I’m making this a thing because I have so many old favorite books crowding around my heart. I was looking through my shelves and touching all of these old favorites fondly when I felt something furry and remembered The Wild Things by Dave Eggers, the novelization he wrote for the live-action film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.
I was working at Barnes and Noble when the film happened and had first access to all of the sweet new merch (a definite perk). There were stuffed wild things, posters, and lots of special editions- including this incredible edition of The Wild Things covered in fur. I already had a copy of The Wild Things (because duh… Dave Eggers) but could not pass up one that was fluffy. I had never and (ten years later) have never seen a furry book that was not a novelty.
The story inside is anything but a novelty. It perfectly captures the intensity and bigness of the feelings you have when you are a child. Every small disaster feels like the worst thing that has ever happened to you- because, at that point in your life, it really is the worst thing that has ever happened to you. There’s something so bittersweet about that, especially to adults, because we know how much worse these small disasters will get.
Eggers has a way of capturing big emotional truths using simple language. You get so much out of this one simple sentence- “Max’s dad lived in the city and phoned on Wednesdays and Sundays but sometimes did not.” The Wild Things is full of deceptive emotional punches like that, and they accumulate and get bigger until they hit you all at once in a landslide. It’s beautiful writing but it’s painful as well- much like the movie.
A lot of people didn’t like the movie because it turned a nostalgic favorite children’s story into something so adult and sad. But I think each work should be treated separately and valued for what they are. For what it was, I enjoyed the movie. For what it was, I enjoyed the children’s book. And for what it is, I really enjoyed The Wild Things.
You can find the gorgeous hardcover edition here but alas, I cannot find the furry edition anywhere. You might have better luck on ebay or (you will likely need Felix Felicis for this level of luck) your local Half-Price Books.
What are some of your old favorites?