3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Maus I & II represent a fascinating account of the Holocaust from the perspective of one survivor and his son. The idea of using different animals to represent different types of people ends up creating a very human story - even more so when the author doesn't shy away from revealing the moral weaknesses of his own protagonists (including himself).
Published on June 23 2008 by Daniel Silver
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I expected
I'm Jewish and easily depressed, so I expected to be very moved by this tale. But I wasn't. I was freaked out-Art portrays Jewish life well and I was honestly scared for the characters-but not moved. I did not cry. Then again, I'd probably give it four stars if it weren't for my high expectations. I'm definitely definitely going to buy the next installment though.
Published on June 14 2004 by Newbia
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Maus" is a Graphic Novel You Cannot Miss,
By A Customer
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)I read both "Maus" books awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed them. They are well-thought out, creative and informative. It was pure luck to stumble upon them, seeming as how my two favorite book genres are "talking animal" fantasy and historical fiction. This graphic novel combined my two loves and was entertaining and fast-paced. It tells the story of a young mouse (a Jew) living during the Holocaust and his fight to survive. Spiegelman's tale is well-researched, as it is based on his father's own experiences in Europe during WWII. A must read for graphic novel fans and sheer delight for other readers, too.
5.0 out of 5 stars An ASTONISHING Tale...,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)"Maus I" is a powerful and awe-inspiring experience. I have never read anything quite like it, I have to admit. It's really hard to comprehend the term "page-turner" until you read this very unique and intense tale of surviving one of the most terrible times in history.
Written in comic book form, Art Spiegelman tells the tale of his father's hardships and survival in the Holocaust. Vladek Spiegelman (his father) was a POW, but managed to sneak out of one of the camps that held him, only to later have him and his whole family thrown into terrible death camps. Uncertain of what tragedies they would endure or when they may be the next to be sent to Auschwitz, Vladek was always certain that they would make it out alive, no matter what obstacles were thrown in their way. This is a survivor's tale, as well as a tale of how a son tries to patch up a damaged relationship with his father. The account we are given is absolutely horrifying, but at the same time triumphant.
I literally could not put this book down once I started it. It's a very fast and easy read. This is a great advantage because this makes it easier for those who do not read a lot to be able to read it without any problems. It's an important tale that needs to be told and it is one that needs to be read by as many people as possible. The Holocaust is something we should never forget and it's something that needs to be taught to everyone. This book is a great way to get people aware of the situation who may not know a lot about that terrible time.
The comic book structure and style really makes the story work. While this is something I could've read in plain text or in a regular novel, the drawings help you experience just exactly what is taking place. It makes it easier for you to want to continue reading without forcing you to strain yourself. The style and structure also insures that more people will give it a chance and read it.
"Maus I" is an important tale of survival, hope, hardships and family. It's a tale worth being told, that much I can assure you. If you have never read this before, I strongly recommend that you pick it up sometime and give it a chance. It is an easy and fast read that will give you an experience like none you have ever encountered. It may be a sad and terrible tale to hear, but to know that somebody can survive such a horrendous scenario like the Holocaust and come out of it alive just goes to show you how strong a person can be, both inside and out. It is an important tale that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, very touching, very worthwhile.,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)I will admit I had to read this for a class I was taking about modern Jewish history. But I also chose to take said class and was very curious about the subject matter. Maus was the third and last biographical work that we read in class (Solomon Maimon's and Pauline Wengeroff's autobiographies being the others) and it was easily the most unique.
When I told friends that I was reading a comic book about the Holocaust I received many strange looks. But there was always one response that made people understand: The author's father survived the Holocaust and he wanted to tell his father's story in the medium he knew best. Art Spiegelman puts unsurpassed passion into this work that ties his father and mother's struggles in wartime Poland as well as his own struggles with his geriatric father thirty years later.
Told with a serious tone overlaid with characters where Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, Germans are cats, and the other nationalities are equally represented in animal form, Maus proved to be an extremely unique and endlessly fascinating and tragic biography. I have never been one for reading comic books, but Art Spiegelman's effort can do nothing less than elevate the respect anyone could have for the art form.
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and powerful - visually and literally,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)This is a very powerful and heart-rending tale of a couple (Vladek and Anja Spiegelman) who survived the holocaust. The artwork, although messy in places, is perfect in setting the scene (In response to David Werking, it is clear that Art Spiegelman did this on purpose...if you don't believe men look at his drawings in RAW magazine). The duality of the story line is very well worked as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must Read for everyone,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)This is a story of a survivor of the Holicaust told by his son. The book is in the form of a comic book with the Jews taking the form of mice and the Germans are cats. I have read many books on this subject but have never been in such awe of a stoy teller. Told in a illastated manner makes this must tell story avalable to a wider group of readers. This book should be in the hands of everyone. It is an important story to tell.
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!!,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)I thought this book was outstanding. As a teen, it gave me a very clear understanding of the Holocaust by using so many types of symbolism, and I learned a-lot about the war while reading it. One part of the symbolism that I really liked was the fact that the Jews were mice, and the Germans were cats who all they wanted to do was to kill the mice. The only part that I had a problem with, was that he made the Polish people pigs. Even though that is not politically correct, it didn't ruin the book. After reading the book, I was sad that it was over because it read so fast. This is definitely one of those books that you have trouble putting down. Although I have to admit, some parts got a little boring because of all of the descriptiveness, it did not cut into my love of this book. I believe that everyone should read this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Part I of a Holocaust studies masterpiece,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)The first part of Art Spiegelman's two-volume graphic novel, Maus, depicts the real-life experiences of his father Vladek, a Polish Jew who with his wife Anja became enveloped in the Nazi occupation of Poland and after two years of harsh survival, was finally caught and sent to Auschwitz in 1944. Artie is trying to write about his father's experiences in an honest way, and through interviews, to understand his father, with whom he has been at loggerheads. What he learns is that despite his father's survival at the camps, the experience has seared him, leaving him spiritually and emotionally burnt whole.
The graphic novel format using animalization allows Spiegelman to delineate the ethnic differences perceived by the racialism in the Nazi world view. The depiction of the Jews as mice can be taken in the context of many things. One, cats chase and eat mice. Two, Joseph Goebbels depicted the Jews as scuttling rats in one of his propaganda films. Three, mice are on the lower end of the food web, beset by many predators. Mice are mainly herbivorous, with no allies. The Jews had no allies to stand up for them in the anti-Jewish measures that took place in the Third Reich.
Germans are portrayed as cats. Apart from the generalization that cats eat mice, cats are also known for their cruelty, playing with whatever prey that have caught, before eating it, many times when that prey is half alive. Pogroms and killing methods used by the Germans were nothing but cruel. And Americans are dogs, who chase and kill cats, and Spiegelman's depicts them that way as they were on the Allied side.
The conflict between Artie and Vladek plays another vital role in Maus. Artie, by being raised in New York, was imbued with the American virtues of individualism and seeking one's own destiny, a far cry from his parents' values of maintaining close ties to the family, such as following their expectations of him in vocation and marital life. While he was aware of his parents' sordid experiences, he could not adequately relate to what they had gone through. After what they have gone through, Anja and Vladek demand gratitude from Artie.
For Vladek, the key is struggling for life till the last moment, a survival strategy he adopts when they hear news of the death of Richieu. Anja breaks down in the streets says she wants to die. To which Vladek replies, "No, darling! To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life! Until the last moment we must struggle together!"
"Never again" is the oft-heard phrase regarding the Holocaust. Never again would the world allow such a systematic, inhumane wave of genocide. Yet Vladek continued to live as if the Holocaust could happen again. He continued his survival habits to the exasperation of his wife Mala. Artie remarks how his father collects junk, like a pack rat--pun sort of intended. Mala angrily points out, "he's more attached to things than to people!" He finds attachment to things rather than people, as those things helped him survive the camps. But the greater picture reveals how Vladek has lost his faith in humanity. After all, how could the world silently watch six million people "burnt whole?"
Vladek may not be a likable character, but the point is he survived, at the point of having a bunker mentality. Mala angrily says of him that "it causes him physical pain to part with even a nickel," which causes a conflict within Artie, who does not want to paint his father as "racist cariacature the miserly old Jew" but wants to portray his father accurately."
Which Art Spiegelman does, using the unique dynamics of a graphic novel and animalization to create an honest and heart-wrenching story.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book with scary information.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)It can be very difficult for a book to truly tell the full story of the terror and strife that people had to go through during the holocaust. Art Spiegelman does a great job of telling this story in a way not widely used. His book Maus is a graphic novel of his father's holocaust story. The subject not only is the holocaust but also the psychological damage it caused many of those who lived through it.
Maus tells a story of the holocaust from one who lived through it. He is telling his son his many different experiences and how he was able to live through it. Also it gives very interesting information on how his father's life was changed forever because of what happened to him. Among many things his father cannot throw food away and hates spending money on things that you do not desperately need. Great detail is in the experiences from the holocaust and much of it is quite frightening that any person would ever have to go through something like that.
There are many different problems and challenges that Vladek, Art's father, had to face during his lifetime. One of the most difficult would of course be his holocaust experience. Being taken from his home and shipped to Auschwitz where he and his wife were separated into two separate camps and not allowed to see each other. It was his ability to communicate with the guards and also in ingenuity that really made him strong enough to survive.
When he was still in the "Quarantine Block" he befriended on of the polish leaders of the barracks. By teaching him English he was able to miss any of the firing squads that were there to help take down the numbers of Jewish that were in the camp. The Polish guard or "Kapo" also gave him food and clothing for his help.
Vladek's struggles stayed with him his entire life though. Even when he was very old and telling his son Art about his experiences he was in very poor health and was very lonely after his first wife committed suicide and his second left him. He found living very difficult and many people thought he was quite crazy with his many eccentricities. After his wife left she had left some cereal he could not eat so he took the half-eaten box to the grocery store and asked for some money back for it because he could not stand to waste any food after going for such a long time without any.
I thought that Maus was a very good book and was very well written. It was a completely different book than I am used to reading and it suited me quite well. The story is very sad but throughout it the characters make many changes as they all try to work together to help resolve Vladek's holocaust experience and the after math of it. Reading a graphic novel lends a lot to a book because it really allows the author to show the picture of exactly what he wants you to feel about the situation. It really focuses your attention on the things that are of great importance that may be overlooked in a regular book. I feel that anyone that would really like to get a good idea of what people had to go through during the holocaust should really read this book and they are sure to not be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting way to write about the holocaust,
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)I just read "Maus" for my history class and thought this was a great way to write about the holocaust. While keeping all of the seriousness, Spiegelman chose a way write which would interest readers of every age. By making it into a comic book, it will definitely attract many teenagers and college students and teach them lots of interesting facts about world war II. I thought Spiegelman did a great job cutting back and forth between his father's holocaust stories to the relationship between his father and him, it continued to remind me this was all a true story. Overall, this was a very depressing story and also a very informative one. All the stories about Spiegelman's father continuously running from the Nazi's made me realize what I have in life. After I was done, I was still blown away that Vladek survived the holocaust, there were so many times where he could have been killed, starved to death or just times when he could have given up and decided that was it. The part where Vladek described the Nazi's killing crying children by grabbing them by the feet and smashing them into a wall was just horrible, I will never be able to imagine what any Jew went through in the 40's. To sum it up, I would definitely reccomend this book to people of all ages, a very unique book with lots of style. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, I'm sure it's just as good.
4.0 out of 5 stars Maus A Story Of The Holocaust,
By A Customer
This review is from: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Paperback)"Maus: My Father Bleeds History" is a very interesting book. It is written in a way not many books are. The comic book outline is very unique. It is like a comic book within itself. The thing is that this is not a comical story. The story is about the Holocaust. Another interesting aspect about this story are the main characters. They are animals. The Jews are are mice, the Poles are the pigs, and the Germans are the cats.
Art Spieglman is the son of Vladek Spieglman, a Holocaust survivor. He is also a survivor in life. Art is a comic book artist who is writing about his father's life as a Jew in World World 2 Europe. Vladek's hardships and the mistreatment of the Jews are hard at times to read and the illustrations make the story feel much more real. The struggles of trying to survive, not knowing who is your friend or enemy, and the personal relationships between the characters, make this a memorable story.
This book is good for anyone who likes history and a personal story. I recommend this to anyone who doesn't want to do a lot of reading. The things people go through in extraordinary circumstances make you think what you might go through if you were faced with those same problems. Basically this book makes you think. Which is a good thing, because for me that means it's good.
On a scale of 1-5, I give this story a 4.5.
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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman (Paperback - Aug. 12 1986)
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