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Wild Things

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  7,297 Ratings  ·  807 Reviews
Seven-year-old Max likes to make noise, get dirty, ride his bike without a helmet and howl like a wolf. In any other era, he would be considered a boy. In 2007, he is considered willful and deranged. His home life is problematic. His parents are divorced; his father, immature and romantic, lives in the city. His mother has taken up with a younger man who steals quarters fr ...more
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Hamish Hamilton (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement.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
...more
Suzie
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
Rui Monteiro
Sep 30, 2016 Rui Monteiro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Não dá para pôr em palavras aquilo que sentimos por este livro, apenas sentimos.

Darwin8u
Dec 02, 2012 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
...more
Lon
May 04, 2010 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
...more
Thomas Edmund
I have to start with a wee confession, this book made me realize I have an adaption problem. It's not that I can't handle adaptions in fact I quite enjoy them. It's just that I need to have a good handle on what the adaption is.

When I looked at The Wild Things I saw a tonne of references to the screenplay, and of course the original child's book and I started to get bamboozled by what this book was actually based on. Fortunately the afterword clarified that the book is essentially a novelization
...more
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
...more
Kirstie
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
...more
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 "
...more
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.

Dave
...more
Ellis
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.
Karlijn
Aug 05, 2016 Karlijn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
De kaft is toch leuker dan het verhaal.
Oriana
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.
Dea
Mar 09, 2017 Dea marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dng
DNF at pg. 125.

Cool thing about this book: stroking the furry spine as if it were The Monster Book of Monsters from HP.

Uncool thing about this book: it is surprisingly boring.
Claudia
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
...more
Matti
Dec 22, 2015 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
...more
Kyara
Sep 23, 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.
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
Kate Simpson
Feb 19, 2017 Kate Simpson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed so hard at the depiction of sibling relations and the suburban mom in the opening scenes - they alone make this book worth reading. And loved the idea of a real "Max." A quick read. If I was so inclined, I might go back and analyze each of the monsters to see if they represented some larger aspect of society. Hilarious. It's such a gift to travel with Mr. Eggers from pinpoint accuracy to complete absurdity. He's an excellent driver!
Robert C.
Dec 30, 2013 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
...more
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
...more
Mallory
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
...more
Stephanie (R-A)
Sep 25, 2016 Stephanie (R-A) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so freaking adorable. Everything is from Max's perspective and feels 100% genuine for an 8 year old boy who doesn't understand why his world is coming apart. Max's parents are divorced and his mother is seeing someone else and he feels like the entire world is against him.

So, he runs away and finds an island in the middle of the sea filled with huge terrible looking monsters who are just as lost as he is. The monsters kind of stand in for different people in his life in the real wo
...more
Chris
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
...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
Jessica
Oct 28, 2009 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
...more
Ginger Mae
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
Kerri
Nov 06, 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
McLean
Oct 15, 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
...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
...more
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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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