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The Complete Maus (1973)

by Art Spiegelman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,2042181,049 (4.52)2 / 382
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.
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    MarthaJeanne: Both authors search for the truth of what happened to their families in WWII Germany and use graphic novel techniques to work this through.
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» See also 382 mentions

English (184)  French (7)  Dutch (6)  Italian (5)  Catalan (5)  Spanish (4)  German (2)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
A true story that made me laugh and almost made me cry. It is the most thrilling book I have read in years. I would give it to everybody I know.
While reading it, I asked myself many times if it really wasn't fiction what I was reading. Also, it has been the first comic book I read, and I think none would have been more suitable to open my appetite so much for this genre. ( )
  luciarux | Jul 3, 2022 |
What a book this is. Winding the authors relationship with his dad around the narrative he is teasing from him about his experiences as a Jew in Poland during the second world war, it tells the story of the Holocaust, but also shows how its effects echo down the survivors families. The author constantly second guesses the critical reception to the book, and deconstructs what he is trying to do. It's a really great way to learn about the Holocaust in terms of both the luck and resourcefulness needed to survive, but also is a thoughtful piece on family relationships. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 22, 2022 |
Series Info/Source: This is the complete Maus graphic novel. I got a copy of this as a Christmas Gift.

Thoughts: The dense writing style and heavy lined black and white artwork were a bit intimidating at first but once I got started reading the story I didn’t even notice it or find it hard to read. This story is completely engrossing. Spiegelman does an amazing job of alternating between the past and the present and recounting the intense and sad story of his father living through the Holocaust. What amazed me is he did in a way that was incredibly impactful without ever being too dark.

I was completely engrossed in this book from page one. And I quickly grew to love Maus’s father and his family. I was continually surprised how much of Maus’s father’s survival was because of how resourceful his father was. His father is extremely adaptable and takes on every chance he has to learn a new skill, this (along with quite a bit of luck) is the number one thing that leads to him surviving the nightmare of the Holocaust.

Is this an uplifting book? Not really, it is more of a cautionary tale. Even though his father survives the Holocaust, the effects continue to echo through his life many years later. The people who survived the events of the Holocaust have to live with the Holocaust forever in their minds and this continues to affect their families generations later. So much thought and skill went into telling this story; it was just incredibly well done.

There is some irony to the fact that I asked for this for Christmas and then shortly after it was banned in Texas because of inappropriate content. I don’t know how to tell people this…but the whole Holocaust was inappropriate and it would be really hard to tell an accurate story of what happened without going into some of the violence and death that happened.

Is the violence and death presented in an excessive way in this book? Most definitely not. Discussions of the gas chambers and killing of children in the streets of ghettos are addressed matter of factly. Hiding in piles of dead people’s shoes and witnessing the aftermath of a gas chamber are things that really happened. At the time these people were trying to survive one atrocity after another; the atrocities were fact and they are presented as such in this book. People did what they could to keep themselves and their families safe.

Should you have your five year old read this? Well do you want to explain the Holocaust to your 5 year old? I might hold off for a bit. We talked about the Holocaust with my son in late elementary/early middle school. He actually checked out this very book from his middle school library and had A LOT of questions for us after he read it. They were excellent questions and we had some very good and thoughtful discussions as a family because of this book. This is a incredibly valuable way to learn about the Holocaust. I think it should be available for everyone in middle school and older to read.

My Summary (5/5): Overall I was incredibly impressed with this graphic novel and the amazing job it did blending the past of the Holocaust with the effect it continues to have on people’s day to day lives. I would recommend to middle grade and up readers because the Holocaust is a complicated topic and kids need to be a certain age in order to begin to comprehend cruelty on this scale. Is this book excessively violent or “Inappropriate”? No, not at all. It addresses the topic with excellent candor wrapped into an incredibly engaging story of one man’s survival of these horrific events. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 8, 2022 |
Why would anyone move to ban a non-fiction book about the Holocaust? Maus is an award-winning title accessible to students. ( )
  lilibrarian | Jan 31, 2022 |
What I love about this book is that this isn't a dramatic retelling of the holocaust, no-frills, and hits on the facts. This story is an autobiography of sorts, as our author asks his father about the holocaust and you see how it affected him later on in life. The story uses anamorphic animals in place of humans, this is because the Germans saw the Jews as Rats that needed to be exterminated, so the author depicted the German's as cats for symbolism. I believe this book will be great for kids in 8th grade and up.

The art style is simplistic but gets the job done. It has a rough style to it which I believe adds to it. I read a lot of complaints about it in other reviews here about how if you can't draw then make it into a book instead of a graphic novel. The thing is he can draw, this is just his art style. You can see the love and care he takes for these drawings via crosshatching, perception shots, composition, and panel placement. Not to mention this simplistic style with all of those components listed was really popular in the 80s and early 90s for non-superhero indie comics. Just look at Bones, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Primer. I know that this is a bit of a rant but I wanted to show some perspective about this book that I don't think a lot of people are giving it credit for. ( )
  H_Ross | Nov 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spiegelman, Artprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durlacher, JessicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fili, LouiseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Previtali, CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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Average: (4.52)
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2 22
2.5 13
3 118
3.5 43
4 520
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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