K's Reviews > The Complete Maus

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
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's review
May 13, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: holocaust, highlyoriginal, intense-sad-dark-or-bleak, jewish, graphic-books
Read from May 13 to 14, 2012

Two genres I thought I was completely finished with -- holocaust books, and graphic novels (although technically this was probably more of a memoir).

This is up there with Night and several other powerful Holocaust books I read that actually impacted me, back when I wasn't yet too jaded for the genre. I think it helped that it wasn't just another Holocaust narrative -- it was equally the story of Art Spiegelman's quirky, cantankerous father and Art's complicated relationship with him. And the pictures, which I usually find distracting, helped too -- they were clever and interesting rather than simply there. Finally, there isn't usually a lot of comic relief in a Holocaust book and it's challenging to try to offer some without seeming like you're making light of the heavy subject. Here, though, Art pulled it off.

A goodreads friend told me that this book is required reading for highschoolers, and I can tell you that my teenage son swiped it from me and loved it too. Highly recommended, even if, like me, you've sworn off reading about the Holocaust.
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Reading Progress

03/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela Required reading for the high-school in our area.

message 2: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K I just finished it and hope to review it soon. I thought it was great!

message 3: by rivka (new)

rivka Angela wrote: "Required reading for the high-school in our area."

Not uncommon. Also a common book for freshman comp in some colleges.

message 4: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Interesting choice. I wouldn't have thought of a graphic novel for freshman comp, but really, why not? And it was certainly a worthwhile read in my opinion.

message 5: by rivka (new)

rivka It might actually have been literature classes, after thinking about it. Certainly it was on several lists I saw for some college English class -- mixed in with more traditional novels, plays, poems, etc.

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan I read these separately years ago and loved them. I think they were my first graphic (adult) books.

message 7: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K They weren't my first graphic adult books, but they were definitely the first ones I had such a positive response to! Uncharacteristically for me, I felt the pictures added rather than being pointless and distracting.

message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Oh, I 100% agree. They're genius.

message 9: by Angela (new)

Angela Khaya and Lisa you both make the book much more appealing to me by saying the pictures were helpful. The pictures were the main reason I did not want to take the time for this book. Not much of a cartoon freak, or comic books for that matter.

message 10: by K (new) - rated it 5 stars

K I'm not either, but here I thought they enhanced rather than detracting. Lots of clever symbolism that complemented the book, I felt.

message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Angela, The Nazis are cats, the Jews are mice. And the story of son and father also works with the pictures.

Except for Peanuts as a kid, Doonesberry, and The Far Side, which I love, I'm not much of a cartoon fan either. I have enjoyed several graphic novels/non-fiction books though. This is one of them.

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