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The Wild Things (Audiobook)

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The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away into the woods. He finds a boat there, jumps in, and ends up on the open sea, destination unknown. He lands on the island of the Wild Things, and soon he becomes their king. But things get complicated when Max realizes that the Wild Things want as much from him as he wants from them. ©2009 Dave Eggers; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.


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The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can't control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away into the woods. He finds a boat there, jumps in, and ends up on the open sea, destination unknown. He lands on the island of the Wild Things, and soon he becomes their king. But things get complicated when Max realizes that the Wild Things want as much from him as he wants from them. ©2009 Dave Eggers; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

30 review for The Wild Things (Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Suzie

    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 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 it's like to grow up as a wild little boy who thinks the way Max does, but I do know how it feels to have inexplicable thoughts and take contradictory actions. Any book that can make me emote to this degree deserves lots of stars, and maybe, some day, a second read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    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 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 Smorgasbook

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    This book simply wasn't very good. Eggers writes stories where very weird things will happen that almost make the story seem like unreality, as if you're maybe reading someone's nightmare or lucid dream. This is true of the other three Eggers works I've read and is true of this book also. But that's a small complaint, compared to the bigger issues this book has. The plot starts out decently, albeit with a very weird event occurring, as I've mentioned. However, things go downhill from there and th This book simply wasn't very good. Eggers writes stories where very weird things will happen that almost make the story seem like unreality, as if you're maybe reading someone's nightmare or lucid dream. This is true of the other three Eggers works I've read and is true of this book also. But that's a small complaint, compared to the bigger issues this book has. The plot starts out decently, albeit with a very weird event occurring, as I've mentioned. However, things go downhill from there and the next 200 or so pages are filler; there's no real plot. It's just a bunch of mindless violence and destruction that does nothing to advance the story. The ending is also incredibly rushed, and more happens in the last 10 pages than the entire first 270 pages combined. It almost seems like he just didn't know how to carry on such a pointless novel anymore and gave up. There are some good characters in this book, mainly Katherine, and the story is interesting at times, albeit far from often, hence the two star rating. I found this book a chore to read and so can't recommend it. This is a reincarnation of a masterpiece and it's sad that it doesn't even come close to living up to that material.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    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 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 anxieties of Max, but it also removes some of the magic by trying to detail too much. The beauty of 'Where the Wild Things Are' (at least for me) resides in those gaps between the pages where the shadows fall and the child's imagination is forced to create in the void. David Eggers makes something beautiful, but often his narrative seems to intrude into my void a little too much. I want Robot dancing yes, just not in my void.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lon

    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 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 even better than he understands himself, but I think it's closer to the truth to say that we are permitted to feel Max's pitiful miscomprehension of the complex world around him. The growing rift between his once-close sister; the sense of abandonment from a father who doesn't call much anymore; a despairing, man-burned mom he can't make laugh like he used to. The perplexities of entering adolescence and trying to navigate an adult world without the sophistication of language or experience to make sense of it all. We feel how vulnerable Max is, and we weep when his strategies and schemes and coping mechanisms just aren't up to the task of helping him survive. When he commits acts of mischief, we see how genuinely bewildered he is that, instead of leading his closer to the outcomes he hopes for, things get worse. In trying to be loved, he only pushes people away. Should be required reading for an adolescent-psych class! The "wild things" are interesting creatures. At the risk of over-analyzing . . . each wild thing seems to embody aspects of Max's psyche--his rage, his jealousy, his compassion, his sarcasm, his frightening creativity. And of course he must learn to rule these aspects of self, a task, which, as the king, he largely fails. Just as he felt the impotence of being an boy in a world of grown-ups, he comes to recognize his own powerlessness at appeasing these creatures from within, each with their own agendas, feeding schedules, inscrutable motives. There is a dysfunctionality rampant where the wild things are, and even when Max is King, he realizes he can neither satisfy nor control them. If he doesn't return from this Hero's journey having mastered the wild things within, at least he has come to understand that the grown-ups around him are ultimately just as powerless and vulnerable as he is. That awareness has made the journey worth it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Guion

    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 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 novelization of the movie screenplay by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers, which in turn is based on the children’s book by Maurice Sendak. The original book, of course, is simple enough: boy is punished by his parents, so he imagines an adventure to a distant land with true “wild things,” becomes their king and plays with them for a time, and then grows weary and misses his home, so leaves them behind and returns to his room, where his supper is waiting for him. So how do we take that relatively simple (and also, short) concept, and expand it into a movie screenplay . . . and subsequently, a novel? Now, I can’t honestly say how much of the screenplay was conducive to Maurice Sendak’s original idea, but what the movie and the novel both seem to do is ask the question, “What if all the pent up emotions, confusions, passions, loves, hates, intrigues, fears, and longings of a child were to take on some living form?” Thus, we have the wild things. These beasts represent different facets of Max’s own personality, so it’s natural enough that he should relate with them and want to control them. But at the same time, sometimes they get out of hand, just as Max sometimes gets out of hand, and sometimes he hates parts of himself and sometimes parts of himself seem to hate him. As you can imagine, this book is quite the emotional roller coaster. Sometimes things are going very well and everyone’s having a good time. But sometimes, things become angry, angsty, even dark. These moods come on suddenly, often without warning. That’s to be expected, though. Max’s beasts are driven by the emotions of a child, which are often sudden and unexpected. Throughout the novel, though, there seems to be a sort of battle between emotion and logic, as Max attempts to control the beasts, and even at times, escape them. The plot meanders considerably through Max’s various plans, but that, too, is to be expected. The land where the wild things are is a land of unplanned spontaneity and unbridled emotion. There was never any promise of a straightforward plot, which might be one of things Max himself finds so frustrating, until he has no choice but to leave the beasts behind, with no intention of ever returning. There’s a lot of stuff going on here, and a lot within the story that we could read into more deeply. It’s one of those stories where you’re not entirely sure what’s going on, but you know that it’s important somehow, that even the meaningless activities seem to have some sort of meaning. There are portions that are, admittedly, unpleasant to read, and honestly, if I had to make a choice between the novel and the movie it’s based on, I’d pick the movie. The novel tries to, I think, make the world more realistic by describing how hungry, cold, or dirty Max is, often in great detail, which I don’t really find necessary in this story. In the original storybook, this was pretty much a dream, and even in the movie, it seemed more like a suspension of reality than something that was really happening, so it doesn’t make sense for Max to be hungry or living in his own filth. Ultimately, what this story is is a day in a child’s playtime. Imagination and emotion runs wild, sometimes fun is had, but sometimes someone gets hurt, sometimes someone is scared, and sometimes people hate each other. And eventually, important though the wild things are, the child has to grow up and move on. This book is very well-written and it tells an excellent--if sometimes unpleasant and meandering--story. Worth rating: Worth owning (used)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Saar The Book owl

    I've read Where the Wild Things Are a lot of times to my son and I've enjoyed it really much. I haven't seen the movie, but what Dave Eggers has done with the children's book is so beautiful and adventurous. This book is more the background story or the complete story for older children and adults. I recognized so many things in Max that I can relate to my son or even myself. Children must be let wild for a bit, so they can develop well. They need that connection with nature, being wild and adven I've read Where the Wild Things Are a lot of times to my son and I've enjoyed it really much. I haven't seen the movie, but what Dave Eggers has done with the children's book is so beautiful and adventurous. This book is more the background story or the complete story for older children and adults. I recognized so many things in Max that I can relate to my son or even myself. Children must be let wild for a bit, so they can develop well. They need that connection with nature, being wild and adventurous...But with Max, maybe he's a bit over the top, with his sister ignoring him, his mother working or being busy with her new boyfriend and his mother being absent. Maybe his attitude was a cry for attention. After a big fight with his mother, he takes off to a remote island. There he meets a group of monsters, that sees in Max their king. But after that, things go wrong also, and Max turns home with important lessons that he learned. About the monsters, I had the feeling that Catharine's character was more based on his mother and that Max related a bit to Carol in his behaviour. This was my first book of Dave Eggers and I realy enjoyed it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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 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 of the 2009 (Holy Shit I'm getting old) movie (LOL I googled that and accidentally brought up that sleazy Denise Richards movie). Also good is that I hadn't seen the movie so could just take the book as a book. All that pointless to the review stuff settled I actually read the thing. The good thing about the tale is its fast paced and an accessible read. There are some really genuinely funny moments especially Max's perspective on the world and the interactions with the 'Wild-Things' On the flip-side I was mostly frustrated with the fleshing out of the original story. SPOILER ALERT I suppose, why would you look at this review if you don't know the classic original?? In Sendak's children's story Max is naughty sent to bed without supper and in his sullky mood creates 'where the wild things are'. There was always a power to this simplicity which captured the emotional life of a young boy perfectly. In The Wild Things, the story tries too hard to 'edgy' the story up, spending the bulk of the book in the real world developing Max's life, his parents are divorced, there is a boyfriend on the scene, Max has a sister, whose friend he crushes on, but her other friends torment him, not to mention the various characters about the neighbourhood. I have no problem with the idea of an attempt to draw out more issues in Max's life but it all felt too commercial, the original Max was straight up terror, novel Max feels a little more sympathetic which actually defies the point really. Sure it makes one feel sorry for Max but the whole thing about the original was that Max had some issues of his own character to work through, whereas the problems were at least 50% external in the novel which kinda defies being fixed by an elaborate fantasy. I had a similar problem with the Wild Things. There were moments of fun absurdism with this part of the book, but equally the attempts to flesh out the story just felt somewhat directionless. Again in the original Max works through his own emotions by ordering a wild rumpus, while also practicing his own discipline on the wild things. In the novel it just felt like there were too many lessons to be learnt, that maybe this section was just random gobbledygook. The final annoyance being that (REMINDER SPOILERS) Max doesn't really resolve his wide ranging issues, he just returns home to appreciate his mother, which was the point of the original but feels a little unfair that all novel Max's problems are solved by this realization. My final beef which chopped a star off the rating is the narrative voice. I assume the plan was to go for a precocious yet immature voice, but novel Max felt practically demented somehow interacting with a huge vocabulary and literary yet being completely obvious to some of the most obvious points of human relations. In one point he wonders if smashing his crush in the face with a snowball hard enough to make her cry will make her like him more (despite deliberately setting out to annoy his sister, thus showing enough brains to know how to torment people) To be fair despite the number of words devoted to negatively (my complaints just took longer to explain) The Wild Things is a good book, its a fast funny read, I just felt unsatisfied, perhaps because it sits awkwardly between movie novelization, adaption of a child's book, making the target audience presumably the small band of movie-goers who like to read the exact thing they've seen and children's book readers who want a longer version?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Constanze Zietz

    I did not enjoy this book als I had expected. I know that the story is based on a childrens book which I will have to read to compare the two (at least now I have an idea my cousins next birthday Gift) but for me it was lacking a real plot and some exitement. The basic story sure is great but it didnt grab me and was, at least for me, sometimes even boring.

  10. 5 out of 5

    aída

    what i loved the most about this book was the storytelling - a third person narrator acting as a filter of Max's thoughts and feelings which, instead of leaving out the childish logic, enhances it. that was just amazing to read and i enjoyed it a lot. the story itself was fun and sometimes even too raw, but i appreciate eggers' interpretation of sendak's illustrations and i honestly think he brought them to life beautifully. what i loved the most about this book was the storytelling - a third person narrator acting as a filter of Max's thoughts and feelings which, instead of leaving out the childish logic, enhances it. that was just amazing to read and i enjoyed it a lot. the story itself was fun and sometimes even too raw, but i appreciate eggers' interpretation of sendak's illustrations and i honestly think he brought them to life beautifully.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ana Lelis

    Yes, I hate Sendak's book. Neither I hate nor I love this one though. I still don't like the message behind it and I think the book is dull. Despite not liking this book, I appreciate Eggers effort and I think (I'm probably the only person on Goodreads who thinks that) this book is better than the original one. Yes, I hate Sendak's book. Neither I hate nor I love this one though. I still don't like the message behind it and I think the book is dull. Despite not liking this book, I appreciate Eggers effort and I think (I'm probably the only person on Goodreads who thinks that) this book is better than the original one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Will

    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 " 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 "Back to the Future" novelization by George Gipe has some interesting scenes not in the movie, and Earl Mac Rauch's "novelizations" of his own scripts "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai..." and "New York, New York" seemed to be the perfect venue for the screenwriter to delve deeper into the characters and world he created. But usually, novelizations have always kind of been a joke, an aside, mostly for kids, or people who don't really read much. Eggers took this to the next level, in a way similar to Earl Mac Rauch. He uses this alternate venue as a means to explore the characters and ideas from a different lens, an internal one. Where the film is emotionally breathtaking due to it's unbelievably believable visuals, here it's because we see into the characters, we feel through their cells and their big beastly hearts -- these characters we grew up with, characters that originally only had a dozen or so pages and even less words devoted to them, yet sparked generations of imaginations. Carol the wild thing is an amazingly complex character -- needy, overwhelmed with fear and confusion, stuck in his hulking, awkward body, with his hulking, awkward feelings, a rage brought on by fear at the world's Mexican-standoffish stare and the loneliness that creeps up during -- this rage and this loneliness keep Carol from getting truly close to anybody, or being able to accept the comfort of the love his beasty family and friends all have for him. He's a tragic, complex, very real character. Ever since the back flap was closed, I'm still a bit haunted by him, and last images of him. And I hope he'll be okay. I guess that means I hope we'll all be okay. We're all just big, confused kids, really, when it all boils down to it. I think that's what Eggers is doing here -- the bastard -- playing out the emotions born in us in childhood that never fully leave us through these beasts, these big furry, horny kids, who are also magical and sillily articulate -- the beasts' being very articulate in nature gives them the means to make voice to the exact feelings kids have, kids just like Max who have all these feelings, and their frustration compounds because they cannot express them, don't have the language or the maturity to, yet. Reading this, I felt things, remembered feelings from being a kid, feelings and memories I haven't thought of in years. That's a pretty fantastic thing for a book to give you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie

    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 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 dismayed me quite a bit because I work with children and some of the behavioral issues I see both in regular ed. and special ed. students is a result of really poor and inconsistent discipline from parents. Parents want to be friends to their kids instead of set limits and so when the child tantrums, the parents give in and the child continues to tantrum at school and becomes confused and angry when he/she cannot be given everything the heart desires from the teachers they encounter. So, in the film version, when Max comes back after tantrumming and even biting his mom like a child raised by wolves instead of with a mother that cares about him, it's hard to feel sorry for him during his journey and trials of his imagination and it's hard to think he really deserves a hug and a piece of cake at the end of the film. It made me angry, even though I realized what I was supposed to feel is that Max had gone through some cathartic transformation and would mend the error of his ways. I still thought...he bit mom and ran away and he got cake for that...way to reward horrific behavior in your child! Of course, from the perspective of a child myself reading the much smaller original version of the story, I remember thinking how imagination was such an amazing and powerful thing. I really loved the diversity of the characters and the drawings that are really essentially part of Max's imagination. I had picked Eggers's book up at a discount as it was an overstock hardcover and I felt it was worth reading at some point, even though I disliked the film version. What piqued my interest recently was that the Autism classroom for younger students that I work in was reading the original version recently. One of the students is a little like Max but honestly it's difficult to tell if Max really has a disability or if he is just a more extreme melodramatic child. We all **hope** that Max will learn to control his own wavelength, self regulate his extreme emotions, and not have to depend on antidepressants to function in the real world as an adult. We all want Max to stay creative but just be nicer to the family around him. We all feel a little sad and disappointed when Max makes poor decisions and feel even worse about it when he realizes after the fact that what he did was wrong but couldn't stop himself. Max is exceptional and we all want him to stay that way but we'd like him to learn a few things that makes his interactions with other human beings less painful. Essential what Eggers adds to this story is this very complexity. In the book, we see Max makes a few poor decisions then goes off to adventure land, comes back and all seems forgiven. In the novel version that Eggers creates, we see that Max is a little depressed about his own behavior and that the behavior and choices of others from his parents separating to his older sister deciding she's too cool to hang with him, to the science elementary teacher that tells him that the sun is going to burn out and die one day. All these things are pretty heavy to a young boy (or to anyone, really) but the way that Max chooses to deal with them is dishonest to others and himself and his behavior really doesn't do him any favors. In Eggers's version, one can easily see how each of these oversized animal creatures are aspects of himself and that the one he bonds most with initially terrifies him with his temper and his justification of committing acts Max feels are evil. Max grows because as he sees how hurtful his behavior can be in the way the monster Carol so demonstrates, he realizes he needs to change. However, at the end, there is still a part of me which wonders if he really will change now that mom has forgiven him and given him cake. The story of this book and the essence of it has infiltrated the psyche of North American children anywhere. I just worry that kids may draw the wrong idea from it. That may be a little sensitive of me but I see so many kids who are rewarded for their poor choices. I'm glad Max made the journey..I'm glad Max realized the error of his ways...but I still don't think he deserved the cake at the end. Favorite Quotes: pg. 17 "Gary, his mom's boyfriend with a chin as soft as cake, sometimes came over early after work and napped on the couch. He stained any room he spilled himself into." pg. 45 "Once there were some buildings. They were these huge buildings and they could walk. So one day they got up and they left the city. Then there were some vampires. The vampires wanted to make the buildings into vampires so they flew in and attacked them. They bit them. One of the vampires bit the tallest building but his fangs broke off. Then the rest of his teeth fell out. And he cried because he would never get new teeth again. And the other vampires said "Why are you crying, aren't those just your baby teeth?" "And the vampire said, "No, those are my grown up teeth." And the vampires knew he couldn't be a vampire anymore, s they left him. And he couldn't be friends with the buildings because the vampires had killed them all." pg. 57 "Look on the bright side-you and everyone you know will be long gone by then! When the sun is extinguished and the world is swallowed like a grape by the collapsing fabric of space, we'll be long forgotten in the endless continuum of time. The human race is, after all, just a sign in the long sonorous sleep of this world and worlds to come." pg. 65 "Max burst into the cold night and sped down the driveway. He had to think and he could only think while biking or building things, and he wanted to be biking, to think with the blood loudly filling his head." pg. 150 "Have you ever been in a place that should feel good, but it feels out of control, like you're really small? Like where all the people are made out of wind, like you don't know what they're going to do next? ... "This one time I went to my friend's house, and everyone in his family had these huge mouths but no ears. And where they were supposed to have ears they just had more mouths so they couldn't listen...And when you talked they couldn't even hear you. And all they would do all the time is eat and talk." pg. 179 "But though Judith was skeptical of Douglas's account of the sounds underground, she didn't doubt the existence of the chatter. "Carol," she said, "When you heard it, did it ever sound like huffing?" Carol was diplomatic. "I think it might have, somewhere down there. And it sounds different to different ears, of course. You might hear something more jagged and angry, Judith. It might be chatter specifically about you, and all the things you've done wrong. Ira might hear something open and hollow, like an empty, void-ish sound, the sound of a well with no bottom. They really know how to get to us." pg. 260 "Just then, the first light of day split the darkness like a knife prying the sky from the earth. The white gumdrop sun broke the horizon and the birds began to gossip from the trees." pg. 236 "He left the fort and wandered toward the sun, which was hovering low over the water like a mother over her children."

  14. 5 out of 5

    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 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 lives inside their own heads. Adults forget that...maybe it's the only way we can keep going to work, to the store. But children? They believe the sun will burn up because their teacher said so. They believe their parents will withhold their love over bad stuff...seven buckets of water spilled on your sister's bed qualifies here. Kids believe everyone knows 'war' doesn't mean WAR. Max is confused. He's hurt, he's lonely. He's also fearless and upset by parents' attempts to protect him. He lives inside his own head. Eggers captures this perfectly. The diction IS Max's voice -- simple and direct, with wonderful, surprising words thrown in for effect. I have read Eggers' memoir, and I believe he IS Max. So, the Wild Things. They have names. They have a clear hierarchy in their relationships. They know who can gnaw on whom. And they don't know exactly what to do with Max. His wolf suit seems to make him one of them. His imagination, his zeal for fun...his love of mayhem. He seems to fit right in. But Max sees a part of himself in each of them, I believe, and he's not comfortable. Carol (the tiger-striped Wild Thing) is brilliant but deadly. He wants more. He dreams. Katherine, the red-headed Wild Thing GETS Max. She understands him and tries to interpret his world for him. And my favorite, Blue Bully? Bull is silent; he stands back. He watches and observes. He sees things the others don't. Alexander, the small goat, is the one who finally helps Max understand, and ultimately forgive himself. Max knows he's out of control. He knows his decisions, while logical at the time, are destructive. He gets it. But he doesn't know what else to do. So he's wild, he makes mischief of one kind and another and his mother calls him "wild thing." At home Max is trapped inside his own head; on the island with the Wild Things, Max is able to stand back and assess the implications of his actions and his attitudes. I've read other reviews that criticize the book because Max doesn't learn. I disagree. I think Max learns something profound -- he is a human and makes mistakes; his wildness is not bad or good -- it just IS; he is deeply loved despite his wildness, maybe because of it. Don't we want all children to come through the jungle of childhood with these lessons learned? Favorite lines: He was sorry. But he could not find the word SORRY It was such a strange mix of sounds -- destruction, calamity, but what seemed to be laughing Bull...seemed disconnected...not seeing out anyone's approval or interacting in any meaningful way We want what we want. We want all the things we want. And we want no more want. I'm confused about fun They're [the owls] good...they care. They just don't know how to express it. I ruin every place I go. I ruined this place too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike Lawson

    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 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 Eggers co-wrote the movie version with Spike Jonze, and then he penned this novel based on their screenplay. The original Where The Wild Things Are is just a dozen pages with no more than 250 words. Super short. The longer Eggers version still has a wild boy named Max, and he still bites his mother and is told he’s too wild and is sent to his room. Max still finds himself on an island with the Wild Things. But there are differences too. We see much more of Max’s home life in the Eggers version. We learn that Max has an older sister that’s too cool for the baby games that Max wants to play. One of my favorite differences is that Eggers pulls out a lot of the kid-with-behavioral-issues and puts them front and center. Max isn’t just a wild boy…he’s got some serious fucking issues. Perhaps he’s bipolar. On the island of wild things, Max is king and he still leads the wild rumpus. And in the Eggers version each of the wild things have their own distinct voice and personality. Think of this book as it’s own thing…not just a quick adaptation. I wouldn’t call this book brilliant, but for those young adults moving on to full novels, or just those adults out there that enjoy “kidslit” (or a flashback to the Sendak of their youth), this is a good read. In ten words: Just a longer version of that picture book you loved.

  16. 5 out of 5

    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 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 this treads dangerously close to fable / Life of Pi-style territory for me (which it does, and which never fails to get my dander up). No, it's really two things: first, Max is a snot-nosed little brat whose mean-spirited destructiveness erodes my compassion for him, despite what I clearly recognize as acting-out behaviour the result of inattentive parenting, childhood trauma and lingering abandonment issues. And second, I don't much care for monsters, metaphorical figments of childhood imagination and fears or not. These ones are neither scary nor funny nor near as fantastic as I think Eggers thinks he's made them, so ... m'eh.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Oriana

    can't wait can't wait can't wait fuck off, haters. can't wait can't wait can't wait fuck off, haters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matti

    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 un 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 understand himself, which is very realistic. A lot of accidents and mishaps happen when you do a lot of things at the speed of an excited child. Some things keep bothering him, but asking for forgiveness can be very hard, even if he really wants to do so. This pondering from the viewpoint of a little boy is well brought out without watering it down by too much explaining. The overall tone of the book is a bit off, compared to the original book. It seems most of the time somebody’s hurt and annoyed and the tone is somber. While there is some of this in the original book too, it’s not there to this extent. In this book, the good moments are just fleeting flashes of light in the dark. The monsters are a bit off too. They are easily offended, sulky, selfish, and say hurtful things. In the original book they are lovable. Scary – yes, unpredictable – yes, but lovable and fun-loving. In Eggers’ effort, there’s a little of that, but too little. It was always the most intriguing quality of the monsters; you could be friends with them and sort of ”tame” them, but you could never really know if it was truly safe. Even if you’re their king, it didn’t mean that they could not eat you up at any given moment. And it was fascinating to hang around things that were so scary, had a terrible roar, terrible claws, gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes. The best in this book is the same thing as in the original; Max gets to be wild, gets to be a king of the monsters and live out his fantasies of destruction and overall mayhem, but when he has calmed down, he can safely come back home, where he is loved the most. In the end of the day, he can count on his mother’s love, no matter where he’s been and what he’s done. And that’s a lesson I’d like to teach my son. You can always come home. This point is not explained in the book, you have to read it between the lines, and that’s as it should be. Saying it out loud would ruin it. The writing was very fluent and pages fly by. This book wasn’t perfect, but enjoyable, at least to a hard core fan like me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Wild Things is an awesome personal adventure book. Its about a 8 year old boy named Max,and he runs away from home and sails away to find his dad but ends up finding out theres a island filled with what seems to be a family of...BEAST! And Max becomes there king! But hes basicaly on a journey to teach these beast a couple of things. I think the compelling liturary elments was great the setting was very described there wasnt a moment where i was confused to were they were, the characters were v The Wild Things is an awesome personal adventure book. Its about a 8 year old boy named Max,and he runs away from home and sails away to find his dad but ends up finding out theres a island filled with what seems to be a family of...BEAST! And Max becomes there king! But hes basicaly on a journey to teach these beast a couple of things. I think the compelling liturary elments was great the setting was very described there wasnt a moment where i was confused to were they were, the characters were very mysteryous but crazy they would be very mad then happy in therye own way, the plot was very well organized Dave Eggers would leave you wanting more each chapter and it would get exting and more and more exciting, and the theme well i think the theme would be the golden rule to treat others the way you would want to be treated and max and the beast need to learn that rule. I think the most important or exciting element was the theme i think this because most people like max dont know how to follow that rule for example max in the book bites his mothers arm and no ine that i know wants to have there arm bitten and also in the book max desides to roll boiling hot rocks of lava down the hill and almost kills Ira, Judith, ALexander and Bull and i know Max and no one wants to almost get KILLED!!! My 3 favorite parts were very in action my the 1st one is when Max started the snowball fight with claires friends i like that part because i love snowball fights there so much fun. My 2nd favorite part was the war because theres so much action in there and everyones having fun at first but it goes totaly wrong. And my 3rd favorite part was when they were building the fort i like this part because everyones geting along and doing what they like and plus i never builded a fort and it sounded real cool. QUESTIONS:1ST WHAT WERE THE CHARACTERS PERSONALITIES? 2ND WHICH BEAST ARE YOU? 3RD WHY DID MAX CHOOSE TO GO BACK IF IT WAS BAD THERE?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    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 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 world. Judith feels like Max's sister, Carol feels like how his real dad must have been, Katherine represents his mother and Alexander seems like his mom's new boyfriend. There are others, but those are the ones that really stood out to me. However, instead of Max being able to rely on the Wild Things to take care of him, the Wild Things make Max their king and it becomes his sole responsibility to try to make them happy. In this way, Max learns to sympathize with the people in his life who he had previously felt betrayed by. It is really lovely and organic the way that it happens. I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows children whose parents are going through a divorce, and in fact anyone who knows children. It is a good reminder that what seems like a gray area to you is really black and white to them and vice versa. Basically, you should just read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dylan 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 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 timeless classic and more confused jumble. Max, the main character, spend the majority of the book on an island full of beasts. Each one has its own personality in concept, but it just tends to come off either one-dimensional or confused. There is very little impact from any of the chapters after Max gets to the island because it reads like a series of barely-connected vignettes. Like, yes, I get that Carol is pretty much Max and that Bull is representative of his father or whatever but I just...don't care? There's not much to MAKE me care. It's not the worst book I've ever read, but there's not a lot that I find in it to recommend it to others to read. The author had a dreamlike idea but just couldn't get the execution right, and I don't really know if that was because it was tied to the movie or not.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yesmo

    I started reading this book thinking the same thing I usually think when I start reading a Dave Eggers book, "Why am I reading this?" There's something weird about reading one of his books. The way he writes, it's too simple or something. I dont know. Well, once again I kept reading anyways. And what do ya know, this book hit me super hard. This book hit me like Catcher in the Rye hit me, i think. Not as life changing, though at 13 its easier for a book to change ones life... maybe not. Im really I started reading this book thinking the same thing I usually think when I start reading a Dave Eggers book, "Why am I reading this?" There's something weird about reading one of his books. The way he writes, it's too simple or something. I dont know. Well, once again I kept reading anyways. And what do ya know, this book hit me super hard. This book hit me like Catcher in the Rye hit me, i think. Not as life changing, though at 13 its easier for a book to change ones life... maybe not. Im really glad I gave this book a chance. It's so sad. And real. But it's not that sad because it's about someone who has a whole future ahead of himself. It just reminds me of being a kid. Lonely. Confused. Misunderstood. Imaginative. Bored. Sad. Man, what a great book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline O'Rourke

    I loved The Wild Things. I had expected to like it, to find it maybe average or even good, but it is fantastic. This version of Max is perhaps the best depiction of a child I've come across in recent memory. His thoughts, feelings, decisions, rationalisations, all felt real, all felt like those of an actual child, and certainly reminded me of myself as a child. The story itself is wonderful. To me, it captures much of the same magic as Where the Wild Things Are. And like its source material, The I loved The Wild Things. I had expected to like it, to find it maybe average or even good, but it is fantastic. This version of Max is perhaps the best depiction of a child I've come across in recent memory. His thoughts, feelings, decisions, rationalisations, all felt real, all felt like those of an actual child, and certainly reminded me of myself as a child. The story itself is wonderful. To me, it captures much of the same magic as Where the Wild Things Are. And like its source material, The Wild Things gives way to much deeper ideas than those presented, and ones that resonate strongly with me. Yet, I also love that The Wild Things is its own story, influenced by the children's book and the film, but its own story all the same. Everything about The Wild Things was surprising. I loved it more than I expected, I flew through it faster than I expected, it made me feel far more than I expected. I can definitely see myself returning to this story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dea

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    O.W.L.S Readathon 2019 | Career: Journalist or Writer | History of Magic: read a book published at least 10 years ago Honestly, I had zero expectations about this book. I had never heard about the picture book that it was based on and it was gifted to me by my aunt (who btw always gives me great books). So long story short, I started to read it and first thing that I noticed was that I loved the writing style, it was so beautiful and poetic without being pretentious; and the second things was that O.W.L.S Readathon 2019 | Career: Journalist or Writer | History of Magic: read a book published at least 10 years ago Honestly, I had zero expectations about this book. I had never heard about the picture book that it was based on and it was gifted to me by my aunt (who btw always gives me great books). So long story short, I started to read it and first thing that I noticed was that I loved the writing style, it was so beautiful and poetic without being pretentious; and the second things was that I could tell that the story had a deeper meaning than a kid that goes into an island and finds a bunch of monsters but I couldn't see it. So, I finished the book and literally said 'That's it??'. Immediately, I go on google and search for reviews of this story and find out that it actually was a ground breaking book when it came out being one of the first children's picture book to deal with dark topics such as anger and violence. Don't want to spoil the book by explaining it all but just read it and then find out more about it, because it's worth it. Loved this book so much!! It's definitely in my favorites :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Martin

    Burn me at the stake, but I have never read anything dealing with Where The Wild Things Are. Haven't seen the movie, haven't read the children's classic. Nada. So, to me, this book was very engrossing. There are so many quotable sections that tackle the turmoil of growing up in an adult's world, about the struggles 'difficult' children endure. The writing was excellent and humorous and it felt like an easy 5 stars from me. Burn me at the stake, but I have never read anything dealing with Where The Wild Things Are. Haven't seen the movie, haven't read the children's classic. Nada. So, to me, this book was very engrossing. There are so many quotable sections that tackle the turmoil of growing up in an adult's world, about the struggles 'difficult' children endure. The writing was excellent and humorous and it felt like an easy 5 stars from me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I’m not against expanding Sendak’s book. After all, Spike Jonze’s 2009 movie is a cult classic in waiting. But making it must have taken a good deal of sanding down Dave Eggers’s quirks and excesses. If you want the raw material, read this novelization.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    3.5 stars Audiobook. Great narrator. Throughout the story I was going to give it 3 stars, but the end made me tear up. Yep. Seems like a 4 star read to me for evoking such emotion. Split the difference.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robert Day

    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 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 and neighbours by his inability to relate to their feelings and concerns. After a day of havoc, he runs away and ends up on an island populated by monsters. He becomes their king, wreaks even more havoc on his subjects and then heads home a wiser and better person. This is, at heart, a classic coming of age/responsibility story, but with monsters. It's based on a much shorter children's book: Where the Wild Things Are and follows the same story, filling in the details and dialogue as it goes on. Because this seems to be such an easy book to listen to and digest, I fear that I missed a lot of the symbolism in the book, for example, each of the monsters has a distinct personality. These probably represent different parts of Max's psyche, or different characters in his life. I missed all that by treating it as an entertaining children's book. On the other hand - perhaps that's what it is. Ho-hum. At the end of the day it's a story about 'a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be a king'. So far as I can see - that happens a lot around here; so that's ok.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo Anne

    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 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 Eggers movie script-adaptation book came out. Eggers has said he made some changes in the book from the movie. I've never liked the writing of Dave Eggers. I wish I could remember why; all I know is, that when I worked in a book store, I talked customers out of buying his books. (Sorry, dude.) The Wild Things is very well written. I have gained new respect for Eggers' work. I hated the book. Why? For one, he messed with a book I felt was perfect on its own; a book that didn't need Spike Jonze or Dave Eggers' paws all over. And second, the book made me look at myself, and why I loved the book so much. As I said, I was a bad kid. According to my parents, that is, and my abusive grandmother. (After years of therapy I realize I was a normal kid with a messed up family.) The book made Max bigger than life; he got reasons for being bad--distant mother, father gone and a sister who is growing up and away from her baby brother. Now here was Max, a total brat, whom I hated. And just like that, my favorite picture book started turning sour. If you have happy memories of the kid book, I suggest you avoid the movie and Eggers' book. Save yourself some ache. I wish I had.

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