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Complete Maus [Paperback]

Art Spiegelman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
I went out to see my Father in Rego Park. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark comics work May 9 2004
"Maus," Art Spiegelman's moving tale of the Holocaust and how it impacts a family a generation later, is hailed as a comics classic for a reason. It is a landmark work that transcends the term "comics."
Through the seemingly absurd decision to use animals in place of people - Jews are mice, for instance, while Nazis are cats - Spiegelman manages to avoid coming across as heavy-handed, exploitative and melodramatic. The reader never feels that they are reading an educational tome with badly drawn people better suited for school than compelling entertainment. Instead, through the use of universal cartoon imagery, the emotional tug of the story is successfully conveyed.
Two threads are woven throughout. The first deals with the Holocaust directly, from the years before Jews were taken to the camps and then to release. The second thread deals with Spiegelman's relationship with his father many years later, and that relationship's ups and downs as the author tries to get the oral history he needs to tell the tale of "Maus." All of the pain, confusion, death, turmoil and horror of the Holocaust comes home, as does the autobiographical tale interwoven throughout of the author's relationship with his father - who is also the central figure of Holocaust survival.
Modern editions of this book ("Maus" was originally published in serial form) are generally produced very well. The two-book slipcase offered here is sturdy and attractive to look at. The pages are printed on thick, glossy stock. The black and white artwork really shines, every stroke visible and vibrant. Mine has been read multiple times and still looks great.
"Maus" is compelling reading that requires no great love of comics to enjoy. History lovers, those interested in the Holocaust, and people who like stories about family struggles will enjoy this. Readers will quickly forget they are reading a comic, instead becoming wrapped up in the story Spiegelman has to tell. A highly recommended buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maus brought it all home Dec 31 2003
By A Customer
Growing up Jewish, the Holocaust became an inevitable part of my identity. In school and in my brief religious education I've read book after book after book, seen documentary after documentary, explaining to me in gut-wrenching detail what happened to my ancestors at the hands of the Nazis. Sad to say, after so many accounts, so many black-and-white photos of skeletons and diary entries of anguished children, I felt like I'd seen it all. I thought there was nothing to surprise me about the Holocaust. Then, in seventh grade, my Hebrew school teacher handed me a box covered with cartoon pictures of cowering mice and towering cats. Inside were two slim red-backed books of cartoons. He said, "We're reading this in class. Go ahead and get a head start."
I've read Maus I and II several times since then, and each time it surprises me with its understated power. It's an almost magical combination of words and images that coalesce into two--almost three--parallel stories: that of Vladek Spiegelman's survival and eventual liberation from Auschwitz, and his relationship with his beloved, slightly unstable wife Anja, who committed suicide after the war; and that of the progress of Vladek's relationship with his grown son Art, the author of these books. By recreating his parents' world, before and during the Holocaust, Art Spiegelman attempts to understand how those experiences shaped his father, and tries to come to terms with his own frustration in dealing with Vladek now, a stubborn, bitter, ultimately fragile old man.
Spiegelman's cartoon images are brutal--not, for the most part, because they're horrifically graphic, but because the angular line drawings, the opaque shadows, and the humanoid animals lend a creepy surrealism to the stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Tremendous April 4 2003
The title of this review consists of words I don't use too often. But this is a masterpiece that deserved its Pulitzer Prize and then some. What makes Spiegelman's work so moving is the juxtaposition of a supposedly lighthearted form, the comic strip, with the greatest evil and suffering in human history, the Holocaust. Spiegelman's parents miraculously survived the concentration camps, being among very few survivors, getting by on luck and (in the case of Spiegelman's father) a lot of resourcefulness. This is their story, from the point of view of the father, who lost nearly all of his relatives. With the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats, this work pulls no punches in describing the true horrors of the Holocaust, and Spiegelman's minimalist artwork makes the images all the more disturbing. You don't get this kind of emotion, terror, and brutal honesty in standard written accounts of the period. But underneath the direct suffering of the Holocaust, the true theme of this book is the lasting effects on the Spiegelman family, including the father's lasting agony and the mental illness shared by both Spiegelman's mother and himself, who hadn't even been born yet. The strained relationship between father and son are the true heart of this tremendous work. I haven't been this blown away by a work of literature in a very long time, if ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, touching, masterful Feb. 20 2012
You don't have to be a WWII aficionado to be able to appreciate this book. It is a masterwork of storytelling as well as a touching story. Art Spielberg created something magical and engaging. A must read.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Constructed
I've been buying these for my High School History/English department for about 5 years. The book is brilliant. The rating is on the quality of the binding. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Ted Goldring
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
A wonderfully told story, and someday when my kids are older I will encourage them to read it as well. A part of history that must be shared. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Zeb Hansell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great title
For fan of graphic novel, WWII or simply new poeple to comic, it's a great duo of book. The price is very low on Amazon.
Published 5 months ago by Dom
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
A true legendary cartoon book, very inspiring, arresting and touching. The best of its kind in many ways. Easy to read and hard to let it go.
Published 11 months ago by Adam Ding
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a historic book
All comic nerds have heard of Maus. Get this book set. The next person who insults your comic reading-give them this. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marjorie Lynn Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars CD-ROM info, version info, sys requirements
Here's the missing technical specs:
First released in US by Voyager-NY in 1994, released in Canada as a 'CityROM' by CityTV/CHUM licensed from Voyager by 1996. Read more
Published on June 7 2009 by †sångerßånger
5.0 out of 5 stars Little people deserve recognition
Maus tells us brilliantly the personal tale of an exceptional
survivor of the nazi period. We now see other minorities being
targeted for destruction by states, such as... Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2004 by Jean Charles Cachon
1.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Sanctimonious Telling of the Holocaust
This is yet another sanctimonious telling of the Holocaust. Maus is the blatant type of trivialization being taught to our children that leaves most unaware of the other victims of... Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Ryan S.
1.0 out of 5 stars Anti-Polish Propaganda
While this a moving account of one families experience during the holocaust, the depiction of Poles as pigs in Spiegelman's "Maus" an unfair and highly insulting caricature. Read more
Published on May 20 2004 by Edward Pawlus
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad book
This is probably the worst book i've ever read. If you are looking for a horrible book to fall asleep with, then wake up screaming at the horrible comic book format, this is... Read more
Published on April 7 2004
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