Loosely based on Maurice Sendak s beloved children s book Where the Wild Things Are, Eggers novel follows the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can t control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager. At the same time, he finds himself capable of startling acts of wildness: he wears a wolf suit and he bites his mom. During a fight at home, Max flees and runs away into the woods. He finds a boat there, jumps in, and ends up on the open sea, destination unknown. He lands on the island of the Wild Things, and soon he becomes their king. But things get complicated when Max realizes that the Wild Things want as much from him as he wants from them.