“It’s the “Mirror, Mirror” version of when a beloved book is turned into a crappy movie. It’s “Wild Things” with a goatee.”

where-the-wild-things-are-maurice-sendakMaurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, has been turned into a Spike Jonze movie.  I’m not sure when it’s coming out.  Can you sense my lack of enthusiasm?  I’m skeptical.

More intriguing is the forthcoming novelization – of the original book, not the movie – by Dave Eggers.  An excerpt of the book is now available at the New Yorker’s website.  I commented, elsewhere:  “Eggers fans will go berserk with delight, haters will reach new heights of apoplectic fury.”  If nothing else, it’s bound to stir some interesting discussions, and maybe a few enjoyable other reverse-novelizations (I’d be interested in reading the novel for Curious George Gets a Medal).  From the New Yorker excerpt:

Max knew that a bunk bed was the perfect structure to use when building an indoor fort. First of all, bunk beds have a roof, and a roof is essential if you’re going to have an observation tower. And you need an observation tower if you’re going to spot invading armies before they breach your walls and overtake your kingdom. Anyone without a bunk bed would have a much harder time maintaining a security perimeter, and if you can’t do that you don’t stand a chance.

Max had just done a quick survey of the area surrounding his bunk kingdom and was now down on the lower bunk, where he could be unseen and unknown. For a while, he thought about what his science teacher had been talking about earlier that day—that someday the sun would die. Mr. Malhotra had sensed that the mood in the class was darkening, that he’d scared his third graders, and had tried to brighten things: “What am I talking about? I’m being such a downer. Don’t worry about the sun dying! You and everyone you know will be long gone by then!”

It was a very strange time in Max’s life. The day before, his sister had tried, by proxy, to kill him. Her tobacco-chewing friends had chased him into his snow fort, and at the moment when he felt safest, in the cool white hollow, they had jumped on the roof, burying him. His sister had done nothing to help, and then had driven off with them, and to punish her, because she was no longer his sister, he’d doused her room with water. Buckets and buckets he’d emptied everywhere, in a furious, joyous process. It had been great, and felt so right, until his mother came home and found what he’d done. She was mad, Claire was mad, and so, tonight, the only person in the house who seemed to like him was his mom’s chinless boyfriend, Gary, and even thinking that sent a shudder through him.

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