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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 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  130,662 ratings  ·  3,170 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 (first published 1986)
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Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.
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
Alicia Beale
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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

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.
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
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
Feb 08, 2009 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history lovers
Recommended to Megan by: Marie Burt
This was my first foray in the world of graphic novels, and I have to say I was very impressed. "Maus" is the Pulitzer Prize winning biographical tale of a Jewish man named Vladek, who survives many hardships in Poland during World War II.

Told through a series of events and stories to his son Artie, Vladek, recounts this dark time of family separation, ghetto life, starvation, hiding, military service, POW camp, and finally his shipment to Auschwitz. Through it all, Vladek is a fighter and a su
Felisberto Barros
Lido o primeiro volume de "Maus", fico com a sensação de que a História vivida e a criatividade jogam um com o outro de forma magistral na elaboração desta obra. Apesar de não ser um "apreciador" e leitor assíduo de BD, gostei muito de ler este primeiro volume devido à sua complexidade literária: além de comics (BD), é autobiográfico, tem energia, tem uma contextualização histórica fantástica, apresenta momentos de comédia bem inseridos, ironia, e, claro, uma fatalidade incrível que nos comove e ...more
Amy Neftzger
This is an extremely well written graphic novel with engaging characters that tells the true story of the author's father living in Poland during WWII. The story is clearly communicated and the pictures enhance, rather than take away from the story (such as when the Jewish mice were wearing pig masks to disguise themselves from the Nazis). This book shows that graphic novels can be serious writing and it demonstrates this well. I'm looking forward to reading the second volume.
Athena (Shardbearer)
I read this over breakfast this morning and it is such an emotional story. I need to read book two to know how the story ends. I love everything about WW2, the struggle, the love and of course I hate how innocent people suffered. Really worth the read.
Gary Butler
50th book read in 2014.

Number 187 out of 393 on my all time book list.

Follow the link below to see my video review:

Laura Leaney
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
A very compelling and unique memoir of a Jew living in Poland during the Holocaust. Spiegelman's father was a successful young man with a beautiful wife from a wealthy family and an adorable young son, but it wasn't enough to protect him from the ravages of the Nazis. Maus tells the story in flashbacks of what it was like to be a Jew in Poland throughout the 1940s. It also looks at the relationship of Spiegelman with his father Vladek, and it's not always a pretty picture. In fact, there were ti ...more
This was my first comic experience. It took me a little bit to get used to experiencing a story through comics, but eventually the ease of reading improved and I blew through the whole thing in less than a day. I like this idea a lot.

This is a very unique and heartfelt tribute to Vlad Spiegelman, the author's father. I particularly enjoyed the "current" parts of the story, as Art is conducting his interview. Vlad is so stereotypically Eastern European Jewish that he reminds me of my own grandpa
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
Maus was written in such an interesting style that really introduced a whole new form of literary fiction. Other than the structure it took on as a comic, there was also a framed narrative involved, in the way that the book was not only about Nazi Germany and a man's experience of it all, but also one of a more contemporary period in which this man's son interviewed him about all that had happened.

I found myself intrigued by both facets of the story. The hardship faced by the characters was raw
T. Edmund
This wasn't the first time I read Maus - so this review is more of a 'is this still good' and the answer is definitely yes. My initial reading was as a teenager, now as a (supposed) adult I found myself identifying with different aspects.

The whole metaphor aspect has probably been overcooked over the years in review, but it is worth mentioning that the depiction of the Jews as mice and Polish as pigs creates a fascinating paradox in that the cartoonish perhaps even childish aspects both softens
World War 2 is quite possibly my favorite period of history. I don't know what that says about me as a person, but I find the whole event sickening and horrifying, yet oddly fascinating. How one man could start such an uproar and cause so much brainwash is terrifying. How the whole world could be involved ("world war" for a reason) in a war is just mind boggling. Everything about World War 2 and even world war 1 still gets me to this day. No matter how many stories I read about this time, whethe ...more
This book is absolutely incredible. There are books that come into your life that leave a lasting impact. I've read several of them in my lifetime. Then there are the books that blow you away, but you aren't really expecting it.

I've heard great things about Maus I and Maus II. However, I always looked at it as "a graphic novel about the holocaust? There is no way a graphic novel can do justice to such a major topic." I was wrong. It is touching, uplifting, sad, wrenching, and inspiring.

I could w
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Video Review:

Such a powerful story, told in such a unique format. There is so much story packed into 159 pages. This will definitely require re-reading.
I'd only read one graphic novel or memoir prior to this one -- and I highly doubt that any future graphic novels I read will quite measure up to Maus I ... unless, perhaps, it's Maus II. This book does a brilliant job of putting an intimate and human face on one of the darkest chapters in world history -- and how ironic is that, given that all of the main characters are depicted as either mice, cats or pigs? It's one thing to read about historical events, but it's quite another to live them ... ...more
Kelsey Hanson
I read the Book Thief and now Goodreads has given me dozen of Holocaust centered novels to read. And they're all good but hopefully I'll have some human feeling in me by the end of all this. Maus was a unique because it's not just about the author's father's story. This book is as much about the author and his father's current relationship as the war. This book does show that the very intense lasting impact that this dark period of history had on our present. Even though the book has a cartoonis ...more
Writing about the Holocaust is probably as risky and delicate as it gets. Given the complete historical, social and moral annihilation of everything human, there is nothing one could say. At the same time and for the same reasons, there will never be nearly enough said and told. Emotionally overburdened, the topic opens up a field for creating an in equal parts personal and universal experience or, using the same elements, for drowning in pathos and thus (unintentionally) introducing a comical t ...more
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did you like it? 12 64 Oct 29, 2014 09:33PM  
What other kinds of animals would you make the Nazi's and Jews? 6 59 May 24, 2014 12:02PM  
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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)
Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2) The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2) 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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“To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life.” 123 likes
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