Series: Maus #1-2
Release Date: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: My Collection
Buy it: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add it: Goodreads
Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus II - the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.
I would have never read anything like this if it wasn’t for the BookTube community over on YouTube. When I say never, I really mean never. I have seen so many good things about it though that I picked it up when I saw the complete novel at Half Priced Books. I read this during the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0 and I’m so glad I did.
This graphic novel tells the story of Art Spiegelman’s father and mother and what they went through during the Holocaust in two parts. It is told in a very interesting way though. The Jews are represented as mice. The Nazi’s are represented as Cats. The Americans are represented as dogs, the Poles as pigs, and the French as frogs. This made it so much easier to keep track of you everyone was associated with.
It is illustrated with black and white drawings and it written as if you are sitting there listening as his father tells the story. You see his father sitting at the table with art counting out his medicine for the day and his father sometimes digresses from the story. At one point they even go to the grocery store as his father tells some more of the story. This also made it a more enjoyable read because you got to see how his father was acting now because of all that had happened to him.
I felt that Art was very cold to his father at times. Yes, his father was acted very strange about things but considering what he went through it is very understandable. Art would get angry at his father for not continuing the story and it seemed that was the only reason he was visiting his father in the first place. He had no interest in visiting because the man was his father. He just wanted the story. From the story it seems that his father had been that way since he was a child. The man had lost his wife, Art’s mother, to suicide and also his first born son to the Holocaust.
The ending of the story is very bittersweet because of the happy ending with the holocaust story and his father being a very sick man towards the end. The story goes into some details about the Holocaust that are so sad but you still continue to read to see what happens to him and his wife.
I recommend this book to everyone. I am not a history buff and I still enjoyed reading this especially because it was a graphic novel. If it had been an actual story I think I would have passed but they illustrations make this story what it is.