Eggers’ WILD THINGS Reviewed

Dave Eggers was interviewed on NPR’s All things Considered last night about the process of working with Spike Jonze on the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are.

In the intro, the hosts mention Eggers’ new book, The Wild Things, and call it “novelization” of the movie. Good thing Eggers didn’t hear that; he has described it as distinct from the movie, saying The Wild Things is his version of Sendak’s book, just as the movie is Spike Jonze’s version.

Aside from Eggers’ own descriptions, there has been little information available about the book; there were no prepub reviews and it wasn’t even clear what age group it’s aimed at. Libraries that bought it have classified it as adult.

Two reviews that appeared this week are diametrically opposed on both the book’s quality and its potential audience.

Boston Globe

Eggers has written a book for readers of all ages, without dumbing down his prose. But his highest achievement is in having found a fresh way to tell us a story we already know so well, about the monstrous forces of love and hate that mark every childhood – and pursue us howling into adulthood.

Washington Post, Michael Dirda

[Eggers has] turned a timeless picture-book classic into a contemporary problem novel for children 8 to 12. Of course, its marketers hope that grown-ups — racked with nostalgia or fans of Eggers’s popular earlier work — will read The Wild Things as a kind of enriched version of their long-ago bedtime favorite.

…All in all, [the book] is intermittently amusing but far more conventional than it should be. Eight- to 12-year-olds will like the book, but older readers — those “children of all ages” — won’t be starting a wild rumpus over it.

The Wild Things
Dave Eggers
Retail Price: $19.95
Hardcover: 300 pages
Publisher: McSweeney’s – (2009-10-13)
ISBN / EAN: 1934781614 / 9781934781616

The audio version uses the art from the movie:

The Wild Things (Library Edition)
Dave Eggers


5 Tapes; 9781433297328; $29.98

1 Playaway; 9781433297397;11/01/09 ;$59.99

1 MP3CD; 9781433297366; $14.98

5 CDs; 9781433297335; $45.00

Audio is downloadable from OverDrive


A book on the making of the movie is also available:

Heads On and We Shoot: The Making of Where the Wild Things Are
Editors Of Mcsweeney’s, Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers
Retail Price: $39.99
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: It Books – (2009-10-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061645567 / 9780061645563

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