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Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire

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A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.


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A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.

30 review for Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    4.5 Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    The Maus books were just as incredible as promised. I was deeply moved by Spiegelman's story about his father's experiences in Poland and Auschwitz during World War II. My ancestors are from Germany and my mother was a WWII buff -- our bookshelves at home were filled with hundreds of books about that war. When I asked her why she was so fascinated by that period, she said she was trying to understand how something like the Holocaust could have happened. Now I'm an adult and I often read books ab The Maus books were just as incredible as promised. I was deeply moved by Spiegelman's story about his father's experiences in Poland and Auschwitz during World War II. My ancestors are from Germany and my mother was a WWII buff -- our bookshelves at home were filled with hundreds of books about that war. When I asked her why she was so fascinated by that period, she said she was trying to understand how something like the Holocaust could have happened. Now I'm an adult and I often read books about atrocities around the world. Even though they are depressing and soul-crushing, I guess I'm also just trying to understand how people can do such horrible things. But I digress. Despite having already read a great deal about WWII, one of the things I especially liked about the Maus books was hearing how Spiegelman's father managed to survive. His father was gifted at quickly mastering skills and being able to talk his way out of tough situations. Those abilities helped him and his wife to survive the concentration camp. Most reviews of Maus comment on Spiegelman's choice to draw the races differently: Jews are mice, the Germans are cats and other Poles are pigs. I liked the minimalist drawings because it kept the story moving and the focus was more on the words and the meanings. I think this is a significant memoir of the Holocaust and would highly recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    I am extremely moved by this book, it is as relevant and important today as it was when it was first published over 30 years ago, possibly even more so. Maus tells the story of Vladek Spielgeman, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. His son, Art Spiegelman, is an illustrator and wants to write the story of his father's experiences during World War II. The story is also of Art himself, the interviews and relationship with his father. The story alternates between the present day interviews and shifts I am extremely moved by this book, it is as relevant and important today as it was when it was first published over 30 years ago, possibly even more so. Maus tells the story of Vladek Spielgeman, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. His son, Art Spiegelman, is an illustrator and wants to write the story of his father's experiences during World War II. The story is also of Art himself, the interviews and relationship with his father. The story alternates between the present day interviews and shifts into the past through Vladek's recollections. The illustrations are straightforward and in a black-and-white style. I highly recommend this book, it is a powerful and emotional story. I am starting the second volume right away. FINAL NOTE: below is what I found to be one of the most powerful scenes in the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    This is one of those graphic novels that everyone is telling the world to read. Acclaimed as one of the best graphic novels out there. My take on it is that it was really enjoyable and informative, but not the best. While it was very enjoyable, I still had a few problems with it. Overhyped in my opinion, but still highly recommended for me. I honestly have no problem with the plot. Straightforward and informative. I'm a huge history fan, and the topic of Nazis in general was nothing new for me. This is one of those graphic novels that everyone is telling the world to read. Acclaimed as one of the best graphic novels out there. My take on it is that it was really enjoyable and informative, but not the best. While it was very enjoyable, I still had a few problems with it. Overhyped in my opinion, but still highly recommended for me. I honestly have no problem with the plot. Straightforward and informative. I'm a huge history fan, and the topic of Nazis in general was nothing new for me. It's been a while since my last read of this certain part of history. This graphic novel was a good way to refresh my memory. It's still very unsettling that the Nazis were this abusive back then. The way they tortured the Jews and such was very inhumane. I know that somewhere in the world today, people are still being abused like this, if not worse. Such a shame, and quite unthinkable how some people could be this cruel. The characters were not as amazing as I wanted them to be. Some weren't developed enough. I seem to have this problem with most of the graphic novels that I read. I'm not sure if it's the graphic novels itself, or the way the author describes them. The whole character thing is a huge problem for me to be honest, because i'm a reader who heavily depends on the characters for enjoyment. I like a well written set of characters. The plot thankfully made up for the not so great characters. Artie and Anja were really enjoyable, but the other ones felt a bit dull. One more problem that I encountered would be the artwork. I'm very choosy when it comes to the artwork. I know this aimed to provide a historical feeling, but it didn't work that much for me. I didn't like the rough drawing and the way it was presented. It could've been done better. Not a huge problem, but still something that bugged me from time to time. 4/5 stars. It's a solid 4 for me. Hopefully the next volume would continue to be this good, or be even better. I'm going to rate the compilation of the two volumes separately after reviewing the second one. Great way to introduce history to aficionados and also beginners. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    Extraordinary..... If there was a Pulitzer Prize for the BEST ALREADY winners of the Pulitzer .....Art Spieglman's books would be a very high contender. Point is... The creation of Maus exceeds expectations... which you might have heard through the grapevine. Maus, Vol 1: "My Father Bleeds"....is painful, personal, brilliant ..,and needs to be experienced first hand...( as all his books do).... Then we might have a discussion still worse to come, is Vol 2. "My Trouble Begins"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    I don't read much Holocaust Literature nowadays. In my teens and twenties, I read everything I could get my hands on on the Third Reich and the Middle Ages, as I had an abnormal urge to seek out the darkness in human souls. I was repelled and at the same time, fascinated by it - like people drawn irresistibly towards gruesome road accidents. As I matured, this urge to torture myself diluted, and I moved on towards more wholesome stuff. However, I decided I would make an exception with Maus becaus I don't read much Holocaust Literature nowadays. In my teens and twenties, I read everything I could get my hands on on the Third Reich and the Middle Ages, as I had an abnormal urge to seek out the darkness in human souls. I was repelled and at the same time, fascinated by it - like people drawn irresistibly towards gruesome road accidents. As I matured, this urge to torture myself diluted, and I moved on towards more wholesome stuff. However, I decided I would make an exception with Maus because of one important reason - it is a comic, or to use the more accepted terminology nowadays, a graphic novel. The comic is a seriously underutilised narrative format. Like the fairy tale and the animated movie, Disney has corrupted it and confined it to a corner where it can only babble and make baby talk. It is heartening to see it breaking out of that straitjacket and maturing - in books like The Complete Persepolis and the this one. -------------------------------------------------------------- "The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human" - Adolf Hitler Dehumanising the enemy is the first step towards eliminating them: which is what Hitler tried to do with Jews and nearly succeeded. In this book, Art Spiegelman tells us a story from that dark era - a very personal one, that of his father - yet distances us emotionally brilliantly by using Brechtian techniques. The Jews are portrayed as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs and Americans as dogs. The story is delivered brutally, pulling no punches. However, changing the characters into animals accomplishes two things - by taking away the individuality, we are forced to look at the big picture: and the race differences are emphasised so as to be insurmountable(a Jew and a Gentile are both human beings, but a mouse can never become a cat). So even when we are caught up in the story, the political subtext is never forgotten. A brilliant, brilliant work. BTW, a bigger review is up on my blog.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Re-read September 5, 2015: I think I absorbed a lot more of the story and its power the second time around. It's really wonderfully crafted, and I can't wait to finally read the second volume because this one ends sort of abruptly. First read January 3-9, 2014

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arnie

    When I was a kid I read comic books (mostly Superman). The Maus books are the only graphic novels I've read and I consider them masterpieces (Mausterpieces?). Like Spiegelman's alter ego, I was a middle class child growing up in Queens (NYC), the son of Holocaust survivors and couldn't communicate with my father when I was growing up. He got it down perfectly. It was spot on and ranks among the best of Holocaust related literature.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Beale

    When I switched my major to English in my senior year, I had a lot of back classes to take, especially intro classes with freshmen and sophmores, though my last intro class was a night class with primarily older women, who worked full time jobs in Edison or the Amboys and a bushel of kids waiting at home. Basically, they were there to learn more about literature, sort of as a self-improvement class for the non-literary. The class was taught by a flame hair TA, who had the personality to match. Y When I switched my major to English in my senior year, I had a lot of back classes to take, especially intro classes with freshmen and sophmores, though my last intro class was a night class with primarily older women, who worked full time jobs in Edison or the Amboys and a bushel of kids waiting at home. Basically, they were there to learn more about literature, sort of as a self-improvement class for the non-literary. The class was taught by a flame hair TA, who had the personality to match. Yet as time went by, those last descriptive sentences I wrote became complete crap. We became a class of studious literary scholars on par with any graduate program. Our TA took on a Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society aura. Why, when did this happen? Well, we read Maus. It rocked all our socks. Besides our TA was a serious woman, not to mention awesome and intelligent. She used to write music reviews for the Village Voice when it was credible, and now she's working with Art Speigelman and has a sexy fellowship at Harvard. And me what do I have? Well, I have this book. I thank her for the introduction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kruti

    Some books will leave a sour taste in your mouth. Some will uplift your spirits. Some will even touch your heart. And some…some have the power to rip your soul into tiny little pieces and leave nothing but a shell in its place. Who knew a graphic novel could hold such power? But that’s exactly what happened. Having finished Maus I: My Father Bleeds History, I feel like I just sparred against a two-tonne elephant with no means of escape. Each hit was worse than the last until I reached the end fee Some books will leave a sour taste in your mouth. Some will uplift your spirits. Some will even touch your heart. And some…some have the power to rip your soul into tiny little pieces and leave nothing but a shell in its place. Who knew a graphic novel could hold such power? But that’s exactly what happened. Having finished Maus I: My Father Bleeds History, I feel like I just sparred against a two-tonne elephant with no means of escape. Each hit was worse than the last until I reached the end feeling numb. In this novel, Spiegelman’s father recounts all his experience and near misses with death during Hitler’s reign. He talks about his life before the war; his life as a successful businessman; how he found his wife and the birth of their son. He then talks about the start of war and being recruited to fight on the front line. He talks about what he had to endure not only as war prisoner but a Jewish war prisoner. He manages to escape one nightmare only to be thrust back into another one. He witnesses/hears about the deaths of many of his friends and relatives until the cliffhanger at the end when he finally arrives at Auschwitz concentration camp. I’ve studied history, particularly German history throughout my childhood. I’ve learnt key dates, facts and figures but that’s all it is – facts and figures. Hitler became the leader of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in 1921 and chancellor in 1933. After this time, Germany began to transform from a representative democracy under the Weimar Republic to a single-party dictatorship under the rule of Hitler. Then came the onslaught of his anti-semitic policies. Studying this period brought a sour taste in my mouth but reading this novel made everything more real. I felt like I was right there; in constant fear of what might happen if the Gestapo found me and not knowing if I would survive the next hour let alone the next day. The author does a brilliant job depicting each of these events. The Jews are illustrated as rats, the Poles as pigs – only willing to risk their lives to save the Jews if money was involved and the Germans as cats. This novel is truly great at depicting the horrific events that happened during the Holocaust but it’s not the only reason I would recommend it. This novel is also about a broken relationship between a father and son, and how they try to reconnect together after many years. It also shows the long-term effects a war can have on a person who endured so much in their life. It really puts things into perspective. The next time someone tells you how hard their life is. Tell them it could be worse. Extra: This is completely different but this story also hit home a little. Although what my father’s family went through is in no way proportional to what Spiegelman’s father went through, I can’t help but be saddened by the atrocities peppered throughout our history. What my father’s family went through happened in the 1970s, when the Ugandan President decided to have an ethnic cleansing of all Indians from Uganda. My father and all his siblings were born and brought up there. My grandfather ran a large successful family business there and having listened to my father’s story many times, he talked about how they were forced out of their businesses and homes. Everything they owned was reallocated to Ugandan nationals. He talked about how my uncle tried to save our belongings but was beaten to a pulp by the police. My dad talked about how they left with only the clothes they were wearing and one or two items. Years of hard work went down the drain. They couldn’t even access any of the savings in banks. A place they called home vanished within seconds. My dad’s family moved back to India but things just weren’t the same, especially for my uncle. He became mentally unstable and after only a few days he left. To this day, we don’t know where he is and whether he’s alive or not. Although what happened in Germany is not the same as this, I couldn’t help but think of my own father’s experience. Imagine being forced out of your homes, businesses within seconds and being beaten. Imagine a nation targeting you and only you for what you are. It’s just despicable and makes me not want to live on this planet anymore. What gives someone a right to treat you inferior to them? Review of Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    It hits you like a truck going twice the speed limit...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    Oh my! This book makes me want to read every interview with the author that I can find. One article I read credits this book (and two others) with changing the public's perception of comics and potentially starting the use of the term "graphic novel." I have read only one other graphic novel (the beautiful and brilliant Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast) so I am tremendously under-qualified to review this. I'm not sure what I expected when I picked this up but what I got Oh my! This book makes me want to read every interview with the author that I can find. One article I read credits this book (and two others) with changing the public's perception of comics and potentially starting the use of the term "graphic novel." I have read only one other graphic novel (the beautiful and brilliant Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast) so I am tremendously under-qualified to review this. I'm not sure what I expected when I picked this up but what I got was a deeply moving story of one man's Holocaust experience that was masterfully written and drawn by his son. Deceptively simplistic, the drawings allow the reader to be in the story...to see life as it was and then the changing conditions, the confusion, the horror, the bunkers. As father and son meet and talk, the drawings seamlessly transition from present day into the past throughout the book, giving a sense that those memories were always near to and part of him. I found it amazing how a well-placed line or dash on the face of a mouse could convey age, joy, sorrow, defeat. The drawings were incredible. I'm certain there are treasures to be found with each reading of this incredible tale. More than a story of atrocity and survival, this story reveals much about the author's relationship with his dad. An old-fashioned man whose entire history is heartbreaking and his son are divided by cultural and generational differences, estrangement, and misunderstanding of one another, yet they share the devastating loss of Anja and the need to understand her suicide. The author's father, Vladek, is presented in a way that seems unquestionably authentic with character traits both endearing and frustrating. Vladek's syntax and word choices make it so the reader can actually hear his accent, feel his escalating anger at times, understand the disconnect between father and son. What a touching tribute to his father that Art Spiegelman has created in this (presumably) honest portrayal. I cannot begin to imagine the atrocities the elder Spiegelman had endured, nor do I imagine it was easy to live with this man. I fell in love with page 133, on which Vladek tells Artie he will be famous like Walt Disney. There is so much conveyed in those few frames. I was a junior in high school when this book was published. We were required to read Night by Elie Wiesel (which I re-read and reviewed recently) but up until now, I had not heard of Maus. This was recommended to me by our librarian. When I saw the cover I honestly thought she had lost her mind. I stand humbly corrected. I am running to get the next book, which is the conclusion. I cannot effectively put into words how ingenious this book is. 5 stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    It just didn't do what I wanted. I had high expectations, my friends, I had high expectations. That might not be fair, but there you go. My biggest problem was the misused animals. The book is called Maus. The characters are mice and cats and pigs. BUT NONE OF THEM ACT LIKE MICE OR CATS OR PIGS. WHATS THE POINT? In conversation with my friend Barry* it came up that "It's just cats chasing mice. That's the extent of the metaphor." He disagrees, on the whole.. he actually quite enjoyed this (we're b It just didn't do what I wanted. I had high expectations, my friends, I had high expectations. That might not be fair, but there you go. My biggest problem was the misused animals. The book is called Maus. The characters are mice and cats and pigs. BUT NONE OF THEM ACT LIKE MICE OR CATS OR PIGS. WHATS THE POINT? In conversation with my friend Barry* it came up that "It's just cats chasing mice. That's the extent of the metaphor." He disagrees, on the whole.. he actually quite enjoyed this (we're budding reading again, I never want to stop buddy reading with this boy), but regardless he saw my point of view. I feel that there was great potential to use the animal characteristics to do interesting and inventive things, but basically they're just humans that look like animals. I have a few other issues: I don't like the way the son treats the father (that won't make sense unless you've read this, sorry), and I haven't really been able to feel emotionally attached to anything (apart, of course, from the normal sense of sadness that comes from thinking of the holocaust). It's not terrible, by any means. The illustrations are interesting, the story is interesting, and I flew through it. I very much look forward to reading Volume II, but this just wasn't good enough. *Barry: https://www.youtube.com/Bazpierce!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I didn't intend for my first book of 2018 to be so depressing, but MAUS is such a creative, important book. In MAUS, Art Spiegelman uses the medium of graphic novel to tell the moving, and sometimes hair-raising story of his father, Vladek: a holocaust survivor from Poland. Juxtaposed against scenes where a now middle-aged Art is chatting with his elderly father in his home in Queens are scenes of the gradual chokehold that that Nazis formed Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I didn't intend for my first book of 2018 to be so depressing, but MAUS is such a creative, important book. In MAUS, Art Spiegelman uses the medium of graphic novel to tell the moving, and sometimes hair-raising story of his father, Vladek: a holocaust survivor from Poland. Juxtaposed against scenes where a now middle-aged Art is chatting with his elderly father in his home in Queens are scenes of the gradual chokehold that that Nazis formed around what later became Nazi-controlled territories. Vladek Spiegelman married into wealth with his first wife, Anja, and their lives before the war were rather luxurious. Slowly that all dwindled as their predominately Jewish area became one of the ghettos, and they were forced to run and hide for many years, until at last, someone promising to smuggle them both into Hungary betrayed them to the Nazis, and they ended up at Auschwitz. Even though this is told biography-style, MAUS reads as being a little surreal, because Art chose to draw all of the "people" in his book as animals: the Jews are mice, the Nazis are cats, the neutral Poles are pigs, and the Americans of the present day are dogs. It was a really interesting choice stylistically, and I'm not completely sure why he did it - maybe to remove the reader one step from the horrors contained within the comic? There's a scene in here, one of the modern parts, about what happened when Vladek found a comic strip he did about his mother's suicide, which is included as an excerpt. This comic, "Prisoner on Planet Hell" is done with real people, which adds an extra layer of surrealism: a mouse, writing his memoir as a human. If you're interested in WWII history and enjoy those "literary" graphic-novels that are about more weighty topics than capes and superheroes, I really recommend MAUS. Vladek is such an interesting man, and his firsthand account of survival is just that: firsthand. Really exceptional read. 4 to 4.5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Owlseyes

    The story of a Jew's survival. Jews as depicted as mice and Germans as cats. A poignant story; really good, the character Vladek (the survivor): can you imagine him on a German prisoners camp, a freezing Autumn, birds falling from trees due to cold...and Vladek taking a shower at the river: to stay clean and warmy the day onward? or his wife (a mice too) complaining about rats!?... True facts underly the story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I am speechless and in awe, but I'm going to try to write something coherent here. I was spellbound when reading this book. It represents the best of what anyone can hope for in a graphic novel. The illustrations and narrative text formed, in essence, an audiovisual presentation of experiences so personal and unapologetically honest that sometimes I couldn't believe the author included them since they cast his father and himself in an unfavorable light, at times. This is a true life account from I am speechless and in awe, but I'm going to try to write something coherent here. I was spellbound when reading this book. It represents the best of what anyone can hope for in a graphic novel. The illustrations and narrative text formed, in essence, an audiovisual presentation of experiences so personal and unapologetically honest that sometimes I couldn't believe the author included them since they cast his father and himself in an unfavorable light, at times. This is a true life account from a Holocaust survivor, a story that slides into your veins as you read it. It is Vladek Spiegelman's story as told to his son Art who had a tumultuous relationship with him detailed in scenes spliced in between the Holocaust story segments. Just reading about father and son butting heads made me uneasy as did the tension-filled story the father shared. A story made all the more compelling by the illustrations depicting the Polish Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this before reading the book, not knowing if it would distract or detract from the seriousness of the story. But my fears were groundless since the illustrations only enhanced and underscored the dramatic story elements. And the drawings of the people as mice and cats were as expressive as any depicting humans, both facially and in body language, beautifully conveying thoughts and emotions. http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.... This is the first book in a two volume series that begins in the present with Art visiting his father whom he doesn't see often. He explains that he wants to tell in comic form his father's story as a Jew in Poland when Hitler came into power and changed life as he and others knew it. His father agreed to share what he went through beginning shortly before WW2 when he was a young man of thirty who would soon meet his first wife and father a son. He takes Art through a step by step account of a life Vladek dreamed of turning into a nightmare, and how he and his wife survived until the point at which this book ended when they were sent to Auschwitz. I can't recommend this graphic novel enough for anyone wanting to read not only an unflinching personal account of the Holocaust but also one of a father and son relationship that's so candid it sometimes hurt to read about it. I found myself uttering exclamations in response to certain events in both accounts a number of times. I'm eager to continue with the second volume of Vladek's important story even though a part of me dreads reading what happened next.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This is such an important and emotional story that brings a new dynamic to the well-documented World War 2 stories of the incarceration and mistreatment of the Jews, at the hands of the Nazi soldiers. As Spiegelman himself explains in the introduction, he wanted to bring meaning back to the stories that had lost all of their horror due to their notoriety. This story would be a powerful one in any format, but the short speech, the simplistic and yet powerful illustrations, the shift between past This is such an important and emotional story that brings a new dynamic to the well-documented World War 2 stories of the incarceration and mistreatment of the Jews, at the hands of the Nazi soldiers. As Spiegelman himself explains in the introduction, he wanted to bring meaning back to the stories that had lost all of their horror due to their notoriety. This story would be a powerful one in any format, but the short speech, the simplistic and yet powerful illustrations, the shift between past and present life, and the depiction of Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats made the traumatic and monstrous story that much more impactful. I never lost focus during the pages as the ever shifting perspectives, sizing of the artwork and presentation kept this feeling striking and shocking until the very end. The story is of Art himself, interviewing his father about his war-time experiences and actually starts in the present day before shifting subtly into past recollections. Seeing the former and present figure of his father and the alterations in his attitude towards life was saddening, but what shocked me more was Spiegelman's overwhelming honesty to the story. This is, in part, an autobiographical piece, focusing on his own relationship with his father, and he is unapologetic in the raw and painful description of both his father and himself. I believe that all autobiographical writers are, to some extent, unreliable as there is a tendency to sugarcoat and protect one's self. Spiegelman breaks my preconceived conceptions with his raw and honest approach to every aspect of this brilliant work. I believe that this is an important story that everyone should read, but this would be of special benefit to a teenage age range. It brings a new element to the often dry stories taught in schools, that can lead to a disconnected and unempathetic audience. This modernizes the story and yet manages to bring the pain and trauma in sharp relief and relieve none of the horror. This was every bit as heart-breaking as I anticipated it would be and I can't wait to devour the next volume.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    So so sad. What a truly shameful part of our history the Holocaust was. To think that a group of people would be treated so abysmally for no good reason just hurts my heart. Despite the fact that this was a graphic novel that had the characters portrayed as mice (Jews), pigs(Poles) and cats (Germans), it did not lessen the disgust I had against the Nazi system that condoned, encouraged and justified this mistreatment of Jewish people; Jews were given curfews, forced to wear armbands, forced to u So so sad. What a truly shameful part of our history the Holocaust was. To think that a group of people would be treated so abysmally for no good reason just hurts my heart. Despite the fact that this was a graphic novel that had the characters portrayed as mice (Jews), pigs(Poles) and cats (Germans), it did not lessen the disgust I had against the Nazi system that condoned, encouraged and justified this mistreatment of Jewish people; Jews were given curfews, forced to wear armbands, forced to use ration coupons etc. I was truly sickened by it all. This graphic novel is biographical; Spiegelman's father recounted his personal experiences as a Polish Jew during WW2 to him. It's difficult to imagine that there are many similarly horrific stories out there.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krista Wright

    Wow. This is a very powerful book--more so than anything else I've read in a long time. Absolutely amazing storytelling. I need a quick break before jumping into the next volume, because it's just so dark. But I definitely recommend this to everyone, even if you don't normally read comics or graphic novels.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Denisse

    Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #40 A graphic novel. A very realistic story. Not just for the Nazi information but the personal story of the author’s father. He didn’t ease off anything, not their relationship, not with his father’s thoughts and that gives the story a special detail. The novel is very direct and powerful, and the characters portrayed by animals (mice, cats, pigs) sound very human. You might not found that much of new information if you are a WWII hardcore reader or viewer b Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #40 A graphic novel. A very realistic story. Not just for the Nazi information but the personal story of the author’s father. He didn’t ease off anything, not their relationship, not with his father’s thoughts and that gives the story a special detail. The novel is very direct and powerful, and the characters portrayed by animals (mice, cats, pigs) sound very human. You might not found that much of new information if you are a WWII hardcore reader or viewer but this story is so personal it will inevitably reach your feelings. Tengo cero experiencia con novelas graficas y/o comics, así que Maus la tenia bastante difícil. Pero debo decir que me sorprendió mucho. Cuando veía fotos de las ilustraciones en otras reseñas lo primero que se me venia a la mente era “son bastante simples” pero ahora que lo he leído de verdad que puedo decir que una imagen dice mas que mil palabras. El uso de los animales estuvo perfecto: Ratones para los Judíos, Gatos para los Nazis y Cerdos para la gente de Polonia. Los diálogos eran sumamente rápidos de leer, la verdad me detenía mas en ver las ilustraciones que tenían mas feeling de lo que creí. Un gran acierto de la historia para mi fue que no pierde tiempo. Explica las cosas bien y rápido. No tenemos mucho build up para lo que ya todos conocemos sobre la WWII. Así, que empieza de lleno con los dos temas principales, que es conocer la historia de supervivencia real que vivió el padre del autor y conocer su relación padre-hijo. Ambas se manejan muy bien, y las interacciones se leen bastante realistas lo cual expone al padre del autor como no necesariamente un hombre ejemplar pero si alguien capaz de sobrevivir e intentar que la mayoría de su familia lo haga también. Realmente te llegas a preguntar como es que una persona pasa por tanto y algunas de sus escapadas te dicen lo imaginativa que se pone la gente cuando es arrojada a una situación de supervivencia. Incluso me atrevería a decir que se reirán con ciertos comentarios que hay en la novela, me gusta mucho la personalidad del papa en la actualidad cuando le cuenta su historia a Art, es justo como alguien que sobrevivió al Holocausto seria, a mi parecer. Un punto a resaltar es que el autor usa mucho eso de “Y entonces fue a su trabajo, y esa fue la ultima vez que lo vimos.” No necesariamente esa frase, pero ya sacan no? O también te dice que alguien muere antes de que muera y entonces cuando pasa ya no hay tanta sorpresa. Hay autores a los que les sale muy bien ese tipo de escritura pero creo que en esta historia necesitábamos la mayor emoción y se medio perdía a veces por eso. Fuera de eso, fluye muy bien la trama, y a pesar de ser muy rápido, tiene profundidad cuando debe y es ligera pero con significado en cuestiones graves. Muy recomendado. Espero leer la segunda parte pronto.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    2.5 stars I guess i'm just really not in the mood for serious topic-ed books this summer. I went into this knowing it was so popular, and being on the topic of the Holocaust, I was expecting to be really moved by this. But I didn't like the way that the narration was done-- it follows the son of a Jew asking his father to recite the tale-- and strangely I found myself enjoying the parts that weren't about the 1940s flashbacks more than I enjoyed the story about the war. A lot of it bored me, stra 2.5 stars I guess i'm just really not in the mood for serious topic-ed books this summer. I went into this knowing it was so popular, and being on the topic of the Holocaust, I was expecting to be really moved by this. But I didn't like the way that the narration was done-- it follows the son of a Jew asking his father to recite the tale-- and strangely I found myself enjoying the parts that weren't about the 1940s flashbacks more than I enjoyed the story about the war. A lot of it bored me, strangely, and I don't know if it's because I wasn't in the mood for it, or because the writing just wasn't great. The mouse vs. cat metaphor didn't really speak to me like I was anticipating it would, either. Half of the time, you couldn't even tell who was cat and who was mouse because the art is so simple. Honestly it wasn't a bad book, i'm just struggling to collect my thoughts about it because I honestly can't think of one compliment I have for it. If I hadn't already bought the sequel, I would probably not read volume 2

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    2017: I appreciated this just as much as last year. This second reading really drove home for me the loss of his mother's narrative (she committed suicide years before Spiegelman wrote this book, and his father burned her war journals in a fit of depression one day). Looking forward to finally reading the second part. 2016: 4.5 stars. This really gives you an idea of what a roll of the dice surviving the Holocaust was, and the relationship between the father (the story's subject) and the son (th 2017: I appreciated this just as much as last year. This second reading really drove home for me the loss of his mother's narrative (she committed suicide years before Spiegelman wrote this book, and his father burned her war journals in a fit of depression one day). Looking forward to finally reading the second part. 2016: 4.5 stars. This really gives you an idea of what a roll of the dice surviving the Holocaust was, and the relationship between the father (the story's subject) and the son (the author) adds so many layers to what could be a basic war memoir. (Random, but as someone who's taught English to Czech and Russian students, I also loved the way Spiegelman perfectly captured the grammatical mistakes that Slavic-language speakers make in English.) I would recommend this to pretty much everybody.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I know I'm not breaking any new ground by calling Art Spiegelman's "Maus" amazing -- easily one of the best Holocaust memoirs ever published. But, as if that isn't achievement enough, "Maus" also is much more than that: a nakedly honest portrayal of the strained relationship between artist-writer Art and his elderly father Vladek, neither of whom has gotten over the loss of Anja -- Art's mother and Vladek's wife -- to suicide years before. (The four-page "Prisoner on the Hell Planet: A Case Hist I know I'm not breaking any new ground by calling Art Spiegelman's "Maus" amazing -- easily one of the best Holocaust memoirs ever published. But, as if that isn't achievement enough, "Maus" also is much more than that: a nakedly honest portrayal of the strained relationship between artist-writer Art and his elderly father Vladek, neither of whom has gotten over the loss of Anja -- Art's mother and Vladek's wife -- to suicide years before. (The four-page "Prisoner on the Hell Planet: A Case History," an earlier comic strip about the suicide that Spiegelman had published years before writing "Maus," and included here as part of the story, is particularly painful to read.) No one comes out of this book unscathed: Art, even as he uses his father's Holocaust memories as the basis for his book, is impatient with the aging Vladek and castigates him for his mistakes. Vladek treats his second wife Mala poorly, mostly because she's not Anja, and Mala fails to understand Vladek, assuming that because they're both Holocaust survivors they should treat life the same way. And that's not even to mention the Jews who sell out their fellow Jews during the Holocaust (even their own relatives, at times), and the Poles who hide Jews from the Gestapos -- as long as they're being paid. And, amazingly, Spiegelman recounts all this without becoming judgmental. Vladek understands why, during wartime, his Polish protectors demanded payment for their help. Mala understands why Art needed to turn his mother's suicide into a comic strip, and appreciates the comic's accuracy. Even the book's final scene -- I won't give it away for those who have not yet read "Maus" -- is presented starkly and in a matter-of-fact manner, with both Vladek's recounted actions and Art's angry reaction to them being completely understandable. I don't meant to give short shrift to the book's other fine qualities: its ability to deftly jump back and forth in time, from the present day to World War II, and among various events during the war, and its perfect marriage of cartoon images to text. "Maus" really is just about perfect. Its one failing? Leaving Vladek's Holocaust story unfinished. But no matter: that's why there's a "Maus II," which I will read next.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    There has always been a debate about the impact and importance of cartoons and comic books. The debate pretty much boils down to the misconception that comic books simply tell adventure stories. This misconception irgnores several importnat things, the most important is that all fiction has its highs and lows. In literature, for instance, you have Austen and Twain, and then there is Radcliffe, who while a good writer, simply tells a story. This misconception is true of some comics, as it would b There has always been a debate about the impact and importance of cartoons and comic books. The debate pretty much boils down to the misconception that comic books simply tell adventure stories. This misconception irgnores several importnat things, the most important is that all fiction has its highs and lows. In literature, for instance, you have Austen and Twain, and then there is Radcliffe, who while a good writer, simply tells a story. This misconception is true of some comics, as it would be true of any genre of anything. The misconception does not take into account a graphic novel such as Maus. A great deal has already been said about how important and ground breaking this book is, the importance of the story, the beauty in its retelling, and its unflinching non-judgemental style. There is no reason for me to repeat all that for it is true. The book is multi-layered and tells the story not only of surving the Holocaust but surviving the life afterwards. The reader is not presented with a happy ever after tale, the book does present a realsitc and unflinching of life; instead, the reader is presented with a real life. For me, the most touching and impactive part of the book was the inclusio of "Prisoner on the Hell Planet", a story about the suicide of Anja. For anyone who has suffered or who has a family member suffer from mental illness, it rings true in in its starkness. Additionally, Spiegelman allows the reader to make the judgements, as opposed to making judgements and presenting them to the reader. This is especially well done in terms of the marriage of Mala and Valdek. If anything, the book asks for understanding of everything. In many ways, this book reminds me of the same themes addressed in The Memory Man.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kandice

    Spiegelman does the most fantastic job showing us his parent's story in a truthful way. I cannot stand his father Vladek, or Spiegelman himself for that matter, but maybe that's part of the point. People are people and should be treated as such. Even is they are assholes. I am pretty close to this subject since I work in a synagogue and we have a group called New Life Club, comprised of Holocaust survivors and their children. They meet for a catered lunch and some form of entertainment each mont Spiegelman does the most fantastic job showing us his parent's story in a truthful way. I cannot stand his father Vladek, or Spiegelman himself for that matter, but maybe that's part of the point. People are people and should be treated as such. Even is they are assholes. I am pretty close to this subject since I work in a synagogue and we have a group called New Life Club, comprised of Holocaust survivors and their children. They meet for a catered lunch and some form of entertainment each month in our facility. My third day on the job here was the first time I saw a numbered Holocaust tattoo on an arm in real life and it really, really hurt to see it. Stamped into flesh forever. I live in Southern California and it gets hot. You can't wear long sleeves your whole life here, and why should you have to. It still hurts to see them, but they have become less jarring in the eight years I have been exposed to them. This book (I won't call it a comic) should be required reading in middle or early high school. There are children who are generations enough removed from the subject to hear these stories and think of them as exaggeration. They are not. Spiegelman does a fantastic job of showing, in the frame of conversations with his irritating father, what really happened. His parents were able to avoid a camp for a few years and I think most Holocaust fiction avoids this story. It needs to be told. Even Vladek, who was not a great guy, never, ever deserved anything he got. His lovely, nervous wife, no less so for her loveliness. People could never deserve what happened and we should never forget.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jake Doyle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought this book was very interesting, and so did many other people. From what I've seem from other reviews, many people were thinking the same thing I was when they were reading the book. They thought this book was a very depressing and a look at the Holocaust like we've never seen. They also talk about how the author isn't afraid to censor what his father says and how grotesque the story may be, it all happened. The type of readers that might enjoy this book would of most likely be people w I thought this book was very interesting, and so did many other people. From what I've seem from other reviews, many people were thinking the same thing I was when they were reading the book. They thought this book was a very depressing and a look at the Holocaust like we've never seen. They also talk about how the author isn't afraid to censor what his father says and how grotesque the story may be, it all happened. The type of readers that might enjoy this book would of most likely be people who are interested in history and people who aren't faint of heart. Though, if you think yourself faint of heart but still want to read this book, you can, but I warn you, it is very depressing at some moments and sad at all times during World War 2. Many people have said they have felt depress and sad after reading a bit of this book, so that's one warning. Another warning is a scene where Richeu, Art's deceased brother, commits suicide as a boy because his caretaker didn't want or the other children she was taking care of to die from being gassed or shot. I think the plot of the book helps the book immensely, as it gives context of the present and the past. The hook at the end also makes you want to find out what happens to Vladek and how he survived and what he went through. The perspective was also intriguing, as it allowed you to go into the head of a Jewish man who goes from everything to nothing like that. The group suicide of the children was a thought provoking subject, as it pushed you to think that maybe there was a way the children would've survived, but they would have gone through the hard way, and they are just children that can't take it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danuta

    I have a real, real problem with this book. It's a powerful piece, and tells the story of one family's experiences of the Holocaust in grim and gripping detail. it's also an amazing exploration of the relationship between a father and son. I'd love to give it 5 stars. And yet... I couldn't give a decent rating to a book that depicted black people, Muslims or gays as pigs, and I can't give a good rating to a book that depicts Poles as pigs. The book is not the history of the Polish people during I have a real, real problem with this book. It's a powerful piece, and tells the story of one family's experiences of the Holocaust in grim and gripping detail. it's also an amazing exploration of the relationship between a father and son. I'd love to give it 5 stars. And yet... I couldn't give a decent rating to a book that depicted black people, Muslims or gays as pigs, and I can't give a good rating to a book that depicts Poles as pigs. The book is not the history of the Polish people during the occupation, fair enough, but Spiegleman draws on stereotypes and shows a great deal of ignorance of events in Poland, Belarus and Ukraine during the years of the Nazi occupation. He seems to prefer the Nazis to the Poles. The Nazis are evil but elegant, the Poles are just brute animals. Apparently, when Spieglaman was challenged about the way he depicts Poles in this book, he said 'Stop squealing.' I haven't a source for this quote, and I hope it is wrong. Powerful? Yes. Racist? Yes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    This is a powerful story. It doesn't seem like these horrors could be possible and yet they are. This is a black and white comic with mice as Jews and cats as Nazis. I can only hope that this history remains a reminder of why compassion toward all people is so very important. When we lose our compassion, we lose our humanity. It is also a reminder of the darkness people are capable of and the strength of the human spirit. This is not a fun story or a comforting story; it is a tough story about s This is a powerful story. It doesn't seem like these horrors could be possible and yet they are. This is a black and white comic with mice as Jews and cats as Nazis. I can only hope that this history remains a reminder of why compassion toward all people is so very important. When we lose our compassion, we lose our humanity. It is also a reminder of the darkness people are capable of and the strength of the human spirit. This is not a fun story or a comforting story; it is a tough story about survival and after you do survive, what is life like then. I'm glad I read this story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    An incredible book. It also feels quite timely, which is sad and scary.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    “It would take many books, my life, and no one wants anyway to hear such stories.” - Vladek Spiegelman. ‘Maus, I’ and ‘Maus, II’ are two books that shatter one of the myths about the Holocaust; the myth that the monstrosity of Holocaust is beyond the realms of artistic imagination. Art Spiegelman refutes this through a brilliant and brutal depiction of the horrors of Holocaust in a comic book that will honestly shock the reader. ‘Maus’ is the painful story of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’, a survivor of th “It would take many books, my life, and no one wants anyway to hear such stories.” - Vladek Spiegelman. ‘Maus, I’ and ‘Maus, II’ are two books that shatter one of the myths about the Holocaust; the myth that the monstrosity of Holocaust is beyond the realms of artistic imagination. Art Spiegelman refutes this through a brilliant and brutal depiction of the horrors of Holocaust in a comic book that will honestly shock the reader. ‘Maus’ is the painful story of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’, a survivor of the Hiteler’s Europe and the Nazi death camps, and traces each episode of his entire life - starting from his youth, then his marriage, life during the early days of the Third Reich, his struggles during the initial days of persecution, frantic attempts for personal survival and the survival of his loved one’s in occupied Poland, getting captured and getting imprisoned in Auschwitz, surviving the death camps and his later struggling attempts in leading a normal life until death. It is an honest narration of how the calm-serene world of an individual and people connected to him is turned upside down in to a quest for survival filled with death, destruction, loyalty and betrayal. The first volume of this narration describes Vladek’s story up to his imprisonment in Auschwitz. For me as a reader everything that the artist described in this book were already familiar, but the way in which Art Spiegelman mixes his present day relations with his father and their arguments and then taking the reader back to the horrors that his father and family went through during the war felt so unique. It was the author’s clever use of cartoon as an influential medium to highlight the impacts of the brutality and horrors of war on ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ as an individual and on his life – both during the war and after surviving the war –, which felt brilliant for me. While reading ‘Maus’ the reader also learns about Art Spiegelman’s painful relationship with his parents, especially his father and his attempts at understanding what his parents went through during the days of horror. Glimpses of the author’s private life during the creation of this book and the impact of his mother’s suicide on the author are also brilliantly entwined with the story of ‘Vladek Spiegelman’ in ‘Maus’. The struggles that Art Spiegelman went through in his personal life is cleverly captured in a cartoon book with in the cartoon book titled ‘Prisoner on the hell planet a case history’ which illustrates his mental situation during the days of the death of his mother. The idea of metaphorically representing characters of different races as animal caricatures – Jews as mice, Germans as cats, The French as frogs, The Americans as dogs, The Poles as pigs, the Gypsies as moths – is simply genius. Why this form of characterization was used can be seen from the words of the author himself. Ultimately, what the book is about is the commonality of human beings. It's crazy to divide things down the nationalistic or racial or religious lines. And that's the whole point, isn't it? These metaphors, which are meant to self-destruct in my book - and I think they do self-destruct - still have a residual force that allows them to work as metaphors, and still get people worked up over them. Excerpt taken from :'The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches' Edited by Laurence Roth and Samantha Baskind For me ‘Maus’ is a book that takes graphic novels to a level of power that was not thought possible previously. This is art at it’s best.

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