5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful paen to a childhood favourite
Eggers imagines a full length story based around the wonderful childhood companion that was Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Like many young boys, Max is imaginative, energetic and misunderstood by his teen sister and hard working mother, and after a confrontation with his mother's boyfriend runs away into the woods. There he finds a boat on the lake shore...
Published on 16 Oct 2010 by Jo Bennie
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wil Make Your Heart Sing
Cards on the table - I read everything Dave Eggers writes. I think he's an energetic and creative talent unmatched among his contemporaries, so I approached this with huge expectations.
To be honest, it disappointed me a little towards the middle after a very promising start. The end though, saved it, because the writing is so good and the emotions are powerful...
Published on 1 Jun 2010 by Cliff Jones
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wil Make Your Heart Sing,
To be honest, it disappointed me a little towards the middle after a very promising start. The end though, saved it, because the writing is so good and the emotions are powerful yet subtle and deftly handled. I'd recommend this for all Eggers fans and big kids. I enjoyed it, but it's not his finest work.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a Cross Over Mixture,
The Wild Things is the tale of Max and an adventure he has after he runs away from home. His parents have divorced in the not too distant past and now he lives with his mother, his sister Claire and his mothers boyfriend (a toy boy) Gary. His mother is very busy with her career two children and a new partner. His sister is very busy ignoring him and becoming a woman, no longer with so much time for Max. His Dad doesn't really figure very much as he lives in the city. So this young boy is going through quite a bag of emotions culminating in a huge rebellion where he ends up running away and trying to sail to his fathers. He doesn't end up there instead he finds an island inhabited by some very strange beasts who he befriends and even becomes King of. Though Kings need to be able to have all the answers and if they don't, like young boys don't always, they might just get eaten.
Its an interesting book. For me as an adult I found it slightly flawed, the first half was utterly brilliant and very entertaining. Sadly once on the island no plot seemed abounds (maybe that is the idea) there also didnt seem to be any reasoning behind the monsters behaviour and yet I felt that Eggers was trying to teach children something. There is a war which goes out of hand but is left unresolved and by the end of the book I couldnt work out what it was trying to say and if in fact it was a book that tried to incorporate an old classic picture book with no real idea of why it was doing it other than a movie tie-in. Good fun to read to children, if you want them to run amock!
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for kids, or teens... or adults,
This review is from: The Wild Things (Paperback)I found this a tedious and disappointing read. I heard good reports of "Where the Wild Things Are" as a kids book and picked this up not realising it was Eggers' re-invention of the original (by M Sendak).
It's not a kids book - it runs on themes of creepiness, aggression, despair and family breakdown. It's full of obnoxious behaviour from Max (the 'hero') and others ('tell your boss to F off', etc). The odd nice moments are often salted with creepiness (e.g. the creepy crush that Catherine has on Max)
It's not an adults book either - it just repeats the same cycle over & over: 'Present Max with a problem, watch him come up with a bizarre childish solution to the problem, see the solution go wrong and annoy all the beasts. Rinse. Repeat'. I hoped the cycles would develop as the book went on, but they stayed the same up to the last.
Maybe the author is trying to teach a "being in charge means taking care of people, not having it your way" lesson by showing the opposite of responsibility and how it plays out for Max? I don't know many adults that need that lesson, and I wouldn't give this book to a pre-teen. So that only leaves teens and I'd wonder if they'd give it the time due to the childishness and repetitiveness.
Hate just being critical, wish I had something nice to say about this book but just don't.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful paen to a childhood favourite,
3.0 out of 5 stars What the wild things are,
Max is sick of the people who surround him (a weary mother, a distant older sister, and assorted friends and neighbors) and still troubled by the divorce that left his family fragmented. So he often acts out -- throwing snowballs, drenching his sister's room, and playing pranks on his mother's dumb-grunt boyfriend. One night he puts on an old pair of wolf pajamas and goes on a rampage through his house, finally biting his mother when she tries to restrain him.
Horrified, he runs out of the house and ends up trying to sail a small boat to the city where his father lives... only to end up on a strange island populated entirely by monstrous wild things. Their only interest is in in having whatever kind of highly-destructive fun they want, and Max soon joyously joins in on their rampaging... having convinced them to crown him their king. But the land of the wild things is not a safe place, and Max soon discovers that "erratic and wild" has its unpleasant side...
The whole idea behind "The Wild Things" is to take Sendak's picture book and resculpt it as a novel. And David Eggers does a pretty good job fleshing it out, using Max's "everyday" life and troubled family to show why this kid would want to join up with the Wild Things. And he writes in a beautiful, slightly surreal style full of strange moments and slightly offbeat perspectives, and manages to make the dreamlike island a more "ordinary" place than the "real" world.
The problem is that Eggers runs out of plot soon after Max floats off to the island. He starts off strong with Max's troublesome behavior and subsequent "running away" to the Island, but after the kid is crowned, he just loses focus of what the story should be. There's no real story after that -- just a patchwork of random, increasingly bizarre anecdotes where Max and the Wild things break houses, set fires, throw rocks, and occasionally play "war" with lava, boulders and land-jellyfish.
Then the Wild Things get annoyed, somebody thinks Max looks yummy, they bicker, he distracts them with a new game, and the whole cycle starts over again. It gets very tedious, until the rather bizarre climax when he ends up in real danger.
Similarly, Max and the Wild Things are handled well at first, but Eggers loses some of his magic later on. Max is convincingly and poignantly painted as an essentially good kid who is lashing out at anyone who annoys him, because of his turmoil over his parents' divorce. Similarly each Wild Thing is given their own personality -- motherly, volatile, arrogant nihilistic, and so on. The main problem is that while Max is convincingly sketched, he doesn't seem to learn anything from his island adventure except that being a wild thing is not so great.
"The Wild Things" is a striking and memorable little novella that stretches the dimensions of Sendak's book, but it's flawed by too little plot and too much "rumpusing." Almost great, but it feels like the story spun out of Eggers' grasp.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Wild Thing,
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I see the appeal, but not for me,
This review is from: The Wild Things (Kindle Edition)SPOILER FREE
If I'm honest, I didn't really enjoy this book. I couldn't relate to the characters, everything that happened just didn't seem believable.
The storyline wasn't that interesting either.
To cut it short, I wouldn't recommend this book for teens of adults however young children (around 6) may get some enjoyment out of it.
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The Wild Things by Dave Eggers (Paperback - 3 Jun 2010)