Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)” as Want to Read:
Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  139,348 ratings  ·  3,461 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Maus, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

Very very very powerful and I like that you see the relationship between Spiegelman and his father throughout.
Diane Librarian
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
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. ...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
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
Will M.
Jun 01, 2015 Will M. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
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
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 Jews 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.

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
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
Alison ☆彡
Actual rating: 3.5 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 are 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.
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
Mairéad (is exploring a floating city)
{March 27th, 2015} THE REVIEW

5 stars.

Many people assume if it's a graphic novel, it cannot amount to much. I still remember being in a reading book group in grade 11, and these books (there's two parts to this series, this is only part 1) were a part of the few books being offered. Now I wasn't picked to be in this group but I was very interested in the subject matter--since it is a story of the holocaust and what the Jewish people suffered throughout WWII and under Hitler's control over Poland.
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
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
When I started this one, I thought to myself that this is another WWII book in the vein of Remarque, depicting horrors of WWII and people dealing with them at war and after it. And I was correct, as what new can you think to the unthinkable things people did in that war.
But what grabbed me was how it was depicted in this one, as by father telling to Art Spiegelman his story frame by frame you fell like he is telling one for you and it gets very personal. At the same time it shows their personal
Hailey LeBlanc (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.
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:

Jbb Lim
Hauntingly tragic! Tragically human! What more can I say about the Holocaust? Until today, what really went through the mind of Hitler by wiping out most of the Jews is still a mystery. Art Spielgelman's depiction of his father's tragic story during the holocaust is so raw, so real, so human!

The fact that the representation of Jews here are in the form of mice, there isn't time for you to critic on the metaphor. However, there was this voice piercing through the graphic novel of how tragic the d
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
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
Hmmm quite frankly I expected more. It is adventurous to take a historical event so politically and socially charged, one such as the Nazi Genocide, and turn it on its head, as the postmodern historiographical method certainly does. And for that I respect Spiegelman. But I don't think Maus I goes far enough. The insight that can be derived from self-aware literature is usually little to none when dialogue is as stilted and campy as Maus's. The father's commentary often seems forced and not true ...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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Maus, I 1 12 Apr 17, 2015 01:56PM  
Einfeldt's Maus G...: Maus Review 19 25 Apr 16, 2015 12:38PM  
did you like it? 15 81 Apr 07, 2015 06:55AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Maus 1 and 2 1 11 Mar 12, 2015 12:49PM  
  • Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #3-4)
  • Barefoot Gen, Volume Two: The Day After
  • Laika
  • Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995
  • Saints (Boxers & Saints, #2)
  • Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned
  • The Rabbi's Cat
  • The Property
  • Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth (Y: The Last Man, #5)
  • A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
  • How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less
  • Louis Riel
  • Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth
  • Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones
  • Good-Bye, Chunky Rice
  • Stitches
  • The 9/11 Report
  • Epileptic
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 %@&*!

Share This Book

“To die, it's easy. But you have to struggle for life.” 1721 likes
“Disaster is my muse.” 32 likes
More quotes…