21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark comics work
"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...
Published on May 9 2004 by Eric San Juan
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maus was excellent, but not touching.
The story line of Maus was a good idea. It follows the relationship of a son a father, growing up in two different worlds: pre- and post-WWII. It also follows the struggles of a Nazi persecution. I liked the format (comix) and layout. It was really aesthetically appealing and much more effective than just reading the dialogue. However, it was not AFFECTIVE. I was not...
Published on Oct. 18 1999
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for students, too.,
I first read this set in my first year of college as required reading for my freshman seminar. At first, my classmates and I were taken aback by the format--it is anything but "academic" in appearance. Once I delved into it however, I discovered the utterly compelling aspect of this tale! I was so engaged by Maus I and II, originally reading them weeks before I was supposed to. I enjoyed reading it again when it came time to discuss these works in class! I was also amazed and pleasantly surprised at the inclusion of this set to my freshman curriculum, meaning that my school recognized the art form of the graphic novel as something far greater in value than just a glorified "comic book".
I would highly recommend this set as an addition to an academic curriculum, particularly on a high school and college level. It presents the subject of the Holocaust in a completely novel way--your students will not be able to put it down, and your class discussions will be afire with ideas.
5.0 out of 5 stars How do you talk about the Holocaust,
By A Customer
Spiegelman skillfully uses the comic-book style to examine one of the most difficult subjects of the last century.
5.0 out of 5 stars A daring format for a moving tale,
When I first heard about MAUS, I was among the most negative of skeptics. What did Art Spiegelman mean by producing a COMIC BOOK version of the Holocaust? Wouldn't this trivialize a great tragedy? How could anyone even THINK of reducing it to "Bam! Zap! Pow!" and other such stereotypes? The very idea offended me. Then I actually READ read the book -- and discovered how wrong my assumptions were.
Let's face it, folks -- most books on the Holocaust are college level, heavy-duty reading. There are plenty of people out there who will never, ever plow through a thick historical tome, but who might just pick up a copy of MAUS and learn something. Academians may skoff at such things as "classics comics" and MAUS, but I have met quite a few high school students who admitted that MAUS was the only book on the Holocaust that they had ever bothered to read. For that alone, Spiegelman well-deserves the many awards and high acclaim that MAUS has received over the years.
As for the story itself, the characters are well-developed, and the animal metaphors quite creative. (The Jews are mice, the Nazis are cats, the Polish collaborators with the Nazis are pigs, etc. Also pay close attention to how the Jewish mice wear masks to "pass" when they must go outside from hiding.) Although this has been classified as fiction by some, the story is based on Spiegelman's interviews with his own father, and the incidents are authentic enough that, even if they are fictionalized, they certainly could have happened in real life. This is a story of genuine courage -- not the "Pow! Zap! Bang!" kind in superhero comics, but a tale of bravery just the same.
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the artwork fool you!,
Anyone who wants to know anything about the Holocaust should not miss this book. The graphic-novel style of the book tends to put the reader at ease as the story begins to unfold, and by the time the bad stuff hits, you're hooked. The book spends very little time discussing the social or political causes of the holocaust, but rather focuses on the author's father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Polish jew caught up in one of this centuries greatest crimes. The dialogue between Art Spiegelman and his father, Vladek, serve to humanize the characters right away, and serve notice that even though the Holocaust is over, it's scars have remained in the people who lived through it, and those whose lives were forever altered because of it.
Spiegelman's characterization of the jews as mice and the Nazis as cats is a brilliant casting of the hunter v. hunted. Other castings, such as the Poles as pigs and Americans as dogs may not be altogether accurate, but they serve the story quite well. The artwork is very high quality, but retains enough of a comic-book feel to put the reader at ease as the war begins and the mousetrap is sprung.
I was surprised at the brutal honesty of both Vladek and Art as they relay their experiences in both books, particularly as Art reprints his "Prisoner on Hell Planet", a story about his mother that was originally printed years ago. These kinds of no-holds-barred stories reveal the flaws that are inherent in all of us, and makes the story that much more universal.
This is a tremendous story that should not be dismissed because of its format. READ THIS BOOK!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful! Moving! A Comic! (..sorry...graphic novel),
Mice don't seem to make the subject any easier or more difficult to grasp, but it allows you to digest it easier. Ooohh...those are PEOPLE!
5.0 out of 5 stars An astounding piece of non-fiction,
This review is from: The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale (Hardcover)
What an elaborately told tale. Mr. Spiegelman tells a heart-wrenching story using approachable metaphor. This book is an emotional and powerful read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiegelman is king,
Landmark work rightfully crowned with a Pulitzer.
Essential component of any self-respecting collection of illustrated strips.
5.0 out of 5 stars The comic that should be used in high school,
This is absolutely the most moving comic I have ever read. It's about Art Spiegelman's father's coping mechanisms in the face of a pure disaster, and also about Spiegelman's own coping mechanisms with his father's coping mechanisms. But it's also a history lesson. We learn lots about the Holocaust and how the victims of it perceived it as it was happening. And a bit of an adventure story. Though quite far from the heroic ideal--the narrow escapes often come by luck. Nothing else is possible with the Nazi misappropriation of the heroic ideal.
As I said in the title block, this story should be mandatory reading in English or history classes in high school because (a) it is incredibly moving; (b) it has quite a bit of real-life history; (c) the kids will like it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and moving,
The Holocaust is a difficult event to comprehend, even more so with the passage of time. How ironic that a comic ("graphic novel" if you wish) so eloquently and powerfully details the horrors and long-term effects of that tragic time. Spiegelman won a Pulitzer Prize for this work, and it is certainly deserved. I was deeply moved by his and his father's (Vladek's) story.
The plot line is simple - how a Polish Jew managed to survive the first years of the war from the Nazi invasion to Spiegelman's s deportation to Auschwitz in 1944. Yet his survival was anything but simple. The story is riveting, and honestly I am amazed how anyone managed to endure and survive those cruel years. Yet the way the story is presented amplifies the impact of the Holocaust. Cartoons are so simple and innocent. Here they describe and detail the barbarism, brutality and sheer evil of the "Final Solution."
The drawings, too have a double meaning. The Jews are mice - helpless when rounded up by the predatory Nazi cats. The Poles are pigs (fitting, given generations of Polish anti-semitism), Americans are dogs (as in "dog-face.") It makes the story accessable, even a little easier to comprehend. (We can all understand "cat - and mouse" - indeed, this is exactly how Vladek Spiegelman managed to survive.) Easy to read, very accessable to all ages, and equally powerful.
4.0 out of 5 stars My reflection,
By A Customer
I really enjoyed this book.The art in the books makes the story easier to understand and it provides shows you exactly what the author is trying to express. This in depth story about the Holocaust really helps you understand exactly how the Jews were treated. I highly recommended this book.It will definitely teach you a lesson.
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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (Hardcover - Nov. 19 1996)
CDN$ 40.00 CDN$ 25.08