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Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

Maus: A Survivor's Tale (1980)

by Art Spiegelman, Art Spiegelman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maus: A Survivor's Tale (omnibus)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,932164928 (4.51)1 / 256
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English (138)  French (6)  Dutch (6)  Catalan (5)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All (164)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
"Maus? It's very well known… I didn't like the drawing style though", said my friend. From the first pages, I saw black and white panels with sharp contrasts. Certainly the drawing style wasn't aiming to please me at the first sight. But, when I progressed through the book, it grew on me. I felt that it helps convey the story, and becomes part of it. It makes sense if you think about it: Holocaust isn't a happy topic.

Later this year, I plan to visit Oświęcim. ( )
  automatthias | Jun 19, 2017 |
This Graphic Novel is about Art Spiegelman's attempts to write down the story of his father's experiences and survival through the Nazi concentration camps through WW2. This is definitely a Novel for more mature readers as it deals with themes of violence throughout. Even though the story is represented in comic form, and the characters are anthropomorphized, it is a very serious telling of events and lends itself to a discussion about why the subject of the holocaust is being represented with animals in this way. One aspect of the story to discuss could be if Spiegelman's decision to use animals instead of actual humans was appropriate. He got a lot of negative attention for representing the Poles as pigs. There were some very important historical reasons for representing the Jews as mice which would make for good conversation in its own right.
  williamlong33 | Jun 11, 2017 |
  nerdythor | May 30, 2017 |
Art Spiegelman's Maul: A Survivor's Tale recounts his father's experience as a Jew in Poland and later in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Spiegelman's narrative focuses not only on retelling his father's story, but also in showing how his experiences shaped the man he became. The result is a work that uses allegorical devices, in this case anthropomorphized animals, to tell one person's story and humanize one of the worst events in human history. While Holocaust statistics show the enormity, it becomes easy to forget that the victims - as well as the perpetrators - were humans who had lives before. They lived and loved and hoped and struggled and narratives like this help to convey that. To his credit, Spiegelman even wrestles with the value of Holocaust narratives in an interchange between himself and his therapist, also a Holocaust survivor, at the beginning of Book II. He quotes his therapist, "Life always takes the side of life, and somehow the victims are blamed. But it wasn't the BEST people who survived, nor did the best ones die. It was RANDOM! Sigh. I'm not talking about YOUR book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust. What's the point? People haven't changed..." (pg. 205). Maus remains the only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, which reflects the significance and power of Spiegelman's storytelling and the inherent bias of the Pulitzer committee in discounting the validity of graphic storytelling. Spiegelman's work belongs on a list of the most significant twentieth century literature of any format and all who are able should read it. ( )
  DarthDeverell | May 28, 2017 |
The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale contains combines the two volumes Maus: My Father Bleeds History and Maus: And Here My Troubles Began. It is a non-fiction graphic novel written by Art Spiegelman, whose father, Vladek, and mother, Anja, were Polish Jews who survived the German occupation of Poland and Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The book tells the story of Vladek and Anja's lives from their courtship, marriage, and birth of their first child before the war, through their stay in the ghettos of Poland, incarceration in Auschwitz, and the end of the war, to Anja's eventual suicide and Vladek's death years after the end of the war. It also tells the story of Spiegelman's interviews with his estranged father to get his story for the novel.

The graphics in the novel are done in black and white ink which help to convey something of the starkness and terror of Vladek and Anja's situation. The artist has chosen to portray the Jews as mice, and the Nazi's and other Germans as cats, which I think adds additional depth to the story. Most of the cells have dialog; there are very few that are just picture alone, so it does read a little like a traditional book, but the art adds much to the story. The story is told as Vladek reminisces about his past.

I am fascinated by WWII and have read quite a few books about the war and the Holocaust. In all honesty, this is probably one of the more powerful books on the topic that I've read. It doesn't try to tug at emotions as many fictional accounts do, and it is not as dry and boring as many non-fictional accounts of the Holocaust.

If you have not yet read this book, I highly recommend it. ( )
  rretzler | May 9, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Art Spiegelmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Spiegelman, Artmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Soares, Antonio de MacedoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human." Adolf Hitler
For Anja
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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.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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