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

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  157,177 Ratings  ·  3,908 Reviews
Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon, succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through t ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published August 12th 1986 by Pantheon
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Jan 06, 2015 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read

Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.
Will M.
Jun 03, 2015 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Sep 05, 2015 Maxwell rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 09, 2014 Arnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2015 Denisse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 08, 2013 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 16, 2016 Kelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 14, 2014 Ariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

A 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.

Whitney Atkinson
Jun 24, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it liked it
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
Shelves: favorites
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.
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
Feb 05, 2012 Danuta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jake Doyle
Oct 30, 2015 Jake Doyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Laura Leaney
Jun 30, 2014 Laura Leaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 10, 2016 Roberta Frontini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
La "diosa" de las novelas gráficas. Me la habían recomendado muchísimas veces y hasta ahora no había tenido ocasión de disfrutarla.
No tengo mucho que añadir a todo lo que ya se ha dicho sobre Maus. Es, verdaderamente, una obra maestra. Resulta muy original y esto se valora mucho dada toda la cantidad de información que tenemos acerca del tema que desarrolla.
Genial. Tiene de todo: me ha puesto la piel de gallina en una página y en la siguiente me ha hecho reír...

La elección de los animales para
Jul 11, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now a challenge - what more can I say to this books which has not already been said or discussed, the story is a personal rendition of one of the most famous and terrible events of the 20th century. The work is a personal journey for the author through the events his parents (told predominantly from his fathers perspective) of what happened during the run up and through the events of the holocaust.
The story is told in the form of comic strips - not so much as to desensitise and detract from the
Mar 16, 2014 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of the writer's father is narrated by his father recounting his youth over over a series of several visits.

Growing up in Poland, Spiegelman senior had a brief romance and then married another woman, Anja. There were good times with his wife's large and wealthy family. His father-in-law helped him start a business and life was good... until... The story builds through the rumors, to the facts, to the hiding to the desperation. Spiegelman and his adored Anja hide out long enough to survi
Dec 25, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, ww2
A story strikingly told utilizing the format of a graphic novel. The author's pictorial account of his father's holocaust story is emotionally moving in a way that is difficult to express without experiencing it for yourself. It's at the same time haunting and emotionally moving. I consider myself well read regarding the Holocaust, but I've never read a story quite like this one. Mr. Spiegelman narrates a story of great emotional depth, yet at the same time it is easily accessible to young and o ...more
a graphic novel of the holocaust? that features MICE? with crazy cats and dogs and pigs as the bad guys?

this is bloody brilliant. i know, i never would have believed it either, but just - it's the story of a young mouse whose father is plagued by his history as a concentration camp survivor, and he just doesn't get why his father can't get over it. (mice-jews, cats-nazis, pigs-germans, and i actually forget who the dogs are. i'm guessing the americans.)

the first volume is exquisitely crafted, a
Oct 30, 2015 Phoenix2 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history readings comic book fans
Great book!! A must read
Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
*Reread March 2015 for school

I strongly encourage you to give these books a chance even if you're not interested in World War II history (but especially if you are). These books present such a unique account of a holocaust narrative it's honestly so eye opening.
Alison ☆彡
Rating: 3 stars

What a heartbreaking story. It certainly wasn't what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it. Though I don't get the point to draw the Jews as mice and the Nazi's as cats? For example, in Animal Farm you understand why George Orwell did the anthropomorphism thing, because pigs are dirty animals (well at least that's how I see it in the story) and it reflects the mind of Stalin. But... What the link with Nazi's and cats? I don't get it. Though the story is really enjoyable. I think I
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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 : And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)

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