The Wild Things

Published June 18, 2009 by Graham


Dave Eggers’ 300 page young adult novel, The Wild Things, will be released on October 1st. You can pre-order a copy today from the McSweeney’s store, in either the standard edition, or the fur-covered edition. Yes, you heard that right: you can own a copy of this book covered in the real fur of an actual wild thing. McSweeney’s never stops raising the bar in the field of rad book design. The art of bookmaking lives on! Here’s what Eggers had to say about what The Wild Things is and how it came to be, in a December 2007 interview with The Montreal Gazette:

When we were in the middle of [writing the script], Maurice called me and somebody had brought up the idea of there being a novel, too, and he asked me if I would do it.

… We all really get along – Spike and Maurice and I always had the same goals for the movie, and the novelization, too, which was to sort of reinstitute the dangerous elements of that book. Because when it came out (in 1963), it was pretty controversial and some librarians didn’t like it, and child psychologists thought it was, you know, unhelpful. (laughs) And it was really morally ambiguous in a way. It showed a kid sort of disobeying his mother and acting crazy – which all kids do, but you still don’t see much of in children’s literature. It’s too often, I think, washed clean.

Spike and Maurice and I just decided we needed to make the book wild and dangerous again and really unexpected. So the movie is really unlike anything anyone will expect, I think. And the book is different from both of them, actually. It has Max and Max going to an island, but in the book I’m able to (develop) the storyline also – as a book can always do. You have a lot more room to play with. The (picture) book is 150 words, the movie is 90 minutes, the novel gets to be a whole different level.

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5 comments so far

  1. J.M. says:

    This will look great on the shelf next to my pigskin-covered copy of Charlotte’s Web.

  2. Alice says:

    Hands down, this is going to the top of my must purchase list.

    I’m so pleased this film adaptation as resulted in an expansion of the story in novel form – and by Dave Eggers no less – it’s Christmas come early!

  3. McHank says:

    need it.

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