To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Complete Maus Paperback – 2003
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Although Maus is written in comic strip format, Spiegelman does everything he can to subvert our assumptions about the medium. There are few, if any, character `thought bubbles;' there is little emphasis on humour and witty exchanges. This is a serious book about a serious subject: the holocaust. As Spiegelman himself notes in the book (I am paraphrasing here), "how can a comic strip, a medium historically dismissed as nothing more than `the funnies,' capture the horror and pathos of the attempted extermination of an entire race of people?" The great achievement of the book is that not only does it meet this lofty challenge, I honestly can't think of another medium that could have better captured the spirit of those times. Spiegelman's skilful use of illustration adds a layer of irony to the story, and demonstrates the pathos that underscored the rise of Nazi Germany. Particularly interesting is that people of differing backgrounds appear as animals. There is the obvious binary where Germans are depicted as cats and Jews as mice (the text quotes a disturbing German Nazi-era editorial equating Jews with the flea-ridden mouse). Among others, Poles appear as pigs, the French as frogs (problematic, to say the least, although Spiegelman tries to justify this by pointing out instances of French hostility towards Jews), and Americans as dogs. The reasons why certain animals symbolize certain countries or ethnicities is not explained, neither whether ethnicity and nationhood are essentially the same construct.Read more ›
Maus tells the tale of an artist who decides to write a comic book based on his Father's recount of the Holocaust, which, in fact, is what the author is doing based on his own Father's experiences. The book spans about 4 decades from the mid-thirties to the seventies, covering the pre-WWII period to the time when the author is actually exploring the past with his Father and writing this book. There are two stories intertwined marvelously in this book: a first-hand survivor's experience of life before, during, and after the Holocaust, and that of a relationship between an ageing Father and young-to-middle aged son who have a serious disconnect.
The two stories could actually have been written independently, but it is their excellent juxtaposition which is one of the clear highlights of the book, for it has a multiplier affect on the poignancy of both the Father's and the Son's situations. Each of the stories themselves is well crafted, managing to weave together a bunch of incidents across points in time to create a very smoothly flowing narrative.Read more ›
Of course, it's not a comic book in the traditional sense, although it's written and illustrated in that format. The first volume of Art Spiegelman's "Maus: A Survivor's Tale" was one of the works that helped popularize the term "graphic novel" in the 1980s, dignifying what had been considered a rather cheap and childish form of entertainment as a medium of genuine literary potential. Then again, "Maus" isn't exactly a novel, either, since it's a basically faithful retelling of the history of Spiegelman's own parents, Polish Jews who came to America after surviving Auschwitz. Cartoonist Jules Feiffer found it hard to put into words what, exactly, his fellow artist had done: his review of "Maus" describes it as "at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book." When it came to his opinion, however, he didn't have to struggle at all: "Brilliant, just brilliant."
To any reader with even the slightest acquaintance with Holocaust literature, the story of Vladek and Anja Spiegelman will be all too familiar: a happy home life marred by the looming specter of war, a struggle to survive as homes and businesses are confiscated, individual acts of betrayal and heroism, the weeks in hiding, the eventual deportation, separations and reunions, liberation at last. (These aren't spoilers, by the way - Spiegelman sets out for us pretty clearly from the beginning how his parents' story is going to unfold.) Somehow, though, it all feels painfully new, freshly intimate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The holocaust is perhaps the darkest and most evil moment in human history. One of the more socking facts about it is that it only happened about 75 years ago…some survivors are... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is such a great book! Tells the fantastic story of Vladek and Anya Spiegelmann, a pair of Jewish Poles, who were imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Corll
I bought this for my English 103 class and I must say that it was very interesting to read it. I highly recommend it to people that are interested in a survivor's tale of the Nazi... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andy Cruz
Great book that really describes the horrors of every day life. Not difficult to read. I finished it in like two days, but I do reread it.Published 3 months ago by Kyle