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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragic tale of Vladek Spiegelman, Holocaust Survivor
What got Art Spiegelman's "Maus: A Survivor's Tale" noticed was the simple and rather obvious conceit of telling a story about the Holocaust in which the Jews are portrayed as mice and the Nazis as cats. But the reason Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize is because ultimately the story being told is more important than the metaphor employed by the cartoonist.
Vladek...
Published on 9 July 2004 by Lawrance Bernabo

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Maus
Clever slick underhand marketing. Not made clear that this was only part of the whole. I got cross so did not buy the rest. Overpriced anyway
Published 13 months ago by David Raw


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tragic tale of Vladek Spiegelman, Holocaust Survivor, 9 July 2004
By 
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
What got Art Spiegelman's "Maus: A Survivor's Tale" noticed was the simple and rather obvious conceit of telling a story about the Holocaust in which the Jews are portrayed as mice and the Nazis as cats. But the reason Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize is because ultimately the story being told is more important than the metaphor employed by the cartoonist.
Vladek Spiegelman was a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Holocaust and "Maus" is about the attempt of his son, a cartoonist, to come to terms with not only his father in Rego Park, New York, but the terrible things that happened to his father in Poland in this first half of the tale, "My Father Bleeds History." This proves not to be rhetorical hyperbole, because Vladek's past becomes almost omnipresent as he tells his story to his son. Almost as important, the suicide of Artie's mother comes into play as well, for ultimately in this story, as in life, everything is related.
Tragically, as Vladek reveals more of the events that irrevocably altered not only his own life but that of his son, Artie is repelled rather than drawn closer to his father and the gulf between then becomes clearer. Knowledge, which should bring insight and understanding, fails and creates only bitterness. However, you must remember this is but the first half of the story, which concludes in "And Here My Troubles Began."
What makes "Maus" remarkable is not that it is a "comic book," what the "New York Times" called "an epic story told in tiny pictures," but that it is a very intimate story about someone who survived the Holocaust. The body might survive the concentration camp, but "Maus" is about what happens to the mind, the heart and the soul.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, Painful and Personal., 5 May 1998
By A Customer
This is a powerful work. The tale of a young man's painful relationship with his father is elegantly interwoven with the father's recollection of life as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland. Spiegelman's skill and honesty make this a raw, gut-wrenching read, though the tale is somehow ultimately uplifting.
I first read this book as a teenager, and would highly recommend it to people of any age. Over the years, I have re-read it frequently and shared it with friends of all ages. All have taken much from Spiegelman's tale.
A few notes must be made in response to the 10/26/97 comment posted below by a reviewer from Ontario, Canada. It is quite clear that this reviewer did not, in fact, read the book. (S)he mistakenly attacks Spiegelman for portraying the Poles as rats, and wonders if he would be offended if a book were written portraying Jews as rats. Anyone who took the time to read Maus (or merely to examine it's cover!) would know that it is, in fact, the Jewish people who are portrayed as mice/rats, whereas the Poles are portrayed not as vermin, but rather as pigs.
In fact, far from a "vicious" attack against Poles, there are many acts of kindness by Polish people portrayed in the book. Certainly there is unkindness as well, but how can the reviewer forget that this is a factual account of Vladek Spiegelman's life, told from his perspective. If unkind acts by Polish people are a part of that life, then they should be in the book.
Finally, the reviewer in question inelegantly raises a point of some merit, though it is one that is only tangentially related to Spiegelman's work. The Polish people did, in fact, suffer horribly at the hands of both Nazis and Soviets alike. Their death toll in the concentration camps numbered in the millions, and should never be forgotten or omitted when discussing the Holocaust. This book, however, is about Vladek Spiegelman, and so surely it cannot be assailed for its focus on events from his perspective.
Spiegelman's fidelity to his father's! story is to be admired, not attacked. And certainly not by a reviewer who could not be bothered to read the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More weight given to the medium of 'graphic novel'...., 15 Jan. 2006
It's quite a lengthy graphic novel, and is an account of the Holocaust, with mice representing Jews, Cats as the Nazis, Americans as dogs and Pigs as the Polish. This is a brilliant conceit, and the writer makes full and effective use of it.
This is harrowing and incredible, but very real and present and with very human, flawed characters that hit home beyond what a film or a book can do for a wide range of audience types. The illustrations aid the narrative, placing soft, engaging images and dark atmosphere into a bleak tale....It seems a very 'neat' story in places, but perhaps there is some memory allowance here. It's another important piece of historic interpretation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book. Please., 26 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
The time is 7:12 pm, June 25th, 1999. I finished reading this book about ten minutes ago. Yeah, I read all of these reviews, yes, I'm going to say that this book is great and everything, and it really is. I'm not going into details, I'm just gonna tell you straight. I read this book in ninety minutes flat. It was that engrossing. Before I picked it up at Barnes and Noble this afternoon, I found it difficult to believe that "Maus is a book you cannot even put down, not even to sleep." But it really is. I read and read and read until I was looking at the back cover. Tomorrow I'm going to buy volume two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most powerful books I've ever read, 26 April 1997
By A Customer
One of the most powerful books I've ever read, MAUS is not a typical piece of literature on the Holocaust. Some might argue it's not even literature, since it is a graphic novel. Do not be fooled by its appearance, MAUS is a chilling look at the Holocaust, drawn/written by a son of a Holocaust survivor. As a result, it is two stories in one: Art's (the son), and Vladek's (the survivor). Since the book deals with an unspeakable evil, Spiegelman uses mice as Jews and cats as Germans. The end result is a fascinating account of the horrors of WW2 that deals with 'man's inhumanity' by portraying the characters as animals.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, but not for young children., 10 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
I found both Maus books incredible in their description of the Holocaust, and the experiences of the Spiegelmans'. I learned a lot from this series.
I would recommend this book for older teens and adults. Due to the graphic description of the atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust, I would not recommend this book for small children (or others) who are not emotionally prepared for this serious topic. I think if parents choose to let their children read this book, they should also take the time to discuss it with their children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is so interesting!!!!!, 21 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This book is the best I have ever read in my whole life-time. I'm only 12 and I still got a lot out of it. I love books, but this is definatly my favorite!! It's so easy to understand, since it's in comic book form. It was both sad and happy. It only took me one day for me to read it since it was a real page-turner. You kind of get sucked into the reality of the book. Even though it's written as a comic book, and even though the charcters are mice, cats and pigs (which I thought was neat and clever), this book gives you a lot of information about the Holocaust.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers Unite! This book will hook your students!, 4 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
As a high school English teacher, I am constantly looking for new ways to reach reluctant readers. MAUS is just the book to do this and to introduce the Holocaust. Its easy to read prose is helped by the even more fascinating pictures that entice the reader to read on. The secondary theme of a strained father-son relationship appeals to teenagers as well. Three of my students are collaborating on a graphic novel about the Korean War--inspired, as I'm sure you will be too, by Spiegelman's gift of story-telling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for insomniacs, 31 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
The primary reason I picked up this book was because it was one of the only books in the Holocaust section of my library. For months I had passed it by, not even picking it up to glance at the cover, and little did I know I was missing a great book. When I finally did pick it up, I read the whole thing in the same afternoon. I admit I was not as impressed with Maus I's sequel, but both books are very good. It gives a true aspect of the Holocaust. Now if Disney and Miramax collided...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easily as good as the crits, 1 April 2008
By 
Mr. S. Miller "Page Turner" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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Over the years I have read many books centred or reflecting upon holocaust atrocities and I had thought the power to shock would have dimmed. Maus took me by surprise with the depth of sickening revulsion I felt at the horrors which beset Spiegelman's family of Polish Jews. I attribute that to the medium, with the graphic portrayal of events leading to a much quicker and more immediate sense of the unimaginably awful conditions.

As with other such memoirs, there is, however, a strain of hope and plenty triumphs for the embattled human spirits encountered between the pages; and the author's depiction of his own Father (heroic in his resistance to the Nazi onslaught but very difficult to live with in later life) could hardly be termed sentimental. These elements combine to emphasise the realism and attractiveness of the account.

I regard this book as equivalent in status and importance to Anne Frank's Diary, hence a must-read.
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Maus: Pt. 1: A Survivor's Tale (Penguin graphic fiction)
Maus: Pt. 1: A Survivor's Tale (Penguin graphic fiction) by Art Spiegelman (Paperback - 10 Sept. 1987)
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