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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale
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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale (Maus #1-2)

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  46,709 ratings  ·  2,549 reviews
On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its first publication, here is the definitive edition of the book acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker).

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published November 19th 1996 by Pantheon
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Philip Swain Hi April,

I would say, based on the subject matter and its presentation, early teens and above. The book deals with an array of human emotions, which…more
Hi April,

I would say, based on the subject matter and its presentation, early teens and above. The book deals with an array of human emotions, which require a mature or maturing mind to comprehend. That being said, Maus is an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with the Holocaust and its perpetrators.

I hope this helps.
Watchmen by Alan MooreMaus, I by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreCalvin and Hobbes by Bill WattersonMaus, II by Art Spiegelman
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2nd out of 84 books — 59 voters

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Community Reviews

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oh my god.


This burrowed it's way deep into my heart. This made me feel so much. This was an experience, not just a "read". This was real and I can't even explain how this affected me because it was the most emotional thing I've ever read. Not made-up emotion. This was REAL and it affected me.

Vladek. He reminded me of my Grandfather, a little. I loved my Grandfather and I loved Vladek. His story, as told to his son Art Spiegelman, was one of the most powerful stories I've ever experienced.

This w
It didn’t dawn on me until later that this brilliant piece of graphic artistry and fiction is actually a very clever allegory. On the face of it, we’re led to believe that it’s a story of the terrible suffering perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews in Poland and throughout Europe. But if you scratch beneath the surface, I think you’ll find that this particular holocaust story was made to symbolize something more pervasive and endemic. I speak of the horrific violence that persists to this da ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Complete Maus
Art Spiegelman

Probably the most informative and intimate journal of the holocaust I have ever read.

Maus is really two parallel stories, not one. It jumps back and forth between the two stories, one set in the past (Poland), the other set in the present (NYC).

Story 1: 1940’s Poland: Vladek Spiegelman tells how he survived the holocaust as a Polish-Jew. From the invasion, to the spread of Naziam, to his time in Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp as a tin worker at the gas cha
Kat Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Books I read rarely affect my emotions when I'm not reading it. A book can pull me every which way, make me feel horrified or saddened or joyful, but when I put it down, I'm in the same mood I was before I started reading it. Only occasionally can a book get under my skin, and Maus is one of them. I was actually happy to finish it, because I didn't like the way it was making me feel: anxious, upset, unhappy. And I've read Holocaust stuff before. It's not new. Something about the way Spiegelman c ...more
Where should I commence to appraise this book? Must I begin from the detail that MAUS is a gratifying story of Vladek and Art OR that it is a sheer enlightenment through simplicity?

Art Spiegelman in this astounding graphic novel reveals a fractured father-son relationship whilst focusing on the perils of the Holocaust. The story is set in Rego Park, NY where Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist tries to verbalize and grasp with his father and the Holocaust.

Written over a period of thirteen years, MAUS
This was our second book in the local library's discussion of Jewish graphic novels. It is, of course, the most famous and most celebrated exemplar of the genre (if you don't count the superhero stuff). What is amazing about the book is the emotional resonance Spiegelman manages to pack into his panels. In telling the story of his father's experience in the Holocaust, the author refuses to sentimentalize or pander. The most striking innovation is the use of mice for Jews, an appropriation of the ...more
Hershey  (Wants to be Magneto)
Such a poignant book. My heart feels heavy and it hurts.

Maus, I don't know what to say about this book. I don't want to think about those people in this book. It's just too painful. We waste so much in life. We take things for granted. And we always realize the importance of these things once they're gone forever. But what's the point in realizing its value once it's gone? This is what Maus taught me. Ah, it hurts. I can't review this book. Simply cannot. But I'm obviously going to try.

Maus is a
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.
This was an amazing read.

This was so good. I've known about it for a long time but somehow never sought it out. Maybe it was a bias against graphic novels? Not sure. I'm so glad I finally read it. This is a picture of human strength and frailty, humane and savage behavior, done in a novel way that seems to make it even more immediate and real.
Aug 12, 2008 Fragileindustries rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone (over 14)
I finally read this, in two separate editions, and now they are on my shelf of classic favorites that have moved me profoundly and changed me fundamentally.

After historical study, movies (Schindler's List et al) and novels (Sophie's Choice etc.), I felt I had had enough of Holocaust stories. I would never forget, as goes the dictum, but these tales were too unnerving and painful to read. What more could I learn?

The difference with Maus is not only the graphic novel format (although this does mak
Art Spiegelman’s parents wanted him to be a dentist. I’m sure that would have provided him with a much more stable income but he wouldn’t have won a Pulitzer Prize.
Or created one of the most innovative and emotional pieces of literature I have read for a long time.

Maus was first published in the magazine Raw which he and his wife started in 1980. It tells the story of Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, and his life as a Jew in Poland before and during the Second World War. The concept behind the novel
At the risk of sounding preposterous, here's what I scrawled after I turned the last page:

Frightfully gutted to say anything.
I yield; I can only leave silence in my wake, for I find no words to wrest out of me. But, but, wait, wait.....Powerful? Poignant? Heart wrenching? Devastating? Or, or... I don't know! I don't know! Just...just read it goddamitt!

Barry Pierce (*ON HIATUS*)
I really, really loved this. It's a fascinating and fresh portrayal of a (yet another) victim's experience of the Holocaust. I loved the meta aspect of this as well, the actual presentation of how the novel was written is fascinating.

However, my one criticism is that I feel Spiegelman didn't use the whole mice and cats metaphor as well as he could. This novel would have had the exact same impact and tone if he just drew everyone as humans. I feel like the anthropomorphism was... pointless. Ther
4.5 stars - Spoilers

Loved it. I think I learnt more about the Holocaust from Maus than I did at school.

-The illustrations were nothing brilliant, they were simple black and white drawings — though that suited the tone of the story.

-At first I wasn't impressed with Spiegelman using animals to represent different religions and nationalities, it seemed a bit insulting and demeaning to Spiegelman's dad and other Holocaust survivors. By the end, I thought it was a great way to characterise everyone.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of "Maus, A Survivor's Tale," by Art Spiegelman. Originally published in two volumes, the first completed in 1986, and the second in 1991, "Maus" was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. The Pulitzer Committee frankly stated they found the work difficult to classify. "Maus" remains the only comic strip to be so honored.

Naturally, simply referring to "Maus" as a comic strip or comic book raises the hackles of those who find the term graphic novel more app
Two genres I thought I was completely finished with -- holocaust books, and graphic novels (although technically this was probably more of a memoir).

This is up there with Night and several other powerful Holocaust books I read that actually impacted me, back when I wasn't yet too jaded for the genre. I think it helped that it wasn't just another Holocaust narrative -- it was equally the story of Art Spiegelman's quirky, cantankerous father and Art's complicated relationship with him. And the pic
Just beautiful. Heartachingly beautiful. Really, the only criticism I can give to Maus is...that I wish there were more. Really, it's a fast, fast read, and in fact, goes by way too quickly. The artwork is not something you linger over; there aren't a lot of intricate details in the drawings or anything, but the format suits the story so well, and the artwork matches the emotion in every frame.

Now I'm heading over to to watch the Simpson's episode that Art Speigelman guested in. "Maus i
I've never been into comics, and to be honest, I've never had much respect for the format. Well, Maus just changed all that. This book is a beautiful masterpiece that made me cry on multiple occasions, and I can't recommend it enough.
Aug 29, 2013 Cecily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
What has always troubled me about the book is that cats are natural predators of mice, so the analogy with the Holocaust seems dangerously wrong.

However, in a comment on Steve's thought-provoking review (, Ian pointed out, "My concern is that, if we fail to draw analogies with other, "lesser" conflicts, we might not see the next Holocaust coming. If we think of the Holocaust as qualitatively unique, we might become complacent. I think there are analogies
"A narrativa mais comovente e eficaz alguma vez escrita sobre o Holocausto."
- The Wall Street Journal

Através de desenhos - em que as personagens são animais - o autor conta a história do seu pai desde a juventude até à sua deportação para Aushwitz.

Li cerca de cem páginas, em trezentas, e custou-me tanto!
Como tanto me custa escrever uma opinião honesta sobre o que li.
O tema do Holocausto nazi perturba-me, comove-me, revolta-me, assusta-me... e por isso gostava tanto de gostar deste livro! Mas nã
Maus tells the story of Vladek, a Holocaust survivor living in New York. His son Art (also the author), interviews his father about his time spent dodging capture as well as his imprisonment at Auschwitz. Vladek recounts those who helped him, who betrayed him and the Nazis who murdered his friends and family. When not revisiting the past, Art explores his own current relationship with his father as well as his Dad’s obsession with money that both frustrates and ultimately alienates his second wi ...more
Maus is a biographical graphic novel telling the story of the author's father, Vladek Spiegelman, his life in Poland before the second world war and his experiences in Auschwitz. The book uses the device of representing different nationalities as animals, drawn in a simple cartoon fashion - the Jews are represented by mice, the Poles are pigs, the Germans are cats and so on. This initially seems like a simplistic and heavy handed metaphor, but depth and complexity of the narrative quickly become ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Jan 15, 2014 Stacey (prettybooks) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in WWII
I was browsing my library's catalogue and I had the sudden urge to check whether they had Maus. I knew they stocked graphic novels because I borrowed Scott Pilgrim last year. Maus is one that I've been wanting to read for quite a while – I really love WWI and WWII novels and included it in my post on Conflict in Books, although I haven't read many - but I also didn't want to read it because I was afraid that I'd find it too upsetting.

The Complete Maus contains Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus
"Yes, life always takes the side of life and somehow the victims are blamed. But it wasn't the best people who survived, nor did the best ones die. It was RANDOM!"

Oh. My. Goodness. I honestly have no idea how or what to comment. This, THIS is a book I will never, ever forget. I mean I knew it would come out of this book with a new perspective on everything but oh my goodness.

For me, the part that gets me the most is that I can't stop crying every time I remember Vladek's friend, Mandelbaum's o
The Complete Maus is a holocaust story, but not like one you've ever read before. The author tells the story of his father, Vladek, a Polish Jew living through WWII, surviving Nazi occupation and Auschwitz thanks to his resourcefulness and good providence. However, the author also reveals his strained relationship with his father as he tells not only his father's story, but also the story of Vladek sharing his experience with his son.

Not only does the father-son dynamic make the book interesting
Should the United States make reparations for slavery? I have not heard much on this topic for a while. The question goes beyond simple yes and no answers which are compounded by numerous external factors. But let us strip the argument down a little bit.

Yes: slaves were taken from their homes and livelihoods, put into forced labor and never compensated for their gains. The money that they should have earned would have been passed to their descendants in wills and deeds, but instead it passed fr
For some, this book might not seem like it belongs in the books I read. It's a comic book (and I have a guilty pleasure with some comics). However, even if I didn't enjoy a single thing about comics, I would still recommend this book. Maus is not just a great comic book. This is one great book, a genuine piece of literature and visual art beautifully meshed around a difficult and profound subject.

Art Speigelman, the author, interviewed his father for several months, attempting to get informatio
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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...
Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1) Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2) In the Shadow of No Towers MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!

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