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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus #1)

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  188,412 Ratings  ·  4,773 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 159 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Pantheon Books (first published August 12th 1985)
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Liz Because by burning Anja's journals, Vladek had, in a way, killed her all over again. Art thought he had a chance to re-connect with his mother from…moreBecause by burning Anja's journals, Vladek had, in a way, killed her all over again. Art thought he had a chance to re-connect with his mother from beyond the grave, and get her side of the story, and Vladek destroyed that chance.

Poor Anja. We'll never know what she went through... and the fact that she left no note tells me her "suicide" was probably just a cry for help, and not a genuine attempt at suicide. (less)

Community Reviews

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Jul 10, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned-read

Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.
Apr 11, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
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
Will M.
Jun 01, 2015 Will M. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History aficionados
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.
Jan 03, 2014 Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, 2014
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
Oct 28, 2014 Elyse rated it it was amazing
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" 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"

Nandakishore Varma
Apr 01, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 12, 2012 Arnie rated it it was amazing
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.
Alicia Beale
May 20, 2007 Alicia Beale rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
Apr 25, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2011 Owlseyes rated it really liked it

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.

Feb 08, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Jul 13, 2014 Ariel rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2015 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 ...more
Jul 10, 2015 Denisse rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Krista Wright
Dec 20, 2015 Krista Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 14, 2017 Mel rated it it was ok
I feel like it's such a bad thing to give a book that tells the story of such a horrible time such a bad rating, but honestly this was just not worth reading.
There are so many movies and books about World War II that you really need a good or ground breaking idea to put out an original new thing. This one was such a very accurate retelling of what had happened during World War II which I am very familiar with. Not only is it a huge topic at school I've also seen countless movies featuring this t
Feb 22, 2017 Laura rated it it was amazing
An incredible book. It also feels quite timely, which is sad and scary.
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 ...more
Jan 26, 2012 Danuta rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Mar 27, 2016 Tori (InToriLex) rated it really liked it
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

I was pleasantly surprised, at how much I enjoyed this account. Most of this volume describes the family's life leading to the the Holocaust. Hearing the story told to the author through his father, who is dealing with the hardships of aging, humanized the characters beyond their experience as victims. This was an important part of the story, because most Holocaust accounts that I've read haven't focused on the people, beyond the horror they lived throug
Jake Doyle
Sep 02, 2015 Jake Doyle rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pramod Nair
Jun 05, 2015 Pramod Nair rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 14, 2016 Isabela rated it it was amazing
So good!!!
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 ...more
Roberta Frontini (Blogue FLAMES)
É sempre impressionante ler histórias que se passem nesta época, e fico sempre arrepiada por ver como as pessoas estavam dispostas a fazer certas coisas. :(
Gostaria que a arte tivesse sido um pouco melhor.
Não deixa de ser um livro que vale a pena ler :)
Nov 28, 2012 Φαροφύλακας rated it it was amazing
Shelves: Κόμιξ
Κάποια φίλη μού έλεγε μια μέρα πως δεν αντέχει πια να δει άλλη ταινία για το Ολοκαύτωμα των Εβραίων, πως δηλαδή γυρίστηκαν πολλές και φτάνει.

Σ' εμένα λειτουργεί διαφορετικά. Ο Β Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος είναι μια ιστορική στιγμή που με συγκλονίζει: όλη αυτή η μαζική φρίκη, ο συμπαγής παραλογισμός, η καθολική καταστροφή, ο ατέλειωτος ανθρώπινος πόνος κι η δυστυχία, αυτή η μεγάλη πληγή που ανοίξαν οι ίδιοι άνθρωποι πάνω στο σώμα τής ανθρωπότητας και που ακόμα και σήμερα μπορείς να ψηλαφίσεις την ουλή. Κ
Laura Leaney
Jun 27, 2014 Laura Leaney rated it it was amazing
The experience of reading the story of Art Spiegelman’s father – of his marital history, his family, and his capture by the Germans – in comic book form was fascinating. I’m no expert in graphic novel reading, but Spiegelman’s illustrations appear to subtly comment on the more profound issues facing both the son and the father. I read some of the negative reviews by other readers, and I understand the adverse reaction against a Holocaust remembrance that depicts Jews as mice, Poles (and other no ...more
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No Judgement Book...: What did you think of Maus 1? 1 8 May 10, 2017 05:49PM  
memoir or what? 1 8 Jul 22, 2016 09:12AM  
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Art Spiegelman (born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev) is New-York-based comics artist, editor, and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic memoir, Maus.
More about Art Spiegelman...

Other Books in the Series

Maus (2 books)
  • Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)

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“To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life.” 2534 likes
“Disaster is my muse.” 45 likes
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