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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

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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. The construction of the book is horrendous. The pages start falling out in chunks after a year or two, and it's an expensive book to have to replace that frequently. No book in the department has even close to the...
Published 2 days ago by Ted Goldring


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark comics work, May 9 2004
By 
This review is from: Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set (Paperback)
"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
This review is from: Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set (Paperback)
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. The Jews are mice; the Nazis, cats; the Poles, pigs; the French, frogs; the Americans, dogs...In one sequence, the cartoonist and his therapist appear as humans, wearing mouse masks, while stray dogs and cats wander the streets. Every once in a while, as a story ends, a series of drawings is punctuated by a dark, narrow sketch of Auschwitz's smoking chimneys. It's haunting.
It's difficult to convey in words the scope and power of Spiegelman's depictions. For this jaded Jewish preteen, Maus finally brought home the impact of the Holocaust, not only the inhumanity and horror of death, but the lasting burdens carried by the survivors and their children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Tremendous, April 4 2003
By 
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
By 
Remi Savard "Godeiche" (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Constructed, April 18 2014
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. The construction of the book is horrendous. The pages start falling out in chunks after a year or two, and it's an expensive book to have to replace that frequently. No book in the department has even close to the attrition rate of these. The publisher should be ashamed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, Jan. 2 2014
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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. And comics are a great way to tell it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great title, Nov. 18 2013
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This review is from: Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, May 17 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a historic book, April 5 2013
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This review is from: Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set (Paperback)
All comic nerds have heard of Maus. Get this book set. The next person who insults your comic reading-give them this. Rarely has a book lived up to its reputation- this book surpasses it.
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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
By 
therosen "therosen" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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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Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set
Maus I & II Paperback Boxed Set by Art Spiegelman (Paperback - Oct. 19 1993)
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