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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale (Pantheon Graphic Library) Hardcover – Illustrated, 19 November 1996
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–The New Republic
“A quiet triumph, moving and simple–impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics.”
–The Washington Post
“Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics’ history: something that actually occurred…. The central relationship is not that of cat and mouse, but that of Art and Vladek. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt.”
–The New Yorker
“All too infrequently, a book comes along that’s as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman’s Maus is just such a book.”
“An epic story told in tiny pictures.”
–The New York Times
“A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution… at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant.”
From the Back Cover
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- Publisher : Pantheon; Reprint edition (19 November 1996)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679406417
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679406419
- Item Weight : 862 g
- Dimensions : 17.09 x 2.92 x 23.93 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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This story is about the Holocaust, about Jews and their persecution, and about survival and survivors. At least it was meant to be.
But it is not just that. It is something more. It is the story of a father and a son. It chronicles a few months in the lives of the duo as the father nags at all the things and all the people around him, and as the son keeps on getting embarrassed and irritated by his father. That is what this book is: the tale of a father and his son. At least that is how it turns out to be.
And this is the absolute beauty of this book. Given the subject matter, it could have been a dark and dry story, but the Animal Farm of Spiegelman was easy to wade through because it kept me engaged in the horrors depicted without making me feel blue by overshadowing them with the father-son duo's banter.
I've read and watched other works on the second World War and on the Holocaust, and all of them have been difficult to digest because of the harsh realities they describe in their plain manner. Meanwhile, Spiegelman adopted a fresh approach in not only the narrative (father-son dynamic) but also in the medium he chose - that it be a comic, that too with anthropomorphic characters.
As for the publication, the paper is thick, semi-gloss and the print is fine. Font and pictures are clear. Bought for ₹494 from Amazing Buy. No complaints regarding quality and delivery.
The paper quality, paper thickness and binding is of good quality. You will love to touch and smell this book.
Written with a tone full of sarcasm and is weirdly funny and sad at the same time
Writer has not used 'perfect English' which helps you connect with protagonist better
Cleverly used animal faces to depict people... you won't find one perfect person in story.
I have been a big fan of comics while growing up (who isn’t?”) and I thought shifting to the non graphic medium was more mature.Well,I was wrong, obviously.The books of Alan Moore and Frank Miller have showed me that Comics were a spectacular medium when it wanted to be. The Japanese ‘Junji Ito’ was a revelation and now I am constantly digging Graphic novels.
Maus is drawn in black and white and the tone fits the story so well. By making the protagonists and antagonists faceless (well, they have faces but he has ingenuously drawn Jews as mice and Germans as cat) he tells us that everything becomes non personal and generic during the time of war, especially the pain, but it is not so. Every guy is fighting his or her battle through the war and each guy’s suffering has its own shades of blue.
Pain is looming as a pallid gloom all over them, omnipresent and stifling. It is like there is a thick towel draped over their faces. They have to breathe and see through it and the towel stinks after some time.
Read Maus to understand how a war feels like,how hate feels like,how sectarianism feels like,how it feels like to fear for your life every second of the day.
A great book in short.
Must read as it's definitely a huge lessons learned by humanity.
I can’t describe in words how much impact this book has left upon me. This is a must-read for any human, let alone graphic-novel readers.
Told through tiny squares on a page, Maus creeps into the recesses of your mind and your heart and when it is finally over, you find yourself more than what you were before. It has taken its place as one of my favourite and dearest stories ever. I hope everyone who reads, experiences this monumental piece of work at least once in his or her life. It is an epic story, told on such a small scale that one forgets that one watches history unfold before them in a manner that was hitherto unknown.
Read this, please. Just read it and later on, find yourself changed.
Top reviews from other countries
As someone who loves learning about history, I was always going to like this graphic memoir. And while I’m on a bid to introduce myself to more non fiction, a graphic memoir was the perfect way to start that.
So this is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, drawn through his son, Art Spiegelman. And that one point alone – how it was done – was the main crux of my enjoyment. Because it wasn’t just the story of war. Oh no. Instead of simply drawing what his father said, Art Spiegelman actually drew the entire process. He drew himself visiting his dad, coaxing him into telling more of his story. He drew what he was like in later life, a small snapshot into how all this affected him long-term. And through that, I found myself feeling like I was sat right in front of Vladek Spiegelman – him in a chair, myself cross legged on the floor – while he told his story. How a graphic memoir can do that, with so little words in comparison to novels, is beyond me. But I loved it.
And then we have the art. Completely black and white with quite a sketchy look, each page is packed with drawings. It can look a bit overwhelming at first, but I personally think it suits the story really well. There’s the metaphor too – the Nazis are drawn as cats, terrorising the mice (ding ding ding, we have the title: Maus). Such a simple way to explain things, in a time when things weren’t simple at all. Suitable for a graphic memoir though, since there’s not really much leverage in explaining who each person on the page is and which “side” they belong to.
I expected to get emotional. But… I didn’t. I have a feeling that’s partly to do with the fact it’s a graphic memoir, and not as much time is spent describing how horrendous everything is. But also because of Vladek Spiegelman himself. It’s his story, yet as he tells it, he doesn’t seem to reveal many emotions. He just…tells the story. Here are the facts. This is what happened.
Though I might have felt more had a bit more been revealed about Art Spiegelman’s mother. In the beginning, it’s mentioned that she committed suicide after the war, and while it does go into it a little bit, nothing about that is really explained. Granted, that may be because they don’t know much themselves. But still. She’s mentioned so often throughout the memoir – as you would expect – but she herself doesn’t seem to be in it much. I’d have liked to see more of her.
As hard as they try, books will never be able to portray these events accurately. Nothing will. There’s a nod to that even in this book. But with things like these, though I (luckily) may not be able to imagine such ongoing hunger, such heartbreak, the pain and suffering…I might be able to understand a bit more. I can read books like this and know that at least their story isn’t going untold. At least I’ll be here, remembering for them. And that is the least I can do.
The first and most important thing to make note of is that this is a completely true story. It isn’t a piece of fiction based in the truth of Auschwitz, it is a true account of Art Spiegelman’s father’s life during World War II. It is a heavy and intense read, but completely incredible.
The second important thing you need to know about this book is that it is a graphic novel. It is masterfully drawn, with plenty of narration which makes it easy to read even if you’re not a regular graphic novel reader. The metaphorical representation of people is a massive part of this book. Jews are drawn as mice, Nazis as cats, the Allies as dogs, and Poles as pigs. This is an incredibly effective commentary on stereotypes, and highlights the absurdity of dividing people by nationality.
The brutal honesty about life as a Jew during the Nazi occupation is shocking and horrific, but truly, truly fascinating. On another level, the relationship between Art and Vladek is also explored, and it really shows how the children of survivors can be so affected by the experience of their parents.
Maus isn’t an easy or pleasant read by any means, but it is powerful and it’s essential. If you’re into graphic novels, you MUST read this book. If you’re into historical accounts and memoirs, you MUST read this book. If you read anything at all, you MUST read this book.
They say that a picture paints a thousand words, but master cartoonist and artist Art Spiegelman has drawn a lifetime. Tracing his father's experiences of the Holocaust, Spiegelman delivers something intensely powerful and emotional.
It may seem insensitive to portray the horrors of the Holocaust in a cartoon form, but there's actually something deeply immersive about this format. Like all good art should, the medium of this story pulls you into the experience; opening up the pores of our soul to receive the full potency of this stories message. With each frame of this cartoon you sense the foreboding danger, the growing dehumanisation, and the shock of what transpired.
The gas chambers and incinerators of Auschwitz, the forced labour, the street hangings, the disenfranchisement of homes and businesses and basic human dignity; the demonisation, scapegoating, and media-induced prejudice; the public beatings; the survivalist-led betrayal from neighbour and friends and countrymen; the slow and corrosive stripping away of personal identity which culminated in being reduced to a number...maybe if we could go back and witness these things we would turn ourselves away and refuse to reflect on the horror. But we need to see, and we need to learn, and *Maus*, alongside the stories of other survivors, helps us to do this.
The Holocaust is something we should never forget. Especially in today's world, where we find ourselves once more giving our ears and voices to the growing tide of stigmatisation, fear-mongering, nationalism and the dehumanisation of certain people groups. We may feel our words and opinions have no effect, that they're 'innocent' or 'harmless', but history shows how dangerously ignorant such thinking can be and how catastrophic the consequences are.
--Tristan Sherwin, author of *Love: Expressed*.
There are no human faces in this book. The Jews are depicted as mice, the Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs, Americans as dogs etc.
There is a split perception of mice as animals. On one side they are portrayed in much of children’s literature are cute and non-threatening, and on the other as vermin to be exterminated. Above all, they are powerless in the presence of larger, more predatory animals (such as cats). Mice being slaughtered evokes sympathy in a way that the extermination of other ‘vermin’, such as rats, never could.
When the story begins, Vladek is a successful businessman in Poland, courting Anja. Slowly the rumours of anti-Jewish attacks by Nazis in Germany and Czechoslovakia reach them. At first it is seen as a problem elsewhere, but bit by bit, the danger that the Polish Jewish community is in becomes apparent – but it is too late. The story deals with the attempts at hiding and sending of children to supposedly safer places, and then the rounding up of the Jews and the deportations to Auschwitz. Vladek’s life in Auschwitz and then later in Dachau is told, along with the luck and ingenuity that enabled Vladek to stay alive, when so many around him perished.
Vladek is not a sympathetic character. While he may have physically survived the Holocaust, his personality has been forever damaged by his experiences. He is unable to have a close relationship with his son or his second wife. Instincts that enabled him to survive, form a barrier between himself and everyone around him. In some ways, his mind seems to have never left Dachau. Because of this, the trauma of the Holocaust lasts well beyond the 1940s, and impacts directly on the offspring – and further generations – of the survivors. Art wants to understand the difficult man who is his father, and writing/drawing this book is his way of doing that.
This is not a book to enjoy reading. It is an important witness account, that needs to be documented and read. The black and white drawings (colour only on the cover) underline the seriousness of the content and the desperation of the world at that time, and have a visceral impact on the reader.
I highly recommend this book – to everyone.
His father was a Jewish man living in Nazi occupied Poland and not only does the book highlight the atrocities committed by the nazis towards the Jewish people; it recounts what life was actually like. How people behaved in response to the Nazi threat but also the variety of peoples responses to such a threat. Its deeply upsetting but also an interesting first hand point of view journey through and beyond such an awful experience . It makes you appreciate everything a lot more and hope with a stronger intensity that the world will never allow such a horrific thing to happen again.
The drawings were simple yet very effective and the characters being depicted as Mice, Cats and pigs was a very clever touch.