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The Complete MAUS Paperback – 2 Oct 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (2 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014081
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The first masterpiece in comic book history (New Yorker)

One of the clichés about the Holocaust is that you can't imagine it - Spiegelman disproves this theory (Independent)

A brutally moving work of art (Boston Globe)

In the tradition of Aesop and Orwell, it serves to shock and impart powerful resonance to a well-documented subject. The artwork is so accomplished, forceful and moving (TimeOut)

Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics' history: something that actually occurred. Maus is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt (New Yorker)

An epic story told in tiny pictures (New York Times)

The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust (Wall Street Journal)

Maus is a book that cannot be put down, truly, even to sleep...when you finish Maus, you are unhappy to have left that magical world and long for the sequel that will return you to it (Umberto Eco)

A remarkable feat of documentary detail and novelistic vividness...an unfolding literary event (New York Times Book Review)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in 'drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust' (New York Times)

A quiet triumph, moving and simple - impossible to describe accurately, and impossible to achieve in any medium but comics (Washington Post)

All too infrequently, a book comes along that' s as daring as it is acclaimed. Art Spiegelman's Maus is just such a book (Esquire)

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 Feiffer)

Maus is a masterpiece, and it's in the nature of such things to generate mysteries, and pose more questions than they answer. But if the notion of a canon means anything, Maus is there at the heart of it. Like all great stories, it tells us more about ourselves than we could ever suspect (Philip Pullman)

Spiegelman's Maus changed comics forever. Comics now can be about anything (Alison Bechdel)

Reading [his work] has been an amazing lesson in storytelling (Etgar Keret)

It can be easy to forget how much of a game-changer Maus was. (Washington Post)

About the Author

Art Spiegelman is a contributing editor and artist for the New Yorker. His drawings and prints have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, which was also nominated for the National Book Critics Award. He lives in New York.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
This haunting graphic novel depicts the Holocaust through the eyes of Art's father, a Polish Jew called Vladek who suffered greatly but survived the concentration camps. Starting with the meeting of his father and his mother, The Complete Maus carries their story through to the end of the horrors, juxtaposed with Art's present-day life and struggle to appease his elderly father while recording his history before it's too late. By using animals to represent groups of people (Nazis are cats, Jews are mice, French are frogs, and so on), the author strengthens his allegory and makes this book into an unforgettable and horrifying piece of art.

I hesistated for a few weeks before writing this review. Another review is surely excessive because I've seen tons out there. Still, my thoughts wanted a place, and when it comes down to it, this graphic novel hasn't left me alone yet.

Perhaps what's most striking about this particular tale is that Vladek is an ordinary old man. In some way, Holocaust survivors are expected to be supernaturally brave, intelligent, and in essence heroes. They are that, but they are also normal people thrust into the worst situation imaginable and forced to cope or die or both. Vladek has undoubtedly been shaped by his experience but not in the best ways. He hoards food, he hoards money, because his world is still uncertain and he knows what deprivation is like. This irritates everyone around him but the saddest part is that he is so normal. It brings home to us the fact that ordinary people were suffered and died for no reason. Vladek is startlingly like my grandpa and that makes the real story even more horrifying than it would have been without the frame.
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Format: Paperback
There is a huge amount of holocaust literature available, lots of it well written and moving but this graphic novel packs quite a punch and is all the more engrossing because of its cartoon form.

I found it just as affecting as Primo Levi's books which is high praise indeed. I have lent this to family who, like me, found it gut wrenching but rewarding. And none of us read comics or graphic novels ever. If you don't either, make this the exception. Should be essential reading.
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Format: Paperback
The world of comics/graphic novels is one relatively unfamiliar to me- I don't know why, as those that I have read I have loved, e.g. From Hell, Ghost World, and this collection of Art Spiegelman's Maus-works from the 70s to the 90s (the chapters were published seperately & differently between 1980 and 1991 and the 'cut-in' story Prisoner of the Hell Planet originates from Short Order Comix in 1973). I never usually get round to the 'graphic novel' section in bookshops- I tend to plump for fiction and usually find a few titles there, pay for them and leave. So, I was pretty much oblivious to The Complete Maus until a recent BBC4 programme pitched it against Schindler's Ark/List. I loathe the way the BBC has to turn everything into a competition (I thought Schindler's Ark was a great book!), but appreciated the way that The Complete Maus, written in a format people seem to look down upon, was presented as another way in which the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust (Shoah) were dealt with (perhaps the BBC should have made a documentary or series on ways in which culture has represented the Nazi Horrors of the 20th Century?). But no matter, I'd logged the name in my head and a piece on Spiegelman and 9-11 recently made me go out and look for it...
And I feel cheated that I didn't discover this book earlier, as I could have read it several times more if I'd found it a few years earlier. Spiegelman takes his family's personal history- his mother's suicide, his father's unhappy remarriage, his family's European origin, and above all the experience of the Nazi Holocaust and places it in the comic-form (which even Vladek looks down upon here, until he reads Prisoner of the Hell Planet).
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By A Customer on 15 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
On first inspection, a comic strip depicting the suffering of the Holocaust through the use of 'cat' and 'mice' figures seems insupportable, almost laughable. However, the moment you begin to read the Maus collection, you are drawn into an incredible world, the world of the Holocaust, and become part of it. The mice become as real to the reader as their own family, the Nazi cats as terrifying as any living nightmare. Through the struggle to survivial of the Speigelman family, both during and after the Holocaust, the reader gats a real sense of what it is to have experienced such events, whether literally, or as a second-generation survivor. An amazing both, which is both hugely entertaining and surprising.
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Format: Paperback
I will abstain from writing a long review, simply because the story told by Spiegelman can speak for itself. The Complete Maus is a tale of the cruellest reality told in a very moving and powerful way. To read it is an education, and moreover, a warning.
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By A Customer on 5 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in a style which belies the simple premise of the art work this is a must read book. I read the tales when first released and found them both deeply effecting and thoroughly compelling. Characterisation is superb and the voice of the author shines through. His difficulty in comprehending the horrors his father saw mirror the reader and the terrible enormity of the events slowly build as the tale unfurls rather than slapping you in the face. The collected edition is a bargain and the book is a must read. No collection is complete without this. Does it show that I liked this rather a lot?
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