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The Complete MAUS, english edition: Art Spiegelman Paperback – 2 Oct. 2003
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The first and only graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize, MAUS is a brutally moving work of art about a Holocaust survivor -- and the son who survives him
'The first masterpiece in comic book history' The New Yorker
Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Approaching the unspeakable through the diminutive (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father.
Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits, studying the bloody pawprints of history and tracking its meaning for those who come next.
HAILED AS THE GREATEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OF ALL TIME, THIS COMBINED, DEFINITIVE EDITION INCLUDES MAUS I: A SURVIVOR'S TALE AND MAUS II.
'The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust'Wall Street Journal
'A brutally moving work of art' Boston Globe
'No summary can do justice to Spiegelman's narrative skill' Adam Gopnik
'Like all great stories, it tells us more about ourselves than we could ever suspect' Philip Pullman
'A capital-G Genius' Michael Chabon
One of the clichés about the Holocaust is that you can't imagine it - Spiegelman disproves this theory ― Independent
A brutally moving work of art ― Boston Globe
In the tradition of Aesop and Orwell, it serves to shock and impart powerful resonance to a well-documented subject. The artwork is so accomplished, forceful and moving ― TimeOut
Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics' history: something that actually occurred. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt ― New Yorker
An epic story told in tiny pictures ― New York Times
The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust ― Wall Street Journal
Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep...when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world and long for the sequel that will return you to it -- Umberto Eco
A remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness...an unfolding literary event ― New York Times Book Review
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in 'drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust' ― New York Times
A quiet triumph, moving and simple - impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics ― Washington Post
All too infrequently, a book comes along that' s as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman's Maus is just such a book ― Esquire
A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution... at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant -- Jules Feiffer
Maus is a masterpiece, and it's in the nature of such things to generate mysteries, and pose more questions than they answer. But if the notion of a canon means anything, Maus is there at the heart of it. Like all great stories, it tells us more about ourselves than we could ever suspect -- Philip Pullman
Spiegelman's Maus changed comics forever. Comics now can be about anything -- Alison Bechdel
Reading [his work] has been an amazing lesson in storytelling ― Etgar Keret
It can be easy to forget how much of a game-changer Maus was. ― Washington Post
From the Back Cover
- ASIN : 0141014083
- Publisher : Penguin; 1st edition (2 Oct. 2003)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780141014081
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141014081
- Dimensions : 16.4 x 1.7 x 23.3 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 July 2019
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The first and most important thing to make note of is that this is a completely true story. It isn’t a piece of fiction based in the truth of Auschwitz, it is a true account of Art Spiegelman’s father’s life during World War II. It is a heavy and intense read, but completely incredible.
The second important thing you need to know about this book is that it is a graphic novel. It is masterfully drawn, with plenty of narration which makes it easy to read even if you’re not a regular graphic novel reader. The metaphorical representation of people is a massive part of this book. Jews are drawn as mice, Nazis as cats, the Allies as dogs, and Poles as pigs. This is an incredibly effective commentary on stereotypes, and highlights the absurdity of dividing people by nationality.
The brutal honesty about life as a Jew during the Nazi occupation is shocking and horrific, but truly, truly fascinating. On another level, the relationship between Art and Vladek is also explored, and it really shows how the children of survivors can be so affected by the experience of their parents.
Maus isn’t an easy or pleasant read by any means, but it is powerful and it’s essential. If you’re into graphic novels, you MUST read this book. If you’re into historical accounts and memoirs, you MUST read this book. If you read anything at all, you MUST read this book.
I've got nothing to add that hasn't been said already but just do yourself a favour and read it.
There are no human faces in this book. The Jews are depicted as mice, the Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs, Americans as dogs etc.
There is a split perception of mice as animals. On one side they are portrayed in much of children’s literature are cute and non-threatening, and on the other as vermin to be exterminated. Above all, they are powerless in the presence of larger, more predatory animals (such as cats). Mice being slaughtered evokes sympathy in a way that the extermination of other ‘vermin’, such as rats, never could.
When the story begins, Vladek is a successful businessman in Poland, courting Anja. Slowly the rumours of anti-Jewish attacks by Nazis in Germany and Czechoslovakia reach them. At first it is seen as a problem elsewhere, but bit by bit, the danger that the Polish Jewish community is in becomes apparent – but it is too late. The story deals with the attempts at hiding and sending of children to supposedly safer places, and then the rounding up of the Jews and the deportations to Auschwitz. Vladek’s life in Auschwitz and then later in Dachau is told, along with the luck and ingenuity that enabled Vladek to stay alive, when so many around him perished.
Vladek is not a sympathetic character. While he may have physically survived the Holocaust, his personality has been forever damaged by his experiences. He is unable to have a close relationship with his son or his second wife. Instincts that enabled him to survive, form a barrier between himself and everyone around him. In some ways, his mind seems to have never left Dachau. Because of this, the trauma of the Holocaust lasts well beyond the 1940s, and impacts directly on the offspring – and further generations – of the survivors. Art wants to understand the difficult man who is his father, and writing/drawing this book is his way of doing that.
This is not a book to enjoy reading. It is an important witness account, that needs to be documented and read. The black and white drawings (colour only on the cover) underline the seriousness of the content and the desperation of the world at that time, and have a visceral impact on the reader.
I highly recommend this book – to everyone.
As someone who loves learning about history, I was always going to like this graphic memoir. And while I’m on a bid to introduce myself to more non fiction, a graphic memoir was the perfect way to start that.
So this is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, drawn through his son, Art Spiegelman. And that one point alone – how it was done – was the main crux of my enjoyment. Because it wasn’t just the story of war. Oh no. Instead of simply drawing what his father said, Art Spiegelman actually drew the entire process. He drew himself visiting his dad, coaxing him into telling more of his story. He drew what he was like in later life, a small snapshot into how all this affected him long-term. And through that, I found myself feeling like I was sat right in front of Vladek Spiegelman – him in a chair, myself cross legged on the floor – while he told his story. How a graphic memoir can do that, with so little words in comparison to novels, is beyond me. But I loved it.
And then we have the art. Completely black and white with quite a sketchy look, each page is packed with drawings. It can look a bit overwhelming at first, but I personally think it suits the story really well. There’s the metaphor too – the Nazis are drawn as cats, terrorising the mice (ding ding ding, we have the title: Maus). Such a simple way to explain things, in a time when things weren’t simple at all. Suitable for a graphic memoir though, since there’s not really much leverage in explaining who each person on the page is and which “side” they belong to.
I expected to get emotional. But… I didn’t. I have a feeling that’s partly to do with the fact it’s a graphic memoir, and not as much time is spent describing how horrendous everything is. But also because of Vladek Spiegelman himself. It’s his story, yet as he tells it, he doesn’t seem to reveal many emotions. He just…tells the story. Here are the facts. This is what happened.
Though I might have felt more had a bit more been revealed about Art Spiegelman’s mother. In the beginning, it’s mentioned that she committed suicide after the war, and while it does go into it a little bit, nothing about that is really explained. Granted, that may be because they don’t know much themselves. But still. She’s mentioned so often throughout the memoir – as you would expect – but she herself doesn’t seem to be in it much. I’d have liked to see more of her.
As hard as they try, books will never be able to portray these events accurately. Nothing will. There’s a nod to that even in this book. But with things like these, though I (luckily) may not be able to imagine such ongoing hunger, such heartbreak, the pain and suffering…I might be able to understand a bit more. I can read books like this and know that at least their story isn’t going untold. At least I’ll be here, remembering for them. And that is the least I can do.