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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale [Hardcover]

Art Spiegelman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 40.00
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Book Description

Nov. 19 1996 Maus
On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its first publication, here is the definitive edition of the book acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).

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” (The New York Times).

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. 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. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.

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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale + The Complete Persepolis: Now a Major Motion Picture
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“A loving documentary and brutal fable, a mix of compassion and stoicism [that] sums up the experience of the Holocaust with as much power and as little pretension as any other work I can think of.”
The New Republic

“A quiet triumph, moving and simple–impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics.”
–The Washington Post

“Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics’ history: something that actually occurred…. The central relationship is not that of cat and mouse, but that of Art and Vladek. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt.”
The New Yorker

“All too infrequently, a book comes along that’s as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman’s Maus is just such a book.”

“An epic story told in tiny pictures.”
The New York Times

“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 Feffer

About the Author

Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for The New Yorker, and a co-founder / editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His drawings and prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for Maus include the Pulitzer Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly, and their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

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

Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 23 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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7 of 7 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 Profound, Deep and Important book July 22 2003
A comic book on the Holocost? That includes a love story? And humor? Seems far fetched, but somehow it works. Very well, at that.
Spiegelman weaves three stories between two books. First and foremost is the story of his father Vladek's survival of the Holocost. Second is Art and Vladek coming to grips with each other, a relationship that is strained at best. Lastly is the story of Vladek's love for his wife Anja, and how Art and Vladek come to grips with her death.
This is no Hollywood story. The humor is dark, at best. No punches are pulled with the Holocost. There is no great happy ending. The book covers how people cope with the terrible. It does so in a very real and true manner. Truly gripping.
The author is to be commended to be opening up his life, as well as the lives of his family. The honesty makes for gripping and disturbing coverage of a most important topic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SImply amazing. I thought it was maybe overhyped
SImply amazing. I thought it was maybe overhyped, but even with all these high expectations, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Buy without even thinking about it!
Published 1 month ago by Jean-Philippe Bouchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great quality!
Published 1 month ago by Desiree Dunbar
4.0 out of 5 stars Of mice and men
A fascinating tale about the holocaust written from the son of a holocaust survivor.
The story is well written with animal characters uniquely representing ethnic cultures and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cassisa
5.0 out of 5 stars He liked it. Five stars in my eyes
Bought as a gift. He liked it. Five stars in my eyes.
Published 2 months ago by Coady Noel
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great graphic novels
Art Spiegelman is a great graphic artist and a talented storyteller. How ingenious it is to tell a story about the Holocaust by portraying the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats.
Published 5 months ago by Imran Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtley effects you
I had heard that this book was a must read and one of the greatest graphic books of all time. While the hype raised the bar a bit too far, this book was a splendid read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wade A
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 6 months 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 9 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 11 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 17 months ago by Adam Ding
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