‘The Wild Things / A Novel by Dave Eggers / Adapted from the Illustrated Book / Where the Wild Things Are / by / Maurice Sendak / And based on the Screenplay / Where the Wild Things Are / co-written by DE and / Spike Jonze.’ Thus a note on the title page of Mr Eggers’ novelised adaptation, giving details of his book’s origins and evolution. And how impressive it all sounds: who could fail with such parentage? Sadly, however, the truth is that it fails very badly indeed; there must be few contemporary children’s books which seem so utterly pointless. An original masterpiece which subtly combined text and illustration to provide lasting insights into childhood and its angry volatilities becomes, via a laboured ‘back story’, a thin, plodding narrative of a dysfunctional American family (very American, some would say) and young Max’s attempted escape from it. His temporary refuge is an island ruled over by ‘the wild things’ (now named as, among others, Carol, Douglas and Ira) who come to see the boy as their king and with whom he has a sequence of ‘adventures’. True, there are some humorous and some scary moments but what was once a celebrated ‘wild rumpus’ is now something very tame indeed; very little actually happens and the novel’s occasional moments of speculation about a phenomenon referred to vaguely as ‘the void’ are, well, nothing more than vague. The universal note of Sendak’s classic is here strictly localised – and a great deal (almost everything) is lost in the process.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2010-03-01 00:00:152022-03-06 17:26:04The Wild Things