive, rash, and angry. He swings from extreme feelings and vicious actions. He's no monster, he does feel remorse, but it's the remorse of a young child, confused and upset by what's happening in his life. Max runs away and ends up on the jungle island.

Once on the island, he sees miraculous things, like tiny cats and, of course, the Wild Things. The Wild Things are truly wild and just as mercurial as Max. They are destructive and kind of hungry. Carol, Max's right hand, is jealous and quick to anger. No Wild Thing thinks about consequences. Some distrust Max, blame him, and think they should eat him. What begins as an adventure soon turns into a confusing, awful time for Max.

I felt like the book resembled Max too much. It was tumultuous and somewhat cluttered. But I think the worst thing about it was that it was unresolved. You don't really get a sense that Max chooses to grow up, and the way he leaves things with the creatures is so unfinished. There are small subplots that never play out, like the one between Carol and Katherine. In the end, the book was just a clumsy mass of childish anger. I guess I just needed more hope at the end.
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