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Posted August 16, 2002
Descriptive and Cunning
If you like Night by Elie Wiesel, you would love Maus by Art Spiegelman. They both contain father and son relationship, that would leave you turning the pages until the end. Introduced to me by inspiring English teachers, who deserves all the praise, Maus captures the perspective of life during the Holocaust. It teaches readers more about the personal and physical life during the time of racial discrimination. Read it. It is worth your time knowing more about the past. You would know what I mean once you get your hands on it.
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Posted May 26, 2014
Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, editor and comics advo
Art Spiegelman is an American cartoonist, editor and comics advocate based in New York City, best known for his graphic novel Maus. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards. His point of view is majorly for the Jewish and anti-Nazi propaganda as his family and cultural is culturally bonded more to Jews. Maus is the story of the Jews and the Nazis as it pertains to the extermination of the Jewish ghettos within Nazi Germany. The book also analyzes the establishment of a protectorate government within Poland and helped me grasp the political and economic situations of the times via telling the Holocaust as though the Nazis were cats and Jews were mice. The initial situation begins with Vladek. He begins as a well-to-do young man in Poland. Vladek’s story is Maus’s central theme. This relates back to Spiegelman’s description of World War II and Spiegelman’s point of view. The importance of these events to our historical study is the evolution of genocide and effectiveness of point of view within the recalling and analysis of Maus I and II. This book connects to what we’ve learned in class via pertaining to the growth of the genocides and the leading and resulting of World War II. This book gave me a deeper insight into this era of world history. It is from the time period and this tells us about the people during the time the author was writing about political structures and cultural cosmopolitan of Europe. Political structures such as the Polish protectorate of the German lands; economic stability of Poland; and the cultural cosmopolitan of Europe. The author’s writing style and general pace of the book was generally slow. As a graphic novel, it pertains relative to even pace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2013
Published Book Review on Maus II I read Maus Volume I previousl
Published Book Review on Maus IIWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I read Maus Volume I previously and was intrigued by how great of a story it was. I loved how it was a
graphic novel, so essentially a comic book, but still managed to convey an extremely touchy subject,
like the Holocaust very well. I also love the way that the Spiegelman uses the different animals as the
different peoples in the war. He draws Vladek and all of the Jewish people as mice, and all of the
Nazis as cats. This symbolizes perfectly how the Nazis are more powerful than, and against the
Jewish people, just like how a cat is the natural, well known, enemy of the mouse. Later in Maus II,
Spiegelman elaborates on this by making the Americans dogs, showing how the Americans
combated the Nazis during the war, like how a dog and cat may fight.
Maus Volume II starts out in the present as Art and his wife Francoise were notified that Vladek and
Mala, his wife, had broken up. After hearing the news they went to Vladek’s to stay with him for a short
while, where he then takes up telling his story again where he left off. The book then abruptly switches
to a scene that looks to be it the future where a defeated Art Spiegelman tells of his father’s death,
and the struggles of writing the book, all while being a human wearing a mouse mask. I thought this
scene was very odd when I first read it, being that nothing in either of the books up to this point had
been anything like it. Never had we seen a human in a mouse mask, and also never had we heard
him talk about the writing of the book. But, I also think that this way of telling his side of how the writing
and publishing of the book affected him worked out well in hindsight. It showed the downsides of
writing the book, like how it made him feel at times like a child, and how he consulted a therapist to
help him deal with these things.
Aside from this though, Maus II was somewhat different than the first book in the series. I thought that
it had more description than the first book. Although it was slightly shorter than the first one, it was
actually a slower read because of this. I actually liked this more though because I felt like there were
places in the first book that Spiegelman could have elaborated more, but didn’t. This further
explanation helped to better understand some of the scenes, and the back story leading up to them.
All in all though, I thought that Maus II was just as good as Maus I, and an excellent continuation, and
finish to the series. It addressed all of the things not included in the first book, and finished the story,
while including other things such as glances into the future along the way. The Maus series is one of
my favorite stories of all time, and would be fun and informational for anyone to read.
Posted May 19, 2013
AP World History Review: Maus I and II, an informative series on
AP World History Review: Maus I and II, an informative series on the Holocaust.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I thought that Maus was a great series to read while becoming more informed about the events of the holocaust. I liked Spiegelman' s twist on the event by turning the Jews into mice and the Nazis into cats. I think Spiegelman got what he wanted from this book, which was to just simply express his fathers story. That being said, the two graphic novels were also very informative of WWII and the events that took place during it. I learned just how serious and dangerous the Holocaust was to a multitude of people, not just Jews. I think this was also part of the purpose of writing the book. Spiegelman most likely wanted outsiders to consider the so called "troubles" of their lives against those that his father and so many others had to suffer through. Overall, I think Spiegelman got what he wanted, if not more, out of his now famous book.
While this book did accomplish all of the previously mentioned things, their are some negatives that need to be mentioned. While the secondary timeline featuring Art Spiegelman himself (as a mouse) is a nice break from all of the terrible things happening throughout the rest of the comic, I consider it unnecessary. Even if it does show the relationship between Art and Vladek as time progresses, it isn't helpful with historical information and it just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the book. Maybe if this timeline ended up revealing something about Vladek's time as a prisoner it would have fit in better with the rest of the story. I did however, enjoy watching the growth between Vladek and Art occur as the story went on. As a whole, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives, though, and I am glad I chose this book to read for my book review.
This was an amazing graphic novel. The use of animals as humans
This was an amazing graphic novel. The use of animals as humans during WWII never takes away from the emotional impact of Spiegelman's father's story. Beautifully illustrated and harrowing - an amazing experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2012
The books are set in the 1990’s as a son asking his father
The books are set in the 1990’s as a son asking his father what it was like to be Jewish when the Nazis came. It flashes between the son’s life in America and the father’s life in Poland. The father and son don’t get along very well, and this is shown a lot in the books. The books reference many vague historical events, such as when the Nazis began differentiating Jewish people, when the Nazis sent the Jewish people to concentration camps, and when the Nazis tried to bring them back to Germany after the Allies came. It exemplifies the Holocaust and the struggle many Jewish people faced. It shows that genocides often don’t make sense to people outside the country the genocides occur in. The son has difficulty understanding why his father just let the Nazis take over and force him out, but the father says he couldn’t stop them. This is probably the mindset of many Jewish people in Poland and Germany.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The author is just a cartoonist, but the books are actually based off of his father’s experiences. The human factor of the Holocaust is clearly evident in his story. The father’s point of view is interesting because it changes throughout the books. At first he is a poor salesman, but with his father-in-law’s money, he begins a cloth factory and becomes a wealthy factory owner. When the Nazis come, they take control of his business and he is forced to become a salesman once again. The Nazis eventually send him to a concentration camp, where he teaches German and fixes shoes. The father meets many different people along the way. Many of the people he meets were openly hostile and degrading. He almost always has to pay people to help him, but once he pays them, they are fairly friendly and willing to help. The son ultimately portrays his father as a mean old miser, but the son’s perspective may be biased because of his unhappy relationship with his father.
The books really opened my eyes to the atrocities of the Holocaust. I knew about the Holocaust before reading these books, but the human element changed my idea of it completely. It demonstrations how the Jewish people really didn’t have any idea what was in store for them, and how much they suffered for religious prejudices. The books showed why the Jewish people didn’t rebel more than they did, which had always confused me before. People in the books just amazed me. Despite all the extenuating circumstances they went through, they still tried not to judge people and believe that the world would become a better place.
Overall, I would recommend these books. The books provide a deeper insight into the past through the view of a survivor and his son. They’re relatively quick reads and you get a lot of new information from them. The harrowing details of the Jewish people’s lives in the Holocaust are all exposed in these books.
Posted May 10, 2010
I read these graphic novels when I was in college & thought they were a great way of explaining ordeals related to the Holocaust but in a different way than most books do. Now I finally own a copy for myself & look forward to rereading and sharing with others. I would definitely recommend reading this set!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 8, 2010
I had taken a Holocaust history class my senior year in college and this and Maus II were two of my textbooks. The holocaust has always touched me; you'd have to have a cold heart to not be touched by it. After a while though you wonder how anyone can tell their story any differently. Art Spiegelman tells his father's story as a comic. It was one of the most unique ways I've ever read about the holocaust and Spiegelman's father's story has probably stuck with me the most after everything I've read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 15, 2009
My Father Bleeds History
Art Spiegelman hasn't invented the genre but he's certainly expanded it, he's created a unique graphic book by the subject he's chosen. The author a contributing editor and artist for the New Yorker, cofounder/editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics has made first and foremost a classical comic, a story about anthropomorphically depicted animals, told sequentially in a series of square panels six to a page, containing speech balloons and voice-over captions in which all the lettering is in capitals, with onomatopoeic sound-effects to represent rifle-fire, and so on.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The story has three levels, the author shows Art Spiegelman, the narrator when he's overrun and overwhelmed by the success his Maus stories have, ad people urge him to give them the permission to use his mice for their own purposes, he has to see a psychiatrist for help. On the next level we find the cartoonist Art Spiegelman, the author's fictitious alter ego, born in the USA as the son of a Jewish couple, survivors of the holocaust, interviewing his father about his life.
This is the third level, Vladek Spiegelman tells his son about his family's life in Poland before the rise of the Nazis, what happened to his family during the Third Reich, his and his wife's experiences in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau and their final salvation, inserted photos of Art's younger brother (he died during the war) and father show that this is a real biography; Vladek's story forms the core of the book.
The situation of the son interviewing the father serves as a frame, but it doesn't appear only at the beginning and at the end, Vladek's story is repeatedly interrupted; these interruptions serve several purposes, they show Vladek, the survivor, in his second life in the USA, what the camp has done to him, what kind of man he has become, and we also learn that the son is affected by what his parents went through, he was born in the USA but he's also shown as a mouse just like his father and the other survivors now living in the USA.
I think I'm not the only reader who experiences these interruptions as a kind of relief, too, a possibility to breathe freely and relax a bit so that one can go on reading and contemplating the horrors of Vladek's story. Last but not least we can watch in true post modern fashion how a story is made, Art lets us share his scruples and reflections one of which is the question if a comic is an adequate art form to describe the horrors of the holocaust.
I pondered a long time on Spiegelman's decision to depict the characters as animals or rather as human bodies with the heads of animals, Jews are mice, Germans are cats, Poles are pigs, Americans are dogs and a Frenchman is a frog. The book would also have been a comic had he drawn human beings, why animals? For one we see at once who's who, an author can write, "Two Poles came in", a cartoonist doesn't have it that easy, how can a reader know which nationality a character has if the outward appearance is the same?
This leads directly into the story, indeed, from the outside people look the same, but the Nazis classified people and then went further, first there were German Jews, Polish Jew, Hungarian Jews and so on, then these people weren't Germans, Poles or Hungarian citizens any more, just Jews, later they weren't even human beings any more, they were seen as vermin, vermin that had to be extinguished.
Posted March 24, 2007
This is a really good book, but you must read the second book right after reading this one!! if you don't you will not understand the book!! if you can't stand sad books, don't read this one!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2005
Maus - Remembered
Wow! After seeing Hotel Rwanda (about another genocide), I remembered reading this book over 10 yrs ago in high school. It was a very unique portrayal of a time in history that will never be forgotten - this reading will never be forgotten, at least not by me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2005
History In the form of Comic Books
This book is about the Holocaust in a coimic book form. It is one of the best books I have ever read and it teaches you about all the deatails of the Holocaust. This is by far one of the best descriptions of the Holocaust that I have ever read about.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2005
Posted May 27, 2004
This was one of the best books I have ever read about the holocaust and the people affected. The comic book style is a great vehicle to tell such a sobering story; the graphics are captivating. The lives of the author, his father, and their families are shown in both past and present, drawing parallels between the generations. The characters' experiences and relationships give new meaning to the human experience. Amazing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2004
worst book ever
when i first picked up this book i read the back as usal and seemed good till i read it all terrible 1 bad way to tell the story 2 ive heard better writing
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Posted January 28, 2004
An alternative format can be very successful
These books are incredible! Spiegalman does an amazing job of portraying one of the most well-known holocausts in an alternative format. The characters are so much more than simple personafied animals. The representation of Poles as pigs may not be true as a whole, but nor is the representation of all Germans as evil cats. Some Poles were pigs and some Germans were evil cats. The truth is not always easy to swallow and Speiglman does nothing to ease the pain that the Jewish Holocaust will forever remind us of, nor should he. I first read these books years ago prior to having studied the topic in depth, as a 17 year old high school student, and was moved. I highly reccommend it for high school students and for adults.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2004
there are other ways of teaching about the holocaust
I understand that the author tried to reach as many young readers as possible and the book in that form does just that. what I do not understand is why so many american holocaust authors promote hatred by stereotyping, all in the name of tolerance. I was very offended by spiegelman's portrait of poles as pigs. how low, but hey, a holocaust writer wouldn't fullfill his job if he didn't promote hatred toward poles at the same time. sad. it must be a difficult task to write and not to use such propaganda, only few authors are able to do it. on the other hand, books by norman davies, richard lukas have the tendency to be 'out of print and hard to get.' wonder why.
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Posted June 9, 2003
good the first 2 or 3 times...
While I really enjoyed Maus 1 & 2, I can't say I've ever reread them more than once or twice. The father's descriptions of the camps and in general the Nazi occupation were riveting, but the present-day parts just lacked something. I didn't really care much about Art or Francoise's struggles to care for Art's father, though I think it could be salvaged. I would check it out or borrow it before deciding to buy it.
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Posted April 11, 2003
Maus, An Amazing story.
Maus is probably one of the most uniquely made books about the Jewish holocaust. It involves not only good writing skills, but also involves amazingly depicted pictures which completely relate to the story. The Author Art Spiegelman does a great job of stereotyping some of the races that are involved in this book, such as Jews equaling mice and Germans equaling cats. I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. One of these reasons is because it really taught me more about a subject I thought I knew everything about. Normally I will read a book about the holocaust and I will really feel tragic about what happen to all those people but I feel myself becoming bored with the book, since usually there is no flare that keeps me going. Instead I feel myself falling deeper and deeper into depression. How ever with this book I didn¿t feel the same way. Maybe it was the amazing pictures or the casual state in which the dialogue was said, but for some reason it kept me going with great enthusiasm about what was going to happen next. Another reason why I really enjoyed this book is because of the clever drawings the author produced for this book. An example of this is the Germans, since there are many reasons for why he might have chosen this particular animal. I have thought of many such as maybe he made the German cats because they had clawed their way back from WWII and were ready to fight again. Or maybe he purely chose them because cats are mice¿s worst enemy and the mice in this book are Jews. The reason why I like these clever animals is because the reader has to figure out why Art Spiegelman chose them for his book. This makes the author think into the book a little more which further brings the reader into the story of WWII. I would truly recommend Maus to anyone who wants to learn more about the holocaust and also about the people who were thrown into those terrible circumstances. This is truly a great book and I also recommend it to everyone of every age since it really teaches more about the world¿s history and not just about the normal American history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2003
This is more than a graphic novel, more than a story. This is the Holocaust. Maus was introduced to me in the eighth grade by my English teacher, who I shall never forget. Reading this was an eye-opening experience. Peace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.