Book Reviews

Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman

Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)     Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began

should be read back to back unless you can wait to find out about Vladek’s survival of The Holocaust. I was fortunate that both were in at the same time from the library and decided to check them out together.

“Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman’s Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father’s terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiararity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive.

This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek’s harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor’s tale – and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.” ~Goodreads

I have never read anything like this before. Stories about that time in history is challenging to read but to add the element of graphic artistry and depicting the people as animals takes this duo to another level. It’s not any less gruesome or horrific but just different and brilliant. It not only captures what Vladek endures during and after the Holocaust but the relationship between father and son. It won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and took Spiegelman 13 years to write.

2 thoughts on “Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman

  1. I really loved this book/graphic novel series and your review is making me want to dig up my copy and re-read it asap! I agree with Andi – the metaphors are so great and I’m so glad that so many people agree!

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