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Showing 1-10 of 589 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,100 reviews
on February 10, 2010
Browsing through the reviews and comments about Maus, I saw that there was some question as to whether the hardcover edition comprised Parts I and II. This is understandable because the product is listed in Amazon as "The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale (No 1)," which seems contradictory.

When I was considering purchasing it, I looked at the number of pages that were listed for the edition and guessed that it included both parts of the story. So I bought it, it arrived fine, and I am now writing to confirm that yes, this edition includes I and II.

Amazon should look into this and remove the "(No 1)" from the listing's title.
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VINE VOICEon December 15, 2015
I made the “mistake” of purchasing Maus II over 20 years ago (simply because the bookstore didn’t have the first volume). Regardless, I found the comic book presentation of the Holocaust surprisingly effective in generating such an emotional read. It took a while, but seeing Maus II sitting on a book shelf without it preceding volume finally bothered me enough to get MAUS – MY FATHER BLEEDS HISTORY. While the second volume (MAUS II) stands fine on its own, MAUS certainly serves as the glue that holds the entire story together.

For the most part, I’m am not a fan of comic books, but Art Spiegelman’s art captivated me at an early age. Spiegelman is one of the original artists that contributed to my first childhood passion: Wacky Packages (trading cards/stickers that satirized common household products). While I didn’t initially connect the dots between the 70s fad and Holocaust-themed comic book, I now see the way Spiegelman attracts me to his work. There is a subtle complexity to his rather simple drawings that made reading MAUS both thought-provoking and memorable.

I found MAUS to be two stories presented as one. The main storyline is the story of his father Vladeck’s plight as a Jew living in Poland before and during World War II (just before he and his wife Anja are sent to Auschwitz). The second storyline is about the author’s relationship with his father, which is revealed as the son presses his father to talk about surviving the Holocaust. While the story of Spiegelman’s parents is certainly compelling, the metaphorical manner in which it is illustrated is what sticks. Spiegelman uses animals to represent groups/races of people in a way that reminds me of Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Jews are presented as mice … meek pests/vermin that are easy to kill. Nazis/Germans are depicted as rather vicious cats (that kill the vermin) and Poles are shown as pigs (perhaps a reference to the fact that many Poles betrayed Jews in their country to the Nazis … in other words, swine). I found graphic metaphors ingenious as they add a significant emotional tone to the story being told. The Holocaust storyline comprises the bulk of the book’s illustrations with the father/son moments serving as bridges in between events. As we come to understand the suffering of Spiegelman’s parents, we learn that his mother (Anja) killed herself in 1968, leaving a large void in his life. There is an obvious yearning for Spiegelman to learn more about his mother through his father, yet the task proves to be challenging.

On the surface, the concept of a Holocaust-related “comic book” seems awkward, but I found MAUS to be a magnificent and poignant read. It is also hard to put down … I read the entire book without stopping in short order. I would highly recommend MAUS (and MAUS II, for that matter) for providing a provocatively unique perspective of the Holocaust. This series intrigued me enough to pick up a copy of “MetaMaus”, which meticulously (and exhaustively) explores the author’s motive for MAUS/MAUS II, as well as detailing more of his parents’ lives.
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on June 1, 2016
Back in the 1980s when I was working as a Junior Editor at Arbor House in Manhattan, this manuscript came in in a box as all manuscripts did back in those days and when I read it I recommended that we publish the book. Our publisher however as an American Jew could not handle the subject matter and did not listen to my recommendation. Of course, the book went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and now all these years later I have my own copy which I am enjoying very much. As a young editor, I read so many books coming in (as many as ten to twenty a day) and I was expected to know after the first three pages whether the book was worthy of hard cover publication, and I was right and this book deserved a Pulitzer and I'm so happy to have a copy. Classic and important work.
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on February 16, 2014
One man's story of how he and his wife survived the Holocaust told in graphic novel format; and another story of a man (the author) and his difficult and contentious relationship with his father (the surviving man).
The senior Spiegelman's story, as told to the author, his son, is cleverly and uniquely told after many years have passed. During the times the father recounts his, and his wife's, life in Poland and in Auschwitz, I almost felt like I was there. Touching, frightening and revealing this is one of those books that should be required reading in our educational system. As time goes by, and more and more concentration camp survivors pass away, I fear that the story of man's greatest inhumanity to man will also pass away. The story of the Holocaust, the people, the unbelievable circumstances that allowed it to happen, is something that must not be forgotten. The saying "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is very true and the thought of this happening again is unfathomable.
We, the human race, have had other similar events happen more recently; Rwanda, Cambodia's Killing Fields, and so on are not as publicized as the Holocaust but they are just as horrible. Those stories need to be added to ones like Maus to show that these things can, and will, happen if we don't take steps to stop them. Knowledge is the key and this book is one tool in our toolbox of knowledge. Experience it and NEVER FORGET.
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on May 6, 2017
This is a great book. Highly recommend. It shows another side of the holocaust and what the holocaust suvivers face and how it effect their children.
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on May 4, 2013
I am left speechless. I had previously read Joe Succo's Palestine and thought that was good. The bar has been reset. Maus is one of the best things I have read ... period. The art work, the story, the reality, the depiction of the horrors faced by the Jews ... all this was captured with such elaborate preciseness that I felt I was there .. with them. Some might think that 'dumbing down' an event as significant, and as defining, as the holocaust using graphic comic is wrong. This is where the author has managed to truly show his magical imagination. He has captured it all, packaging history and its aftermath, in drawings of cats, mice and pigs. Small things like the Jewish characters wearing pig masks to pass as Poles was, in my opinion, genius.

Increasingly we are living in a world where the written word might lose its grasp on the young. Everyone wants bite sized chunks of information. Where this is good for general knowledge and breadth of information, it still does not allow the depth that is needed to truly understand the intricacies of what is being learnt. I believe that a comic book like this will make a significant contribution to erasing this depth of knowledge. Within the pages of Maus is encapsulated one of the most important pieces of history that everyone should know about and maybe the fact that its a graphic novel might attract the younger generation to pay heed to history.

Fantastic. A must read.
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on June 17, 2012
In my readings of WWII of the fighting on the Eastern Front I also have read the books of Mazower telling of the Germans desire to expand the Eastern frontier in the concept of Lebensraum. In the starting of WWII with the attack on Poland is where the first book in this series started with Vladek Spiegelman on his odyssey of what it was to be a Jew under the governance of Nazi rule. In the first book we learn of the progressive pogroms utilized to ostracize and segregate the Jewish community. We see this happening in a gradual and degrading way. At first their property is taken from them and they lose their jobs and professions. After this is done they are relegated to the most menial of tasks. It still amazes me that Germany spent so much of their resources both in materials and personnel to try to exterminate a culture of people. These resources should have been used to try to win the war. Such was the hatred of the corrupt Nazi government.
In Art Spiegelman's second book we see how it was to live in these concentration camps which in the end murdered over six million Jews. How there were survivors is in of itself a miracle. I have read the diaries of Victor Klemperer and Mazower's books of the Eastern front and there was discussion of the concentration camps but really no memoirs of actual survivors. What Art Spiegelman has done in these two volumes of graphic depictions is nothing short of incredible.
It shows as a testimony to the resourcefulness and iron will of Vladek Spiegelman to endure these deprivations of starvation and true cruelty. The result of his knowing English helped him to survive by friending a Polish kampa who looked out for his interests and kept him out of harm's way. The creativity of learning the ins and outs of the culture of the concentration camp helped him to survive.
The author shows us the story as he was recording these stories for this book. However the other story which is expertly interweaved in the book is how Vladek was living his life in Rego Park Queens. He shows us a thrifty person who finds it hard to part with his money and who is always complaining about his gold digging second wife. Always complaining as he goes on to tell of what it was to live, die and above all survive under the auspices of Nazi Germany. If you read one book on the lives of people in such places as Auschwitz this is the one to read!!!
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on April 23, 2017
One of the best graphic novels ever. The story is so well designed. It was a tragic moment in the world but its really amazing to see how the writer deals with his family history
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on June 8, 2012
Having read the diaries of Victor Klemperer from the period of 1933 all the way to his death in East Germany in 1959, I have a very good idea of what it was to live the life of a Jew under the auspices of Nazi rule.
What the author Art Spiegelman has done in his Pulitzer winning graphic novel is to convey to us the life and time of what it was to live as a Jew in Nazi Germany. This book describes the travails of Valdek Spiegelman as to how he lived in Poland under the terror of Nazi rule.
In this graphic depiction of living the terror of Nazi rule in Eastern Europe we see the ever increasing pressure of Nazism extinguishing the Jewish culture. Spiegelman depicts the Jewish population as being of the mice population and the Nazi's as the depiction of cats.
This story tells of the horrors and deprivations endured by the Jewish community. Suffering the increased pograms that deprived the Jews of a normal life, we see the mistreatment to the Jewish population. Spiegelman also interweaves the thoughts and life of Vladek Speigelman as a rather older man recollecting the events of the Holocaust of Eastern Europe in the 1940's.
Vladek as an older man trying to make his way in living the life of a senior American citizen in Rego Park Queens, NY tries to put his experiences of the Holocaust behind him. He is rather unsuccessful in doing this. His son wants to get the full story of all these past experiences and finds a fearful maze to negotiate in getting a true and full story. This story is both sad and very poignant and its ending is very much anti-climactic!! Spiegelman weaves an excellent graphic novel which begs for an encore. I do believe one is coming to us down the way. Great read!! Well deserving 5 stars!!
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on August 6, 2016
I was amazed that the genre of graphic novel and the top of the holacaust went together at all. This was a moving book in so many ways. I loved hearing the language of the characters and participating in their personal interaction. Hearing the history of the Jews in Poland was another story added to my thoughts of this era. Having the mice and pigs worked so well. I was especially intrigued by the mice in the pig masks. Well done. I look forward to reading part two.
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