Maus: A Survivor's Tale - 2 Volume Boxed Set

Maus: A Survivor's Tale - 2 Volume Boxed Set

by Art Spiegelman


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Now in a paperback boxed set, the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel 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).

A brutally moving work of art—widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written—Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. 

Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history's most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679748403
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/1993
Series: Pantheon Graphic Library Series
Edition description: Reprint
Sales rank: 39,831
Product dimensions: 6.77(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for The New Yorker, and a co-founder/editor of Raw, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. His drawings and prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad. Honors he has received for Maus include the Pulitzer Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and nominations for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly, and their two children, Nadja and Dashiell.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust.”
—The Wall Street Journal 

"The first masterpiece in comic book history.”
—The New Yorker

“A loving documentary and brutal fable, a mix of compassion and stoicism [that] sums up the experience of the Holocaust with as much power and as little pretension as any other work I can think of.”
The New Republic

“A quiet triumph, moving and simple—impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics.”
—The Washington Post

“Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics’ history: something that actually occurred . . . The central relationship is not that of cat and mouse, but that of Art and Vladek. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt.”
The New Yorker

“All too infrequently, a book comes along that’s as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman’s Maus is just such a book.”

“An epic story told in tiny pictures.”
The New York Times

“A remarkable work, awesome in its conception and execution . . . at one and the same time a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book. Brilliant, just brilliant.”
Jules Feffer

Customer Reviews

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Maus: A Survivor's Tale - 2 Volume Boxed Set 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
elleayess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've known about this book for quite some time, but was very reluctant to read it as it is a graphic novel. Thankfully, my Santa-Thing felt that I should give it a look. I am pleased to report that I am glad he did. It is a very quick read, very moving and the seredipity of it makes it a masterpiece. Don't cheat yourself by not reading it because you don't think it's important enough to read a graphic novel. You will be missing out on something you really wish you could experience.
jorgearanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Holocaust story has been told countless times, but Maus still surprises with the contrast between the war time and the peaceful but troubled retirement of Vladek Spiegelman.The people-as-animals gimmick (Jewish as rats, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs) often works, but sometimes feels cheap. And there's absolutely nothing cat-like about nazis.The second book is even better than the first. Spiegelman achieves an exploration of the complex and difficult personality of his father in comic book form.
lesleydawn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had to read this set for a history course in college, and I refused to sell it back at the end of the term. It allows the reader to see the horror of the holocaust more honestly because as you are reading you are seeing animals, not people. Later, when you think about it, it's horrific. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the effect the holocaust had on one family.
jddunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent, sad, funny, moving, and humane.
HotWolfie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a read that stuck with me long after I read it. The story is dark and haunting, as well as thought provoking. The concept behind this biography was interesting (i.e. depicting it through a graphic novel). It was extremely emotional to see not only the horrific trauma that happened to Vladek Spiegelman, but also his strained relationship with his son. The narration was strong and the artwork was well done. If you liked David Small's Stitches: A Memoir, you would probably enjoy reading Art Spiegelman's Maus.
APWHSOV More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Published Book Review on Maus II 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AP World History Review: Maus I and II, an informative series on the Holocaust. 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.
rhiannonholimiontinuviel More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. 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.
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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!
xoxkim2000xox More than 1 year ago
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.
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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. 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.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!