Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Maus” as Want to Read:
The Complete Maus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Maus

(Maus #1-2)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  176,294 ratings  ·  10,602 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 s
Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 2nd 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1980)
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 The Complete Maus, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jim Unequivocally yes. It will forever change anyone’s opinion that graphic novels are a “kids thing” or “nerds”.
The story may be told primarily in pictu…more
Unequivocally yes. It will forever change anyone’s opinion that graphic novels are a “kids thing” or “nerds”.
The story may be told primarily in pictures, but they illustrate a rich, powerful true story of a father and his son, who learns what his father’s unbelievable struggle in a dark time in history affected not only him, but his own life as well decades later. The animal symbolism is parallel to that of Animal Farm, but far more lucrative in using art and words to do so.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  176,294 ratings  ·  10,602 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Complete Maus
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Leonard Gaya
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The young Adolf Hitler applied twice for admission to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and each time was rejected. One may dream, though: had he been successful, he might have had a different fate, and, as a result, Europe’s history might have taken some other shape… Sixty years later, on another continent, the young Art Spiegelman applied to the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and passed the exam. His parents, Vladek and Anja Spiegelman, were two Jews from Poland who survived thro ...more
Wonderful example of the power of a graphic novel!

This is the “Complete” edition of “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale” collecting both parts: “My Father Bleeds History” and “And Here My Troubles Began”.


But these damn bugs are eating me alive!

While it took long time of finally reading Maus,...

...I knew that it was a graphic novel referring about the Jew Holocaust, but using mice (Jews) and cats (Nazis) as the characters,...

...and even while I was sure that it will be a crude tel
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biog-or-memoir
Spiegelman winning a Pulitzer Prize (and Guggenheim Fellowship) for this work, was a first for a graphic novel. Spiegelman captures the story of his Polish Jewish father's life before and after the second world war, but it could be said as importantly gives episodic accounts about his relationship with his father as he recorded his history; and as a result gave examples of the reality of how the horrors of occupied Europe and Auschwitz not only impacted on the survivors, but also their children' ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dave Schaafsma
Art Spiegelman is smiling today, after a Tennessee school district banned one of the greatest books of all time (that happens to be a two-volume graphic novel) supposedly because of "inappropriate language" (swearing?! Heaven forfend! They don't swear in Tennessee, bless the gods; certainly children there must not use these vulgar phrases that exist in millions of other books and on the playground, let's be real) and. . . wait for it the presence of nudity--a naked woman--but get this, all the c ...more
Jon Nakapalau
One of the most influential literary works or out of comics. The fact that there have been calls to ban this book is truly beyond compression: when you look at all the negative influences that our children are exposed to every day - and some people are focused on this book? Can't help but believe Goebbels would be happy to join their group! ...more
Such a creative and innovative way to write a memoir. Loved the animal metaphor with mice and cats but evermore I adored the writer's honesty about his father's personality and its effects on his mental health. Even though his father was a Holocaust survivor, even before such trauma it is very likely he had what we call personality disorder, and the graphic novel does the raw unpacking of emotional pressure that Spiegelman grew up with having the kind a father he had; rigid, adamant, neurotic, d ...more
Maus was more than I expected. I knew it would be about World War II and the Holocaust with the charaters being anthropomorphic mice, cats, pigs, dogs, etc. What I didn't realize was it would expand even farther in to the specific lives of the Spiegelmans before, during, and after the war.

Throughout the book the artist/author is a featured character struggling with his curmudgeonly father while he tries to document the story of his father's time in 1930s and 40s Poland and Germany. His experienc
Fabian {Councillor}
Until just a few weeks ago, the only reason for why I read graphic novels now and then was because of people's constant recommendations about the beauty and the value of those kinds of books. I will be honest; I am guilty of never believing those words. Most likely did I read graphic novels which didn't suit my personal tastes, but Art Spiegelman was capable of shattering my expectations and completely stunning me with the art of his writing and his illustrations.

But let's start at the beginning
"There's only one kind of people who would vote to ban Maus, whatever they are calling themselves these days." - Neil Gaiman.

"I don't care for these new Nazis, and you may quote me on that!" - John Mulaney

Fucking Hell.


This is not an easy graphic novel to read. The illustrations are beautiful, but the simple black and white style reminds the reader that the subject matter is one of the darkest periods of modern history. This very personal glimpse into the horrors of the Holocaust touch on many
this is probably the best graphic novel of all time, and definitely the best one i've ever read, and that's my review.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
My very first graphic novel - and one of the highest calibre. What can I say about it that hasn't been said before? It is devastating, personal, complex, overwhelming. Timely, too, given what is happening in the Ukraine. Such a poignant and important reminder of where we've been, and where we can go, and god, please, let's not go there again. ...more
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

💉 This cover has been on my radar for a looooong time and it usually is on the most bought books in my country when I check the online bookstores. I am not a fan of history and so I avoided it for the longest time possible. A book I was reading did mention that it was a graphic novel about Jew people and what they went through and I became interested and found myself a copy!

💉 I like what the author did, he is very smart, Jew peop
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.”
- Adolf Hitler

This a graphic novel told from two timelines. In the narrative present, Art Spiegelman (author) is interviewing his father Vladek about his experiences as a Polish Jew and a Holocaust survivor. The narrative past depicts these very experiences from the mid 1930s to the end of the Holocaust in 1945. Spiegelman has utilised different species of animals to portray different nationalities and races - Jews as mice, Germans a
I would like to to thank the school board of McMinn County Tennessee for inspiring me to purchase and read this masterpiece of graphic literature. Without their well publicized unanimous vote to ban Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning accounting of the Holocaust, who knows what mischievous and vacuous activities would have otherwise occupied my time. So here’s to you, you bible-belted brownshirts of the volunteer state, carry on and sieg heil…
Jan 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing
You will find in the media a county in my home state of TN has decided to ban the curriculum of this graphic novel from their school on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan 27, 2022.
I read this a couple years ago, but still recall the nature of the book as a brilliant depiction of the Holocaust. Some people would say that part of history is too disturbing and should never be taught, as well as slavery to be hidden away and forgotten. If we decide to ban the truth, then we are no bett
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, graphic-novels, 2019
I feel like anything I could say about this book is going to sound woefully inadequate, but I guess I'll give it a shot anyway. Maus had obviously been on my radar for ages as a critical piece of Holocaust literature as well as being the only graphic novel to ever win the Pulitzer Prize, so I was certainly expecting it to be good, but I don't think anything could have prepared me for how utterly harrowing of a read this ended up being. And again, yes, I did know that its subject matter was the H ...more
Apr 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trade-paperback, 2022
“Show to me your pencil and I can explain you … such things. It’s good to know exactly how was it—just in case.”

“If you want to live, it’s good to be friendly.”

“About Auschwitz, nobody can understand.”
Like a lot of other people, I had heard of Maus but was not inspired to actually read it until school districts in the South started banning it from schools. Shame on them for such a despicable act, and a little bit of shame on me for never having read this book before.

The premise of Maus is pret
The Complete Maus
Art Spiegelman

Graphic, intimate real-life testimony of the holocaust from a Polish survivor, and the trauma of the second-generation Holocaust survivors. (The children of the Holocaust survivor are known as second-generation survivors.) This second-generation have tried to make sense of their backgrounds, which are often obscured, especially where their parents have been unable to talk about their experiences.

Maus is really two parallel stories, not one. It jumps back and fort
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Éimhear (A Little Haze) by: Amanda Skoog
I never knew that a graphic novel could be so moving, so haunting and so phenomenally powerful.

The complete Maus tells the tale of Hitler's Europe and the experiences of one Jewish man, the author/illustrator Art Spiegelman's father Vladek. It is a book that doesn't hold any punches and is jaw dropping in its exploration of humanity through both the atrocities and ethnic cleansing of that time and of how this moulds a man forever.

I don't have the words to fully express all I'm feeling right no
Kat Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE COMPLETE MAUS is, to date, the hardest, most emotionally draining novel I have read in my adult life. It was a heart-wrenching, but really necessary read for me, and I’m proud of myself for deciding to read something so far outside my comfort zone (I tend to shy away from both history and memoir/true story novels).

The book is a story within a story. Art shows himself interviewing his father, Vladek, and his time spent with his father for part of this book, and the rest of the story is Vladek

Art Spiegelman warns of 'dangerous' outcome as Russian shops ban Maus

This has been on my wishlist forever -looks like this is a good time to read it.
"My father pulled out 14 of his teeth to escape. If you missed 12 teeth they let you go."
- page 45, book I

"The guards, it was Jews with big sticks, they acted so, just like the Germans"
- page 106, book I

“To die, it’s easy…but you have to struggle for life!” The only graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize, this brings the Holocaust home in a fresh way. Like Animal Farm, it uses the conceit of various animal associations: the Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, Nazis are cats, and Americans are dogs. Spiegelman draws what, from a distance of decades, his Polish father Vladek narrates about his almost unbelievable series of escapes, including time in Auschwitz. It’s often the minor stories that really ...more
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Traci Thomas
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I mean yeah, this book is pretty great. I loved the way he was able to create such a full picture of what it means to live through The Holocaust of WW2. I don't know that he needed the mice, but I get it too. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Guardian Newspape...: Maus, The Complete - March 2022 5 15 Apr 04, 2022 04:01PM  
Banned Books: Maus is Banned 12 75 Feb 02, 2022 04:22PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Fix incorrect ISBN 1 6 Sep 04, 2021 02:40AM  
BookTube: Creativ...: Maus I-II by Art Spiegelman 2 11 Feb 23, 2021 07:07AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4)
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • V for Vendetta
  • Watchmen
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Batman: The Long Halloween
  • Watchmen #1: At Midnight, All The Agents....
  • Saga, Volume 1
  • Blankets
  • Ghost World
  • The Doll's House (The Sandman, #2)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth
  • Black Hole
  • Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Persepolis, #2)
  • 300
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Other books in the series

Maus (2 books)
  • Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
  • Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began

Articles featuring this book

We all have our reading bucket lists. James Mustich's 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is bound to seriously expand that list...
123 likes · 54 comments
“No, darling! To die it's easy... But you have to stuggle for life!” 82 likes
“Sometimes I don't feel like a functioning adult” 73 likes
More quotes…