Michelle's Reviews > The Complete Maus

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
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's review
Jan 06, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: everybody
Read in January, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Pre-review:

OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod! I'm cheating on J.M. Coetzee with Art Spiegelman. Actually, I'm not just cheating on him; I've left him.


Before I review this book, you should know something about me: I never read graphic novels. I normally have zero interest in reading graphic novels/comic books. Are those the same thing, by the way? I have no idea. That’s how little I’m interested in them.

Anyway, Maus was one of the best things I’ve read in a long, long time! If you haven’t read it, please do. My pathetic reviewing skills aren’t going to do it justice, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from reading it.

The basic outline is about a man interviewing his father, a Polish Holocaust survivor, for a book he is writing. The Jews are depicted as mice; the Nazis cats.

There were so many layers to these books. First there were Vladek’s harrowing stories of surviving first Auschwitz, and then Dachau. Then there was the father/son dynamic, but also the survivor/child of a survivor and husband/wife dynamics. Because of this, I often found myself alternating between both laughter and tears. I adored Vladek and all of his quirks, but I also understood how difficult it must have been for Spiegelman to grow up with such a father. His writing showed his annoyance, anger, guilt, and his love.

By some miracle, Spiegelman’s mother also survived the camps, and was reunited with Vladek after the war ended. I don’t want to give anything away, but the reader, and tragically, Spiegelman himself, weren’t able to hear much of her story.
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Reading Progress

01/30 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I just finished reading Maus (but I didn't know there was a "complete" version...). Really good, huh?

message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica you can't go wrong with Spiegelman.

and there was bound to be a Coetzee backlash!

message 3: by Sally (last edited Jan 04, 2009 01:04PM) (new)

Sally It is going to be hard to do read anything else until you finish this, imo.

Michelle I already finished I. I'm starting on II tonight. I love love love love love love it!

message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim Em LOVED this book... I returned it to the library before I had a chance to read it. Damn.

Michelle You should check it back out and read it. Get both parts, though.

Shelly You're making me want to read it again. I wish I didn't have to work for a living. Will you start playing the lotto and if you win share a portion of your prize money w/ me? I don't need that much. I can do the same for you. 12%?

Michelle It's a deal!

message 9: by Sally (new)

Sally Oh, that sounds like a nice arrangement.

message 10: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu It's been a long time since I've read Maus. Perhaps I'll reread it one of these days.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Maus 2 is better! I saw Spiegelman this Fall. He is incredible.

message 12: by Valerie (new)

Valerie The mother lived?

Michelle Shit. Sorry, Val. Guess I should check that spoiler alert box.

message 14: by Jen (new)

Jen Montambo, Michelle,

Age range for readers?

Michelle I'd say it's suitable for YA readers. Kim's daughter read it when she was 13. Not sure how much younger than that I'd go because it's so sad.

message 16: by Jen (new)

Jen Okay. Will hold on that one for a while.

message 17: by Izzy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Izzy Maus COMPLETELY knocked my socks off. I went on a graphic novel/Holocaust account binge after reading it!! then I got over it.

Michelle Mine too. I liked Part I much more than Part II, which seemed too rushed, but I gave it five stars overall because Part I was so damn good.

I know there are other excellent graphic novels out there, but I still haven't read any of them.

message 19: by Ash (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ash you should read more comics; you're missing out

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