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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History: v. 1 (Pantheon Graphic Library) Paperback – 12 August 1986
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Spiegelman, a stalwart of the underground comics scene of the 1960s and '70s, interviewed his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor living outside New York City, about his experiences. The artist then deftly translated that story into a graphic novel. By portraying a true story of the Holocaust in comic form--the Jews are mice, the Germans cats, the Poles pigs, the French frogs, and the Americans dogs--Spiegelman compels the reader to imagine the action, to fill in the blanks that are so often shied away from. Reading Maus, you are forced to examine the Holocaust anew.
This is neither easy nor pleasant. However, Vladek Spiegelman and his wife Anna are resourceful heroes, and enough acts of kindness and decency appear in the tale to spur the reader onward (we also know that the protagonists survive, else reading would be too painful). This first volume introduces Vladek as a happy young man on the make in pre-war Poland. With outside events growing ever more ominous, we watch his marriage to Anna, his enlistment in the Polish army after the outbreak of hostilities, his and Anna's life in the ghetto, and then their flight into hiding as the Final Solution is put into effect. The ending is stark and terrible, but the worst is yet to come--in the second volume of this Pulitzer Prize-winning set. --Michael Gerber
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- Publisher : Pantheon (12 August 1986)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0394747232
- ISBN-13 : 978-0394747231
- Item Weight : 374 g
- Dimensions : 16.51 x 1.02 x 23.11 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #100,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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As with other such memoirs, there is, however, a strain of hope and plenty triumphs for the embattled human spirits encountered between the pages; and the author's depiction of his own Father (heroic in his resistance to the Nazi onslaught but very difficult to live with in later life) could hardly be termed sentimental. These elements combine to emphasise the realism and attractiveness of the account.
I regard this book as equivalent in status and importance to Anne Frank's Diary, hence a must-read.
I do have to admit, and maybe I read too much into this, but their is a racist over tone in the artwork of Spiegelman in the types of animals used to represent the varying races/people in the tale. Jews were mice, Germans and Pollacks as pigs, and the French as frogs. Like I said I may be reading more into it than is really there, nonetheless I say anyone who is a lover of literature or fantastic comics should buy this book.