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The Wild Things, Dave Eggers (McSweeney's) 

Eggers adds detail but takes away imagination

Filling out the storyline of Maurice Sendak's childhood book Where the Wild Things Are is an uphill battle from page one. The original book is less than 20 sentences and owes its success to vivid illustrations that leave the plot almost entirely to imagination. Dave Eggers' The Wild Things, written on Sendak's suggestion, is a 281-page adventure that removes the reader's imaginative powers. Eggers is talented at writing from a child's ever-shifting perspective, and captures the futility of protagonist Max's reign as king over the island's monsters when monster Carol says, "Go ahead Max, tell them your plan to make everything better for everyone always for all time." Still, I'd rather live my own interpretation of Sendak's world than hop on a boat and sail to Eggers'.

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Vol 26, No 28
December 6, 2018

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