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Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art…
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Maus: A Survivor's Tale (original 1980; edition 2003)

by Art Spiegelman

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4,5261361,067 (4.52)1 / 242
Member:twinkley
Title:Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Authors:Art Spiegelman
Info:Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (2003), Paperback, 296 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:graphic novel, non-fiction

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Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (1980)

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English (120)  French (6)  German (2)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (136)
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This famous B.D. (“Comic“ – but nothing ‚comic‘ about it) of Art Spiegelman records dialogs with his father he had in the last 10 years of his life. Vladek Spiegelman (1906-1982), now living in the U.S.A., is recounting his early life as a prosperous polish Jew and how he survived Auschwitz; we learn that Vladek’s wife, A.S.’s mother, also an Auschwitz survivor, killed herself in 1968; we learn that A.S.’s relationship with his father is not easy: how much is this due that surviving Auschwitz marked him for life? How much to the fact that the formative lives of father and son were in every respect different? An incident – Art’s wife gives a lift to a young black man – demonstrates to their despair Vladek’s racisms: how can he who has been persecuted because of racism, be still racist himself? But human nature is not that simple and not without contradictions and it is a fallacy to think that experiencing the horrors of the camps would make you a more compassionate person, sympathetic to the suffering of others – if that would be true then there would be a simple answer to make the Earth a better place!
A.S. gives animal identities to all persons according to their race: Jews are drawn as mice quoting Hitler saying that Jews are not human and a mid 30s German newspaper article claiming Mickey Mouse, that miserable vermin, to be the Jew’s ideal; the Germans become cats, the Polish pigs, the U.S. American dogs, a gipsy (Roma) woman becomes a butterfly, a Frenchman a frog. This stereotypes them (although ‘pigs’ are encountered that are good, others vicious) and removes any emotional response from their faces; at times a light-hearted note is created: Gipsy-butterfly, French-frog.
We get a glimpse of the conditions father and mother lived through but, by being narrated, once removed: perhaps the true horror of the camps can never been communicated (A.S. is aware of this of course). (I-16) ( )
1 vote MeisterPfriem | Feb 17, 2016 |
A great way to tell a very harsh story. I found this unrelenting but very readable. An original way to tell such a story. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
This graphic novel is the story of Spiegelman's father, Vladek, a Polish Jew who lived through World War II. The Jews are drawn as mice, the Germans as cats, and the Poles as pigs. Vladek was able to keep himself and his family out of the concentration camps for a long time, but eventually he was sent to Auschwitz, and later into Germany. After the war, he was able to find his wife and move to Sweden, then the US. Interspersed with Vladek's stories about the war are panels showing Artie's relationship with his father and how he learned his father's history.

This is a really powerful book, and the animals are a great metaphor. Vladek's story of how he survived through his intelligence is really fascinating and admirable. What I really didn't like was how the author portrayed himself, however. In the book it seems like Artie is only using his father to create a masterpiece and doesn't really care about him. He only visits to get more of the story and then can't wait to get away from his father. I realize that Vladek was a difficult person to be around, but that doesn't excuse Artie's behavior. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Art Spiegleman tells the story of his father Valdek and his mother Anja. Both were Poles who eventually ended up in Auschwitz. Art also tells a more current story of dealing with his elderly father who is very cheap and independent. I think the fact that the book is a graphic novel gives a bit of a unique spin on the story. I found Art to be a bit annoying, especially in his fights with his father, but overall a good book. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A memoir on the holocaust in graphic novel. A son is writing about his father's experiences. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Art Spiegelmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spiegelman, Artmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Soares, Antonio de MacedoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human." Adolf Hitler
Dedication
For Anja
First words
Last one to the schoolyard is a rotten egg.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the OMNIBUS edition containing both "Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History" and "Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began".

DO NOT COMBINE with individual editions of Maus I or Maus II!!!
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679406417, Hardcover)

On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its first publication, here is the definitive edition of the book acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in “drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust” (The New York Times).

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This book memorializes Spiegelman's father's experience of the Holocaust - it follows his story, frame by frame, from youth and marriage in pre-war Poland to imprisonment in Auschwitz. The 'survivor's tale' that results is stark and unembellished.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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